Nothing can break me out of my slumber like a potential debate on a wild subject. So I’ve been tweeting and gabbing a bit here and there, but not really finding it in me to make another full-blown blog post. Until now. Hope they don’t disappoint me.
So this all started, sort of, with that shooting at Thousand Oaks. So the same sort of arguments came up that usually come up around this point in time before anyone has any time to grieve (because let’s face it, many people who weren’t in the area give less of a shit about the victims and more of a shit about using them as a means to an end to make a political point about gun control, or lack thereof). “We need more gun control!” “It happened because it was in a gun-free zone!” “Conservatives suck dick!” “Liberals suck dick!” You know, all that stuff.
But I was taken off-guard when the topic came up that far-right extremists are statistically proven to be more responsible for these “massacres” than left-wing extremists, let alone muslim-extremists (I wonder of the last two should be grouped together, considering how much left-wingers go down on Allah worshipers).
Let me start at the Twitter tweet (because let’s face it, it’s only on Twitter where I can find people with differing opinions to debate with, Gab is currently just an echo chamber; it’s going to take another couple years before that changes, if it lasts that long) where someone who goes by the name Historian @NeolithichHist got involved in the discussion to finally make it interesting (ie offer me a real challenge). Someone else did something like that in an earlier Twitter debate I had which got too convoluted, and I’ll include her in the discussion should she choose to get involved in this current one (I can handle double teaming should it come to that).
The problem is armed white conservatives. Every single time it’s a white conservative who legally purchased a gun.
Every single time huh? As opposed to every other time where someone illegally obtained a gun to go kill people? Because statistically, those who don’t legally purchase a firearm (or who don’t legally obtain a firearm) are much more responsible statistically for gun crimes than those who do. But that’s just addressing the “legally purchased a gun” portion. He’s primarily taking aim at “white conservatives.” I’m not entirely sure where to find a study that takes aim at people by grouping them by their politics (identity politics is a dangerous topic to get dragged into, which from what I understand many left-wingers live by).
The difference between identity politics and people identifying with politics is this: The Left uses the concept of identity politics to spread division and strife amongst people. So they bring this group into a room, and they tell them something different in this group, and there’s something different in this group, and they pit them against each other. […] On our side, and on the side that I think better represents what we believe, is that we use people… all we use things to identify with politics. So we say… Ok, this group of people learn differently, they have a different culture. We understand that. But we’re telling everybody the same thing. […] And that message is unity, freedom, and American values. Big difference, huge difference, and we have to understand that difference. And therefore we can reach outside of the box.
Finding studies that group people by their race, on the other hand…
According to a 2015 Brookings Institution study, 77 percent of white gun deaths are from suicide. Only 19 percent are homicides. Even when you combine homicides and suicides, the white-male death rate from guns is approximately 16 per 100,000. For white women, the rate is less than five per 100,000.
A staggering 82 percent of African-American gun deaths are homicides. Only 14 percent are suicides. The overall gun-death rate for black males is roughly double what it is for white males, and for black males between the ages of 20 and 29, the rate is approximately 89 per 100,000.
Gun deaths are lowest in the population that owns the most guns. Fully 41 percent of white households report owning a gun, compared with only 19 percent of black households. Among white Americans, there are more guns, but there’s less crime. Among black Americans, there are fewer guns, but there’s more crime.
After all, there is ample evidence that federal officials can be extraordinarily lax when it comes to gun crimes, especially in cities where the death toll is highest. As recently as 2012, the districts encompassing Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York ranked last in federal gun-crime enforcement per capita.
Cries for gun control will lose their potency when crime loses its potency.
But I know what some of you might be thinking. “82% of African-Americans killed by guns? How often was it white people doing them in?” Well not that often.
According to the American Community Survey 2016 estimates, Los Angeles is 49 percent Hispanic, 29 percent white, 8 percent black, and 11 percent Asian.
The findings of the “Los Angeles Police Department Homicide Report” for 2017 are unsurprising for racial realists. According to this analysis, both the victims and perpetrators of violent crime in Los Angels are young, non-white, and poor. Of the 282 homicides which occurred in Los Angeles in 2017, 177—62.8 percent—were gang related.
Of all homicides committed in 2017 in Los Angeles, 72 percent involved handguns. Shotguns and rifles accounted for only one percent each. “Assault weapons”—the weapons targeted by current gun control push—accounted only for one percent. Firearms were used in 93 percent of homicides committed by gang members.
Suspect descriptions were provided for 146 of the homicides, yielding 171 suspects (some incidents involved more than one suspect). Of these suspects, 52 percent were Hispanic, six percent were white, and less than two percent were Asian. An astonishing 40 percent were black, despite blacks comprising less than ten percent of the city’s population.
So what else does he got?
And that’s where we left off, plus my mentioning that I’d carry this over to another website. So, regarding that article he linked to…
The only Islamist terror attack in Pennsylvania over the past 15 years was committed by Edward Archer, a mentally ill man who shot and injured a police officer in early 2016, later telling investigators that he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Far-right episodes of violent extremism were far more common.
A new database compiled by The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute examines that claim by looking back over a nine-year period, from 2008 through 2016. The findings are dramatic: Far-right plots and attacks outnumber Islamist incidents by almost 2 to 1.
There are 201 incidents in the database, sorted broadly as Islamist, right wing (including white supremacists, militias and members of the so-called Patriot and sovereign citizens movements), and left wing (including animal right militants, environmentalists, anarchists and Black Lives Matter sympathizers). Most of the Islamist incidents are thwarted plots, indicating a significant investment of law enforcement resources. Most of the others are successful acts in which attackers damaged property or inflicted human casualties.
- Right-wing extremist terrorism was more often deadly: Nearly a third of incidents involved fatalities, for a total of 79 deaths, while 13 percent of Islamist cases caused fatalities. (The total deaths associated with Islamist incidents were higher, however, reaching 90, largely due to the 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood in Texas.)
- Incidents related to left-wing ideologies, including ecoterrorism and animal rights, were comparatively rare, with 19 incidents causing seven fatalities – making the shooting attack on Republican members of Congress earlier this month somewhat of an anomaly.
Have to admit, it’s a very extensive article. The quotes above aside, it also points out how federal resources are used to target Islamists far more than right-wing-extremists. Which is disproportionate to the number of crimes right-wing-extremists commit compared to Islamic extremists, or even left-wing-extremists, which even when combined is still lower than the crimes committed by right-wing-extremists. The point the article is making is that right-wing-extremists (implying extreme conservative whites) are more responsible for acts of domestic terrorism, and causing fatalities by those terrorist acts, than any other political/religious group in the United States. As far as I can currently tell, there’s no disputing this (though I am open to opinions, with data to back them, that oppose this conclusion).
However, don’t be fooled by this. This found a way to take the broad discussion of dangers posed by groups based on their political/religious leanings, and narrowed it down in a way to make it appear that we should all be more critical and wary of right-wingers than left-wingers (there’s the muslims too, but for the purpose of this discussion we’ll leave them out of this for now; they were worth mentioning just because of the context the above article is to be taken). It only focuses on acts of terrorism, as the article defines it. It doesn’t take into account gang-violence, non-terror related incidents of fatalities. You know, where the big numbers are.
Let’s take into account the population of the United States and, statistically, how ethnically diverse it is (though that can be a bit tricky with the Latino population, given the illegal immigration issue). According to StatisticalAtlas.com, out of a population of over 200 million people in the United States, 62% are White, 17% are Hispanic, and a little under 13% are Black. Now with those numbers in mind, you would think crime stats would be similar to fit with those percentages. Since whites compose the majority of the population, you would expect the majority of the violent crimes to be committed by whites, mostly against other whites, sometimes against other races (the higher the number of other races, the greater the chance they will be a victim of the majority race). And you would expect Hispanics to make up the second highest amount of violent crimes, with Blacks taking third place. In a perfect and fair world, where everyone is the same and equal, and treated as such, that should be the case. And by the logic of that RevealNews.org article, that seems consistent with it at least in terms of race (at the moment, I can’t locate an article mentioning the ethnic percentages of what makes up those who identify as right-leaning, left-leaning, or just down the middle, so I wouldn’t know how to begin taking apart an argument stating that right-wingers are more dangerous because they’re composed more heavily of whites than left-wingers, anymore than I could make an argument supporting that view).
That being said, it’s not a fair and perfect world because we, as humans, are not a far and perfect species. We have political differences, we have cultural differences, and we have different hobbies. Because of those factors and more, anomalies are to be expected. The issue is what to make of those anomalies and how to address them without making things worse.
So with that in mind, back to the statistics. The RevealNews.org site states that right-wing-extremists are responsible for the deaths of 79 people from 2008-2016. An 8-year time-span. Not that I think nothing should be done about combating terrorist acts or anything, regardless of what race and political-party-supporters are doing them; but this is small potatoes. 79 deaths over the course of 8 years. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. Non-white people, non-domestic-terrorist people, can beat that number in 1 year, in 1 city (not State, not County, City). Most of those committed by people who don’t legally own firearms. A good portion of those committed by non-white (and thus one could assume, by some strange logic, non-right-wing) individuals.
So they want to argue that because there are more right-wing-extremists in a white-majority country committing the most domestic terror acts on a white-majority population, we should do… what exactly? Have more gun control or eliminate guns when it’s statistically proven that More Guns = Less Crime? Have white guilt? Have right-wing guilt? I say we’re taking the wrong approach with that mindset, given some inconvenient facts that go against such conclusions. Consider the overall scale of crime. The overall crime rate, according to DisasterCenter.com, has been decreasing since 1991, without a single year of uptick. That being said, according to the same source, the murder rate has sort of always been in flux; but recent years have shown that it has been on the rise since 2014, and hasn’t gone down since. More than 17,000 U.S. citizens per year are murdered; it’s been that way since 2016. That’s too many just to simplify the argument down to, “But right-wing-extremists killed nearly 80 people in 8 years, roughly 10 people a year on average!” The problem is broader in scope than what domestic terror acts can account for. Certainly broader in scope than what right-wing-extremists can account for. Don’t let mainstream media which lives for sensationalism fool you into thinking otherwise.
On a side note, this does seem to fit an interesting pattern. A similar spike in overall murder rates occurred in 1999, with the number continuing to rise until 2003. So if the pattern is to repeat, that number should start to fall by, oh say, by either this year or next year. They seem to go by roughly 4 year patterns of rising and falling; making it seem like they coincide with presidential elections. Not sure if that’s a coincidence or if the political climate across the history of the U.S. is a contributing factor. On the other hand, I’m not so sure these are normal times we’re living in. Hindsight is 20-20, so time will tell.
What else do you have for me Historian?
Edit (11-24-2018): Here’s an interesting article: Armed Citizens Have A 94% Success Rate Of Stopping Would-Be Mass Shooters According to FBI Data