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Alabama Prison Guard Bennie Ashby Calls For The Killing Of Amanda Scott

Does the Alabama Department of Corrections believe that it is appropriate to employ people who speak out in public, urging others to commit felony crimes, as Bennie Ashby has done? [...]

Fact Check Update: is Lewiston, Maine Crime-Ridden since the 2001 arrival of Somali Immigrants?

Since I’ve moved to Maine, I’ve encountered a lot of friendly people, but I’ve also heard many derogatory comments about the supposed criminality of Somali immigrants who began arriving in Lewiston, Maine in the year 2001. Last year, I decided to check the claim that Somalis had brought crime to Lewiston against the observed crime [...]

Fact Check: Malcolm Gladwell’s Mythic South

As I’ve been reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers over the last few days, I’ve been accumulating a sense of hokum as Gladwell tells stories and spins out anecdotes. My B.S. detector finally hit the limit with this claim (p. 169):

The triumph of a culture of honor helps to explain why the pattern of criminality [...]

Fact Check: Does an Increase in Gun Ownership Lead to a Decrease in Crime?

Charles Manning writes yesterday:

Overall violent crime is down in the U.S., notwithstanding the steady procession of mass shootings. 2nd Amendment fanatics believe being armed accounts for a major part, if not all, of the decline. They think would-be criminals are scared of being shot by armed “law-abiding citizens.” Citizens, that is, who believe the [...]

What Is Shotgun News?

Recent news stories having to do with shotguns… that were not covered by Shotgun News magazine. [...]

Automatic License Plate Readers: Persistent Privacy Invaders with a 0.0047% Hit Rate that Don’t Stop Crime

The American Civil Liberties Union has recently released a report showing that license plate readers, mounted on police cars and designed to automatically scan plates and pull up associated driver information:

Are present in all 50 states of the USA; Add information to identify where cars are located and when they were located there; Are [...]

Immigrants and Violent Crime in the United States: Do You Trust Stories or Studies?

Which will you believe?

Anecdotal Stories? …or… Systematic Research? “A. True Ott” shares the story of one crime victim on his personal web page:

Here’s little 9 month old Serenity Reed, a blonde blue-eyed little darling who is now yet another “statistic”. From the Barstow California Examiner we read about the horrific and shocking events [...]

Picture of a Panic: Fear of Crime and Actual Crime

The Gallup Poll does a great job of juxtaposing two trends. On the one hand, we have Americans who are consistently convinced each year that crime has worsened compared to the year before:

And on the other hand, we have actual crime report data from the Department of Justice, which shows that violent crime [...]

With Crime on the Decline, FBI Goes Red

From 2010 to 2011, the FBI Crime Clock shows a decline in the rate of crime in the United States:

So what’s the FBI to do? How about turn its statistics fiery red?

At some point over the next few months, the FBI will release another year of crime statistics and sum it [...]

Fact Check: is Lewiston, Maine riddled with Crime since Somali Immigrants Came to Town?

When I listen to people talk about the most “dangerous” places to live in Maine, the city of Lewiston constantly comes up. You wouldn’t want to live in Lewiston, people tell me. All the Somalis have made Lewiston a dangerous place to live, they say. You can see these kind of remarks online, too:

Madeleine, [...]

Armed Guards in School? Fact Check: Kids are Safer in School than out of School

In the Bangor Daily News of December 20 2012, Daniel Patterson of Presque Isle Maine writes that armed guards should be posted in all public schools:

“We need armed guards where masses of people, especially children, gather because crazed gunmen target masses of people. I know we might not like the image of soldiers at [...]