CPRC in the News: The Epoch Times, The Daily Signal, Real Clear Investigations, Townhall, FactCheck.org, and more

Jun 1, 2024 | Media Coverage

The claim that firearms are the top killer of children in the United States is disputed by some. The Crime Prevention Research Center claims that for that to be true, one must count deaths of anyone younger than 20. This includes gang members and older teens who are involved in criminal activity, which can skew the numbers.

If the sample is limited to those younger than 18, the leading cause of death becomes automobile accidents, the CPRC reports.

She said that instead of attacking the ATF, Congress should be providing the resources it needs to better fulfill its mission of keeping guns away from those prohibited from owning them. . . .

Michael Clements, “Rep. Jordan to Query ATF Director on Raid That Killed Airport Manager,” Epoch Times, May 23, 2024.

While many in the media have attempted to downplay rising crime in America, noted author and economist John Lott Jr. says a majority of the public is alarmed about it and rightly so. 

Lott wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal about America’s crime rate, contending that “[t]he decline in reported crimes is a function of less reporting, not less crime.”

Lott is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author of “More Guns Less Crime” and “Dumbing Down the Courts,” among other books. He is also a former chief economist at the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

In an interview with The Daily Signal, Lott explains why the FBI reports a decline in crime, even as more Americans say they have been victims of violent crime and property crimes. 

Fred Lucas, “Crime Is Rising. Expert John Lott Explains Why.,” The Daily Signal, May 14, 2024.

Nearly thirty years ago, researcher John Lott published his influential book entitled, “More Guns, Less Crime.” In it he demonstrated how gun availability would decrease the overall crime rate, and that is what has happened as law-abiding citizens are allowed to keep and bear arms in nearly every state. . . .

John and Andy Schlafly, “More Immigration, More Inflation, More Bankruptcies,” Townhall, May 22, 2024

Some criminologists say there is another, hidden dynamic within the crime statistics that helps explain why most Americans think crime is on the rise – the dramatic decline in arrests. Scouring FBI data, John Lott, the founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center, found that arrests for reported violent crimes in major cities fell 20 percent in 2022, from 42.5 percent in 2019 – the year before the COVID pandemic and BLM protests in response to George Floyd’s death while in police custody. 

The percentage of murder and rapes cleared by arrests fell to 40.6 percent from 67.3 percent in those years; for rapes from 33.8 percent to 17.4 percent, and arrests for reported property crimes in major cities dropped to 4.5 percent in 2022 from 11.6 percent in 2019.

It is not clear how much of this decline is due to reductions in the size of many departments – New Orleans, for example, reportedly lost 20% of its force between 2020 and 2022.

“There are lots of issues here, and I’m in disbelief about some of them,” said Lott. “It’s mind-boggling to me – we already know many crimes have always been underreported and now it seems to be, ‘Why bother reporting a property crime’ to the police? The bottom line is our law enforcement system seems in some ways to be falling apart, especially in the big cities.” . . .

James Varney, “Should You Believe Faulty U.S. Crime Stats or Your Own Lying Eyes?” Real Clear Investigations, May 14, 2024.

Several recent articles from John Lott’s Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), an organization “dedicated to conducting academic quality research on the relationship between laws regulating the ownership or use of guns, crime, and public safety,” examine the state of crime and crime reporting and conclude, overall, that factors other than actual crime are giving rise to the illusion of safer streets.

Two of the articles (The Collapse in Law Enforcement: As Arrest Rates Plummet, People Have Been Less Willing to Report Crime and The Media Say Crime Is Going Down. Don’t Believe It: The decline in reported crimes is a function of less reporting, not less crime) evaluate the statistics and the efforts to reinforce Biden’s claim that violent crime is falling dramatically. A third article examines reliability and other problems with the FBI’s reporting of violent crime.

According to the CPRC, one factor contributing to the ostensible dip in violent crime is that almost 40% of local law enforcement agencies are no longer transmitting their information to the national Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database. In “2021, 37% of police departments stopped reporting crime data to the FBI (including large departments for Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York),” and for other jurisdictions, like Baltimore and Nashville, crimes are being underreported or undercounted. This leaves a large gap; by 2021, the real crime data collected by the FBI represented only 63% of police departments overseeing just 65% of the population. When compared to pre-2021 data, the result is a questionable “decline” in crime.

Another factor that undermines the official narrative of less crime is the degree of non-reporting or underreporting of crime by victims. Since 1973, the federal National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) has bypassed police statistics and relied, instead, on interviews with a nationally representative sample of some 240,000 individuals. The information collected includes the frequency and type of crime experienced, including crimes that have not been reported to police.

The CPRC summary of NCVS data states that in 2022 (the most recent survey available), only “42% of violent crimes, such as robberies or aggravated assaults, and 32% of property crimes, such as burglary or arson, were reported [to police] … the [NCVS] shows that total violent crime — reported and nonreported — rose from 16.5 incidents to 23.5 per 1,000 people. Nonreported violent crime in 2022 exceeded the five-year average between 2015 to 2019 by more than 17%.”

To provide a somewhat broader context regarding these trends, the NCVS survey for 2015 stated that “[f]rom 1993 to 2015, the rate of violent crime declined from 79.8 to 18.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older,” and that in 2015, “0.98% of all persons age 12 or older (2.7 million persons) experienced at least one violent victimization.” By 2022, according to the NCVS, the violent crime rate had increased to 23.5 per 1,000, and “about 1.24% (3.5 million) of persons age 12 or older nationwide experienced at least one violent crime.”

Another indicator of crime that the CPRC examined was changes in arrest rates. As arrest rates decline, the number of crimes reported to police falls, because if “people don’t think the police will solve their cases, they are less likely to report them to the police.” The CPRC compared violent crime arrest rates in 2022 with arrests for such offenses over the five years before COVID-19, and found that in 2022, the arrest rate across all cities fell by 20%. Looking at major cities only (those with a population of over one million), the drop in 2022 was an even more precipitous 54%, with only 20.3% of violent crimes in such cities being cleared by arrest. . . .

Staff, “The state of crime: A steep decline or another Bidenesque wild story?” Buckeye Firearms Association, May 16, 2024.

When USA Today had two articles claiming that Trump was wrong in claiming that crime was increasing, Dr. John Lott submitted the following letter to the editor, but the newspaper didn’t run the letter. . . .

Staff, “Trump Is Right About Increasing Crime Rates, Says Lott,” Guns America, May 22, 2024.
Read more: https://www.ammoland.com/2024/05/markey-and-warren-throw-fellow-gun-banners-under-bus/#ixzz8bIs38HWC
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Markey and Warren Throw Fellow Gun Banners Under Bus

Ammoland Inc. Posted on May 21, 2024 by

Murder isn’t a nationwide problem. It’s a problem in a small set of urban areas, and even in those counties, murders are concentrated in small areas inside them,” economist, author, and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, John Lott, has documented. If you want to stop criminals, you have to go where the criminals are. . . .

David Codrea, “Markey and Warren Throw Fellow Gun Banners Under Bus,” Ammoland, May 21, 2024.

Noted economist and author Dr. John Lott just published an article about this very subject, it’s worth a full read. I’ll highlight just a few paragraphs here: . . .

Dave Funk, “FBI: DON’T BELIEVE YOUR LYING EYES,” Iowa Firearms Coalition, May 21, 2024.

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on April 24, John Lott, an economist and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, argued that the NCVS has revealed that violent crime is not down, just reporting of violent crime to police departments. He attributes that to large cities arresting fewer people, and thereby giving victims less incentive to report a crime.

“Law enforcement has collapsed in the U.S., particularly in big cities,” Lott wrote, and “many Americans [are] no longer confident that the legal system will protect them.”

Indeed, Ernesto Lopez, a research specialist at the Council on Criminal Justice, said the NCVS indicated that “non-reporting of aggravated assaults increased by about 29% from 2021 to 2022,” which he said, “could create an undercount of aggravated assaults.” Nonetheless, he said, “I generally would not classify the FBI data as inaccurate.”

Lott, whose controversial research on crime and guns is often cited by conservatives, also attributes the discrepancy between the 2022 FBI and NCVS data to low participation among local police departments that feed data to inform the FBI report. But participation rates in 2023 grew substantially. . . .

Robert Farley, “Trump’s Bogus Attack on FBI Crime Statistics,” FactCheck.org, May 3, 2024.

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