How the Mainstream Media Manipulates Homicide Numbers to Fit Their Agenda
The mainstream media loves to manipulate numbers. This is especially true in the ongoing debate surrounding gun control. In a nation where gun control is always up for debate, especially following a mass shooting, it’s time to go head-to-head with the mainstream media and beat them at their own game.
The Media’s Play on Innocent Minds
How does the media play on innocent minds?
Let’s go back to the FBI’s crime statistics.
In 2015 and 2016, homicides increased to 4.9 and 5.3 per 100,000 individuals. The media plays on these statistics, stating violent crime is going through the roof, insisting lack of gun laws are to blame.
However, when looking at overall data, such as from 1995 to 2015, the media will never admit to an unsuspecting public violent crime remains significantly lower than in years’ past.
Try 1950’s levels.
In 1995, homicide rate reached 8.1 per 100,000, a 39.6% decrease in overall homicides over the span of twenty years.
When comparing homicide rates in 1995 to 2016’s rate of 5.3, the overall decrease by percentage stands at 34.6%.
Gun Ownership Since the 1990’s
Our pro-gun control media fails to point out actual statistics of gun ownership in America as it relates to homicides. Back in 1996, when the homicide rate stood at 7.92 per 100,000 individuals, gun ownership in American households stood at 44%.
Fast forward to 2011, when the homicide rate dropped to 4.7 per 100,000, gun ownership increased to 45%.
In 2014, with the homicide rate at 4.4 per 100,000, gun ownership decreased to 42%, however when homicide rates rose in 2015 and 2016, gun ownership further declined to 41% and 39%, respectively.
In 2017, gun ownership has risen back to 42%, while the homicide rate at the time of this writing, homicides per 100,000 individuals stands at 5.5, a very slight increase from 2016.
From 2014 to 2015, homicides per 100,000 rose at 10.3% and from 2015 to 2016, homicide rates increased another 7.6%. Remember, gun ownership fell in both 2015 and 2016.
However, when gun ownership rose in 2017, the homicide rate increased only 3.7%.
US, Worst in the Developed World in Terms of Homicide?
It’s another argument the mainstream media loves to use but doesn’t hold water for two reasons.
1. Making the mistake of comparing the nation as a whole in favor of regions, or even down to states.
2. What does the media mean when they state, “developed world?”
Looking at the first fallacy, the United States is the third largest country in the world in population and fourth in terms of landmass.
It’s important to remember the largest country wholly in Europe is Ukraine, which ranks forty-fifth in the world. Also, the United States has a more diverse geographic, climate, cultural, and ethnic atmosphere than any country in Europe besides Russia.
The FBI also notes several factors may influence an area’s crime rate, such as economy and population density.
Rather than look at the nation as a whole, it might be smarter to look to the states.
Per 2016 numbers, Louisiana posted the highest homicide rate at 11.8 per 100,000 individuals, and the lowest rate sat with New Hampshire, at 1.3 per 100,000. It’s worth noting Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut ranked in the bottom ten while Mississippi and Alabama also ranked in the top six.
These results show clear indication differences in geographic region plays a role in homicide rates, among other factors.
Some gun control advocates may immediately point to an implication that since New England happens to be very blue in many aspects, they must have stricter gun laws. However, it’s certainly not the case, as both Vermont and New Hampshire have some of the laxest gun laws in the nation.
Furthermore, Illinois and Maryland rank fourth and fifth, respectively, two states with stricter gun control.
Let’s debunk our second claim, the media’s definition of, “developed world.”
An article published by the American Journal of Medicine (AJM) pitted the United States against other nations in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development in terms of homicide rates.
While the article concluded homicides in the US are seven times higher than those of other OECD nations. However, it’s important to note that Switzerland, a country that ranks third in the world in per capita gun ownership, was excluded from the list.
Further, while Finland made the cut for the study, it’s important to note it ranks fourth in the world in per capita gun ownership.
Further, OECD countries like Mexico were left off the list, whose homicide rates quadruple the US per the graph shown here. Estonia and Latvia, both with murder rates comparable to the US, were also left off the list, presumably because they joined OECD in December 2010, and 2016.
The mainstream media will contort numbers and cite certain studies to fit a specific agenda. By arming ourselves with facts, we can debunk any claim relayed by the media. Any media report or source the media presents must be challenged and verified with facts for one to discover the truth.
Challenge the media’s claims and expand upon their sources. As seen with homicide statistics, an increase may be true, however when looking back ten, twenty, or even thirty years ago, they’re at their lowest levels in decades.