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Fun with numbers

Friday, Apr 4, 2014

* ABC 7

Chicago’s first-quarter murder total this year hit its lowest number since 1958, police say.

The first three months of the year saw 6 fewer murders than the same time frame in 2013–a 9 percent drop–and 55 fewer murders than 2012, according to a statement from Chicago Police.

There were 90 fewer shootings and 119 fewer shooting victims, drops of 26 and 29 percent respectively, according to police statistics. Compared to the first quarter of 2012, there have been 222 fewer shootings and 292 fewer shooting victims.

* BizPac Review sucks its thumb

So what’s changed that could possibly account for such a dramatic fall in a city that was fast becoming known for its homicide rates — especially in its notorious South Side neighborhoods?

In July, the Illinois legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto to make The Land of Lincoln the final state in the country to have a concealed firearm carry permit law.

This is a classic case of correlation not being causation. The first 5,000 concealed carry permits weren’t mailed until February 28th, two months into the quarter.

Not to mention the coldest winter on record kept people cooped up inside. And the indisputable fact that the Chicago police have been doing a much better job at stopping crime over the past two years.

Don’t take any credit yet, gun-lovers.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


33 Comments
  1. - Ahoy! - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    A couple gun rights groups are touting this through Facebook ad’s. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there not looking at facts and taking the ad as pure truth. Now, if gun violence raises this summer will they say it was because of conceal-carry?


  2. - A guy... - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    Just ask experienced cops. Cold= lower crime. Hot = higher crime. Rain helps too. Without being able to produce a link (lol), I do remember reading a story several years ago that spoke to how Air Conditioning hastened huge amounts of migration to the Sun Belt and cities like Houston, Phoenix, etc. and a side benefit of more indoor climate control actually made measurable reductions in violent crime. Moods have plenty to do with it. Hot weather makes people more irritable. CC would seem to have nothing or very little to do with the reduction here this year. It was a long, cold, snowy winter.


  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    Didn’t know that folks down in Palm Beach were so clued into the city.

    They should worry about their own neighborhood. West Palm and other towns in the county ain’t exactly Mayberry.


  4. - Mason born - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    Good for Chicago lets all hope the rest of the year keeps up the trend.

    I’m pretty sure the Coldest winter in Chicago and the hard work of CPD deserve the credit.

    Anyone trying to tie this to CCW needs to let go of their preconceived notions.


  5. - Upon Further Review - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    Concealed carry permits had nothing to do with this. The coldest winter in over one hundred and ten years deserves more credit than anything that the mayor and the police superintendent did by way of policy.

    By the way, with police being constantly reassigned to cover hot zones under the violence reduction initiative, many Chicagoans are seeing entire buildings covered with graffiti as they venture outside. Daley made graffiti removal a priority. Rahm?


  6. - Almost the Weekend - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    Concealed Carry is irrelevant in this argument. The weather played the largest factor.

    I hope the Chicago PD are working overtime on the first weekend it hits 70.


  7. - fed up - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    Whats interesting is Monday after city announced this 3 murders occured that night into Tues morning.


  8. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    I found this column interesting in regards to why Chicago’s murder rate has declined since the 90s.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/26208033-452/whats-really-driving-down-chicagos-murder-rate.html


  9. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    === The first three months of the year saw 6 fewer murders than the same time frame in 2013 ===

    Most of that difference was accounted for in January.

    Murders in February 2014 and March 2014 both outpaced murders in February 2013 and March 2013, respectively.

    It’s far too early to get carried away one way or another.


  10. - Lobo Y Olla - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    “Not to mention the coldest winter on record kept people cooped up inside. ”

    This is a HUGE reason. If we have an unbearably hot summer, watch for an increase.


  11. - fed up - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    I think we can thank the Artic Vortex, Dec, Feb & March saw year over year increase in murders, Big drop in Jan year over year is what has caused the headline.


  12. - Anon - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    Gun loving NRA member here. Disappointed groups are trying to spin this as a conceal carry success story.

    When you’ve got 49 states, an unimaginable amount of positive data and the full backing of the courts, there’s no reason to knowingly spin things like this. Shameful.


  13. - cicero - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    How many CC permits have been issued in the neighborhoods with the highest murder rates? I bet it’s precious few. And the number issued to the typical murder victim, namely young black men, is close to zero. Consequently, Second Amendment absolutists should, but probably won’t, refrain from making ridiculous claims for the efficacy of CC.


  14. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    Plus, Chicago’s population is down significantly from roughly 3.6 million in the 1950’s.

    One should expect the murder rate to decline in proportion with the significant population decrease.


  15. - Greg - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    “This is a classic case of correlation not being causation.” Amen.

    However, assuming the kind of people who shoot one another on the streets understand the difference between a law passed, enacted and a license issued is a similar stretch. Correlation could exist — and as Joe Biden said, if it saves just one life…

    Still…Your winter up there… is most likely the better explanatory variable. Consider too…they’re running out of people to shoot. After a while people start looking around and noticing they could be next and consider there might be a better way to do this…


  16. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    –One should expect the murder rate to decline in proportion with the significant population decrease.–

    Why? Overall number, yes, but rate is not dependent on population.


  17. - John A Logan - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    At what point will concealed carry be allowed to become a part of the conversation about decreasing crime rates?


  18. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    –At what point will concealed carry be allowed to become a part of the conversation about decreasing crime rates?–

    Crime rates in Chicago and Illinois have been declining since the 90s. When do you think c-c should be part of the conservation for what’s been going on for more than 20 years?


  19. - 47th Ward - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    At what point will concealed carry be allowed to become part of the conversation about the unusally cold spring we’re having?


  20. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    === Why? ===

    lol, I wrote that in haste and completely failed to finish the sentence before clicking “say it”. Good eye, wordslinger. Rate is, obviously, independent of raw population size. The sentence should have read:

    === One should expect the murder rate to decline in proportion with the significant population decrease and then some if they wish to truly claim any reductions in crime or homicides. ===

    In other words: If 10 people are killed in a city the size of 1,000, and then 50 years later 9 people are killed in a city that has shrunk to the size of 100, measuring the raw number of homicides alone may not truly indicate progress.

    That said, the massive CPD overtime initiative also appears to be helping make a difference.


  21. - Fan - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:45 pm:

    One word caused this “Global Warming”.


  22. - Jimbo - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 3:05 pm:

    I can play this game too. It was clearly the 50 million dollar violence prevention grants. I mean it is obvious.


  23. - Todd - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    No carry permits in Janury, and none till the end of Feb. So 30 days in and what?

    Someone is trying to to make a claim out of whole cloth, and it ain’t me.


  24. - Jimbo - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    Adding, it just takes awhile for the impact to be felt.


  25. - Linus - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 3:15 pm:

    Thanks, Obama!

    /snark


  26. - Secret Square - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 4:10 pm:

    Also, while prolonged cold weather would tend to reduce random street crime, might it not tend to increase crimes such as domestic violence and assaults/batteries among friends and acquaintances because people are going nuts from “cabin fever”?


  27. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 4:27 pm:

    It happened because everyone was inside watching “Chicagoland.”


  28. - Wensicia - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    Polar vortex gets the credit.

    Should I say the increase in home heating costs this winter reduced violence in the streets?


  29. - Ken_in_Aurora - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    ===At what point will concealed carry be allowed to become part of the conversation about the unusally cold spring we’re having?===

    As in CCW came to IL, so the underworld must have frozen over?


  30. - Ken_in_Aurora - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 4:41 pm:

    ===Why? Overall number, yes, but rate is not dependent on population. ===

    I can see population *density* being a component, but not the actual population number.


  31. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 4:54 pm:

    Among American cities over 200,000 people, a Forbes analysis ranks the Ten Most Dangerous as:

    1. Detroit
    2. Oakland
    3. St. Louis
    4. Memphis
    5. Stockton
    6. Birmingham
    7. Baltimore
    8. Cleveland
    9.Atlanta
    10. Milwaukee

    I doubt if that list helps any arguments that c-c reduces crime.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2013/10/22/detroit-again-tops-list-of-most-dangerous-cities-but-crime-rate-dips/


  32. - persecuted - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 6:36 pm:

    Huge increase in snowshoe sales in Chicago as door to door delivery services were in great demand thus less contact between citizens. As a side note, sale and delivery of street drugs reach all time high and sharp dip in shootings.
    “Snark”


  33. - persecuted - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 6:42 pm:

    Left computer and returned and didn’t notice comments closed. Sorry for added comments.


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