Monday, February 25, 2013

A Tale of Two Cities and the Cause of Murder

The two Cities - Houston and Chicago


Chicago,  IL   2.70 million
Houston, TX  2.15 million

Median HH income
Chicago,  IL   $38,600
Houston, TX  $37,000

% African-American

Chicago,  IL   32.9%
Houston, TX  24.0%

% Hispanic

Chicago,  IL   28.9%
Houston, TX  44.0%

% Asian

Chicago,  IL   5.5%
Houston, TX  6.0%

% non-Hispanic White

Chicago,  IL   31.7%
Houston, TX  26.0%

A reasonably similar match up -until:
Concealed carry gun law

Chicago, IL    no
Houston, TX  yes

# of gun stores

Chicago, IL      0
Houston, TX  84 dedicated gun shops,
1500 places to buy guns
(Walmart, etc.)

Homicides, 2012
Chicago, IL    506
Houston, TX  207

Homicides per 100k

Chicago,  IL 18.4
Houston, TX  9.6

Average January high temp, F

Chicago,  IL   31 degrees
Houston, TX  63 degrees

Political Conclusion:
cold weather causes murder.

1 comment:

  1. Comparing Chicago to Houston, the crime stats look relatively comparable; Chicago has a higher murder rate, but their rate of violent crime is nearly the same (.97% vs .95%). Houston had a higher property crime rate than Chicago (4.14% vs 4.90%). The number of gun stores is irrelevant, since you can simply drive out of the city limits to buy all of the guns you want.

    It’s hard to get good gun data, since the NRA strong arms Congress into blocking government data collection, but the Brady Bill does provide a statistical source. Evaluating the number of permits approved in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) from1999 to 2008, we can see the rate of guns going into a state. Surprisingly ILLINOIS HAS A HIGHER GUN PERMIT RATE PER CAPITA THAN TEXAS (31% vs 24%)! California is much lower than both (10%).

    Here is a corrected chart.

    I’ve also added a comparison between San Diego to similarly sized Dallas (BTW, I’ve lived in San Diego, Dallas and Houston). California with its stricter gun control laws has much lower crime rates.

    There is a great analysis of gun deaths available here:

    Following are some highlights.

    -- Moroz finds a close relationship between city unemployment and murder by gun. The correlation between city unemployment at the overall rate of gun deaths is considerable (.55), and the correlation between it and gun-related murders is even higher (.72).

    -- Poverty is a substantial factor in gun deaths by metro, as it was in our previous state-level analysis. The percentage of a metro’s population below the poverty line is significantly associated with all three types of gun death — homicide (.45), suicide (.35), and the overall rate (.49).

    -- More affluent metros have lower rates of all forms of gun death. That said, economic advantage — measured as per capita income — plays a bigger role in moderating the overall rate of gun death (-.55) and that for gun-related suicide (-.64) than for gun-related murders (-.32).

    -- A metro’s share of high-tech industry is negatively associated with overall gun deaths (-.49), gun-related suicides (-.53), and homicides (-.32). Conversely, metros with higher shares of blue-collar working class jobs experience higher rates of all three, with positive correlations to overall gun deaths (.52), suicides (.49), and murders (.37).

    -- Race, unfortunately and tragically, factors into gun death at the metro level. The share of the population that is black is positively related to both the overall rate of gun death (.56) and even more so with gun-related homicides (.72). The pattern is similar for the share of the population that is comprised of young black males which is also positively related to the overall rate of gun death (.55) and murder by gun (.70). That said, we find no significant association between any type of gun death and the share of the population that is Hispanic.

    -- The importance of gun control cannot be minimized. The state level is the appropriate level to examine this. And our previous state level analysis found gun deaths to be significantly lower in states with stricter gun control laws. We found substantial negative correlations between the rate of gun deaths and states that ban assault weapons, require trigger locks, and mandate safe storage requirements for guns.

    Liberal Conclusion: More guns means more gun deaths

    Conservative Conclusion: Facts lie!