Gun Violence and Race

Chicago is home to some 2,707,120 people (U.S. Census.)  We’re also told that about 32.9% are black while 45% are white.  That equates to about 890,642 black people and 1,218,204 white people in Chicago.  So far, nothing unusual.

Over at the Red Eye (a Tribune Media property) they have a worksheet showing the murder victims in Chicago.  The results show 392 black victims and 116 white victims.  Some algebra we calculate that the homicide rate in Chicago (by all causes, not just guns) is:

44.01 / 100,000 for black people, and 9.52  / 100,000 for white people.

For the record, the U.S. homicide rate (by all causes, not just guns) — for the entire country — is 4.8.

Chicago’s homicide rate (by all causes, not just guns) for everyone is 18.98.

If Chicago was it’s own country, the homicide rate among black’s in Chicago would rate between Belize (41.4) and Venezuela. (45.1.)

If Chicago was it’s own country, the homicide rate among white’s in Chicago would rate between Bolivia (8.9) and Nauru (9.8.)

Chicago is a dangerous place for everybody (as compared to the U.S. countryside) but is nearly 5 times more dangerous for blacks as for whites.

The Atlantic took this a bit further; looking only a GUN homicides:

The pattern is staggering. A number of U.S. cities have gun homicide rates in line with the most deadly nations in the world.  If it were a country,

New Orleans (with a rate 62.1 gun murders per 100,000 people) would rank second in the world.

Detroit’s gun homicide rate (35.9) is just a bit less than El Salvador (39.9).

Baltimore’s rate (29.7) is not too far off that of Guatemala (34.8).

Gun murder in Newark (25.4) and Miami (23.7) is comparable to Colombia (27.1).

Washington D.C. (19) has a higher rate of gun homicide than Brazil (18.1).

Atlanta’s rate (17.2) is about the same as South Africa (17).

Cleveland (17.4) has a higher rate than the Dominican Republic (16.3).

Gun murder in Buffalo (16.5) is similar to Panama (16.2).

Houston’s rate (12.9) is slightly higher than Ecuador’s (12.7).

Gun homicide in Chicago (11.6) is similar to Guyana (11.5).

Phoenix’s rate (10.6) is slightly higher than Mexico (10).

Los Angeles (9.2) is comparable to the Philippines (8.9).

Boston rate (6.2) is higher than Nicaragua (5.9).

New York, where gun murders have declined to just four per 100,000, is still higher than Argentina (3).

Even the cities with the lowest homicide rates by American standards, like San Jose and Austin, compare to Albania and Cambodia respectively.

via The Atlantic Cities.


Back to Chicago…

Of the 441 gun homicide victims in Chicago 347 (or 78.68%) were black; 91 (20.63%) were white.  Blacks are victims of gun homicides at over twice the rate to their population.  White are victims less than one-half the rate to their population.

I’m willing to bet you that if we looked into all of these cities on The Atlantic list that we would find similar results.  In this country we have a serious gun violence problem in the black community.  It needs to be dealt with.  It is unfair and unjust that peaceful people — of any race — have to live in communities plagued by violence.  But because of the unique nature of this problem a wide-sweeping federal solution will never work.

Taking guns away from law abiding citizens in the sticks will not solve the inner city gun problems.

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