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But guns cause murder!

North Dakota experienced only two murders in 2008. Both were stabbings. Not a single firearm murder in the state. Meanwhile, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership has ranked North Dakota 44 out of 50 in gun control.

Update: Similar trend in gun-friendly New Hampshire:

Two murders non-justifiable homicides (10% of all homicides) committed with a gun in the entire state of New Hampshire (population 1.32 million).

28 Responses to “But guns cause murder!”

  1. tgirsch Says:

    Yes, but two murders in North Dakota is something like 18% of the population, isn’t it? 🙂

  2. Bruce Says:

    I’m working up the NH version of this post: 20 homicides, three with gun, one of them justified. Looks like ND has us beat.

  3. Huck Says:

    From what Ive been able to find in murder and non-negligent manslaugher Wyoming had 9 in 2008 ranking 50 out of 51.
    Only North Dakota had a lower number than Wyoming and we have the highest percentage of firearms owners in any state!
    Sit on that Bradys!

  4. Tom Says:

    “what works in Cheyenne may not work in Chicago” Who knows, it hasn’t been tried.

    Revealing of Obama’s racist views, he believes, or at least touts, harsher restrictions of rights for urban areas, which have a much higher minority population.

  5. joated Says:

    There seems to be a coorelation developing here but it has much more to do with the Bradys having their head up their butt than gun control affecting murder rates.

  6. Atom Says:

    Correlation is not causation. Low homicide rates in ND and other places are likely due to socioeconomic factors having little to do with the presence or absence of guns. Do you think that Nodaks would start killing one another more if they had fewer guns or that the sociopaths from inner cities would start moving there because of the easy pickin’s. I doubt it.

  7. Zach Says:

    True, but non-correlation undermines causation. The left asserts that more guns cause more murders. The fact that states with lots of guns have few murders isn’t sufficient to prove that more guns causes less crime, but does weaken the causal argument that more guns causes more crime, which is the rationale behind gun control laws.

  8. Xrlq Says:

    Atom, contrary to the popular meme, correlation is causation, the only question being whether A causes B, B causes A, or some other C causes both A and B. To the extent no causal relationship exists between North Dakota’s gun laws and its murder rate, the two do not “correlate.” The word you may be looking for is “co-occurrence” or simply “coincidence.”

  9. JorgXMcKie Says:

    Certainly no correlation strongly implies no causation, but there are various problems with correlation inad causation, not only including spurious relationships, but sheer coincidence.

    Of course, one *could* compare before and after stats,but that might embarrass some (i.e. those who persistently argue that CCW will cause blood to run in the streets — sure didn’t happen in FL or MI).

  10. wjr Says:

    If I may, perhaps a thought.

    Urban areas have two interesting problems. One is that there is generally cultural conflict — perhaps not directly but by proximity. Generally this is a rich versus poor problem. Envy is, after all one of the deadly sins.

    On the other hand cities also have what experimental psychologists call a “population cage” problem. Rats which would normally live side by side with fair equanimity will, when put in very crowded circumstances, fight and, eventually, eat the weakest even though food is abundant.

    Now, rat facts do not always extend to humans but, in this case….

    In my opinion, unjustified homicides have little to do with guns and much to do with the fact that folks in a population cage, in particular those folks at the bottom of the economic rung, are, perhaps, a bit rat like.

  11. Tantor Says:

    It’s not the number of guns nor the laws. It’s the culture. 93% of North Dakotans are white, 5% Native American, 2% Hispanic, 0.1% black. That majority white culture are descendants of immigrants from northern Europe. Germans, Norwegians, and Swedes don’t shoot each other in Europe nor do their descendants do so in America.

    By contrast, Washington, DC, former murder capital of the USA, sports a population that’s 55.6% black, 36.3% white, 8.3% Hispanic (of any race), 5% grab bag. The majority of shooting occurs on the north and east side of town, the black side. Very few shooters cross the Rock Creek to pop a cap on the white people of Georgetown.

    You have few shooters among the good citizens of the white Northern European cultures. You have many shooters among the bad citizens of the black African culture. The population tells the story of the homicide rate.

    Switzerland demands that military age males own firearms. There is also a requirement for each house to have an assault weapon. Yet, Swiss gun homicides are a third of the US. The Swiss don’t shoot each other in Switzerland and don’t shoot each other when they emigrate.

    The ethnic group is what drives gun homicide statistics.

  12. Synova Says:

    That would make logical sense, Tantor, except that you’re talking about people descended from vikings.

    Culture, sure… bunch of Lutherans, some Catholics, a few Greek Orthodox (if we’re talking Dakotas). It’s all about guilt and self-control. You’re talking farm boys, hunters…

    I’m far more inclined to think that a failure to resort to firearms in a dispute has more to do with actually having killed something in your life. You know it’s not television because you’ve put a bullet through the heart of a deer and watched her drop, or taken animals you raised to the butcher, and if not… you live in a culture where that experience is common.

    I recall a gun killing that was on the news when I lived in the Bay Area… some boy acting tough brought a gun to a graduation party and waved it around… the graduate went and got his gun and waved it around… to get the other guy to leave.


    I don’t know what they thought would happen, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that someone would die.

    How much of gun crime is about what the person with the gun is willing to do, and how much of it is about that person not understanding what *others* will do?

  13. Steve Skubinna Says:

    Synova, I think what you’re talking about there is an appreciation for deadly force. People competent with firearms don’t “wave them around.” Were I somewhere, armed, and somebody began flashing a firearm I would right away begin evaluating it as a shoot/don’t shoot situation. And I would not draw until I had made a shooting decision.

    I stress that I would not automatically decide to shoot – I might decide that my best choice was to leave. But anyone who carries and does not internalize the Four Rules, and is not always aware of the tactical situation, probably ought not to be carrying. You have to be prepared in advance to use deadly force, which means you have to be able to put a bullet into a human being’s vital areas.

    Not “wing” him, not fire off a warning shot, not hit the leg, not shoot the gun from his hand like the Waco Kid. Shoot center mass until the person ceases the threatening behavior – and if you haven’t thought that through beforehand, leave the gun in the safe.

    Any culture that prizes swaggering machismo is not a culture that ought to be armed.

  14. Synova Says:

    See now… swaggering machismo is huge here where I live now.

    But I think that the answer to that is to refocus the machismo, because we’re not getting rid of the guns.

    I think that those Norse farm boys are just as macho, but there are other outlets, usually. There are “manly” pursuits.

    For a whole lot of young men there is only the choice of swaggering or domestication. Gangster or… not. Some people try for boxing as a solution, and I think that’s useful, but not for everyone (and of course it doesn’t solve all the problems… not everyone thinks getting punched in the face is fun.) Still, the cultures where machismo is most important *ought* to be open to the promotion of a warrior archetype that is something other than gangs and criminal behavior… if we’d only *allow* it.

    If I had a million dollars I think I’d start biathlon (shooting and skiing, right?) clubs in all the middle schools in Albuquerque. The region has a lot of both… snow… and guns.

  15. Synova Says:

    And I just wanted to say… with a name like Steve Skubinna you have *got* to publish self-defense books or own a gym.

    Just saying. 😉

  16. Brroadsword Says:

    Everyone seems to be missing the point. In the same way that extreme cold weather is a product of global warming, extremely low firearm ’caused’ deaths in ND are evidence of the evil mind-altering power of firearms…isn’t it?

  17. seejay Says:

    Gee, do ya think it might have something to do with, ya know, THE RESIDENTS of North Dakota?
    That the state is nearly 90% Caucasian white people?
    OH GOD NO, that’s RACISM!
    Wake-up America! Just because our government and media tell us about the wonders of what they refer to as “diversity”, -(Ethnic Cleansing of Whites), don’t kid yourselves.
    The MAIN reason for the low levels of violent criminality in ND is the fact that there are low levels of blacks and Hispanics!
    The 25 cities with the highest murder rates all have high numbers of blacks and Hispanics. It’s not hate. It’s the reality we live in!

  18. SayUncle Says:

    For those just joining us, it’s not us pro-gunnies who run around saying guns cause non-murders to happen. it’s the anti-gunners who yammer on about how gun cause crime, murder, impotence, and irritable bowel syndrome. Consult a physician.

  19. Droopy Says:

    I received a new rifle for Christmas and I have not pooped since. Do the math people. Need more proof? Last year I got a fishing pole and had no problems.

  20. Hucklebuck Says:

    And if the two ND vics were black, that could be half the minority population of the state.

  21. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    The difference is cultural, not socioeconomic in the true sense. New England has always had very low homicide rates since the 17th C. Viking ancestry notwithstanding, Scandinavians have had a low homicide rate for centuries as well.

    It is not strictly racial, however. The Scots-Irish have had high homicide rates since their arrival, and those that stayed in GB have given us Belfast and Glasgow. There are African tribes which are not especially violent, and variations in baseline violence among Native American tribes, regions of China, and regions of India.

    Proximity of different groups is more of a driver of violence – especially if the differences are visible – than crowding per se or economic disadvantage. Interestingly, living near a friction group also increases the violence within a group. The thinking is that young males become generally activated by the community’s danger, and are more volatile even with their own people.

    Thus, Sweden can sustain a nice, peaceful socialism among themselves as long as everyone is a white Swede and they can compete against other countries in a ruthless free-market manner. Now that Mediterranean peoples are moving in to Scandinavia, the violence is increasing (google Malmo).

  22. nerdbert Says:

    I’ve found martial arts training works well in channeling machismo, especially when started young. You can only go through a few instances of finding out that there’s always someone who’s faster or can punch better on that day before you learn to control yourself. And the requirements of regimented training helps you learn the same. To top it off, you get to burn off tons of energy which tends to reduce the stupidity factor of energetic youths.

  23. seejay Says:

    Uhm, Assistant Village Idiot:

    It’s SO FUNNY, that when anyone makes simple claims with regard to race, someone feels the need to inject paragraphs of “geopolitical and socioeconomic” goobledeegook into the mix!

    Do you really want to compare homicide rates of Irish and Scottish whites to those of blacks? Any blacks? Because it would be a silly comparison! EVERY black city, county, State or Nation is riddled with violence, corruption, illiteracy and crime. Yet they can always depend on liberal apologists to explain, through said gobbledeegook, how it’s the fault of WHITES!

    You assign partial responsibility for criminality in Sweden to….SWEEDS, because they’re being INVADED AND REPLACED with non-Sweeds!

    How Dare They! We all should just go along quietly with the ETHNIC CLEANSING of whites WHEREVER THEY ARE A MAJORITY, and to disagree makes one a ….RACIST!

    We are all suppose to be thrilled that whites will become extinct, and that humanity will become one large group of MONGRELS!

    And if this makes us, in any way uncomfortable, well, that’s a sure sign of our….”RACISM!”

    Tired of the scam? There’s not a thing wrong with whites wishing to preserve their racial majority! Except to those that wish FOR THEIR RACIAL MAJORITY!

  24. Atom Says:

    1. I am not of the left.
    2. That correlation does not equal causation is not a proposition that is even up for debate regardless of how much semantic “toe-dancing” one might wish to engage in. Look it up.
    3. It is gun rights advocates that are incessantly cherry picking statistics to make the case that many guns do not lead to excessive gun crimes or that gun laws do not lead to less gun crimes. There are enough data to support any argument you want to make. The problem just lies elsewhere.
    4. Cultural factors would be a component of the socioeconomic environment. The presence or absence of guns is not going to determine to level of gun crimes within a given society. The willingness of people to use guns for criminal purposes has everything to do with it and it seems that they are not necessarily deterred by the fact that others may have guns. Most gun deaths involve criminals killing other criminals who are (presumably) known to have and use guns.

  25. SayUncle Says:

    It is gun rights advocates that are incessantly cherry picking statistics to make the case that many guns do not lead to excessive gun crimes or that gun laws do not lead to less gun crimes.

    really? they cherrypick stuff to note non-relationships?

    RE: 4. doesn’t seem, generally, that guns are a factor one way or the other.

  26. HarryK Says:

    Two clarifications to Assistant Village Idiot’s contribution:

    1. The people moving into Sweden aren’t generic “Mediterraneans”; they are Moslems. Moslems are commanded by the Koran to subjugate non-believers, and brutal violence committed by Moslems against non-Moslems is not only A-OK, but 100% authorized by the Koran. It was also practiced by the Moslems’ “ideal man,” Mohammed. Anything he did is a model for all Moslems, and so Moslems continue to rape, murder, persecute, and otherwise abuse non-believers.

    2. The violence in Malm is being committed by Moslems against ethnic Swedes. In fact, Moslems in Europe and Australia target white women for gang rapes (google it). It is not a two-way street; as a rule, Swedes are not attacking Moslems or raping their women.

    As for Viking ancestry, Christianity turned the Germanic barbarians (regardless of their land of origin) into civilized Western Europeans. Once the Germanic barbarians were thus civilized, they largely* ceased their barbaric behavior, including Viking-style raids.

    *For the reading impaired: “largely” does not mean “entirely.”

  27. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    seejay, listen louder. You have misunderstood me from start to finish. You are arguing against someone who is not present. And check out the violent crime rates in Glasgow before you start spouting, ok?

    HarryK – mostly correct. The immigrants into Scandinavia are largely from Moslem nations, but as there are a fair number of Romanians, Bulgarians, and previously-Yugoslavs, I chose the more expansive term “Mediterranean.” I will note that while the non-Moslems have also increased the violent crime rate, it is nowhere near as much as the immigrant Moslem populations.

    All of this to say that it is culture and current tensions that drive violence, not gun laws.

  28. Xrlq Says:


    2. That correlation does not equal causation is not a proposition that is even up for debate regardless of how much semantic toe-dancing one might wish to engage in. Look it up.

    I have, though you apparently haven’t. Random co-occurrence is not correlation. Correlation between A and B does not entail that A causes B or vice-versa, but it does imply more than A happening to be next to B. If you don’t have enough data to know whether A and B go hand in hand, or whether they just happen to be near each other by chance, then you don’t have enough data to know whether they correlate or not.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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