Shootings have been getting a lot of attention over the last few years. This year the number of nationally reported shootings seems to be more than I can remember in the past. I have no proof of that, but its how I perceive it. Meanwhile, politicians try to tell us what is wrong and what should be done to fix it. Main stream media has also been making a big deal of shootings and telling us what should be done about it. The message I’m getting from the people making the most noise is that there are more shootings and we should do something about allowing people to have or get guns. Assault rifles and high capacity magazine are often demonized as well. Seeing as how I don’t trust a politician and the F.U.D. spreading US news media has long since lost any idea of objective news reporting, I decided to look up some information about people being killed in the United States. All of my data has come from the FBI’s website: https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats

I gathered data from that site to the best of my abilities. I used the data to create a Google Docs spreadsheet which I used to create some charts to help visualize the information. This data is free to anyone who takes the time to look at it. If errors were made in my data entry, please make me aware of it and I will correct it. I believe a lot of the data speaks for itself. I’m not a statistician, but I think some of the simple things that I learned from looking at the data are correct.

The first chart shows the rate of the number of violent crimes committed in the USA per year. It clearly shows a trend of declining violent crimes.

Annual firearm caused murders per 100K US Population

Annual number of violent crimes in the USA

This next chart shows the annual number of murders caused by all firearms. From what this shows, there were more firearm caused murders in the early 1990’s than there have been in the last few years. If you ever hear someone telling you that there are more people being killed by guns now, this data shows otherwise.

annual firearm caused murders

Annual firearm caused murders

After looking at that, it got me to thinking. The rate of number of murders per year is not a completely meaningful trend. I felt that population was a relevant statistic for how many people are being killed by firearms. So I took the US population data found on the FBI website and used that to show how relevant the number of murders per year were compared with population growth. My thinking was if the population rate were changing, this could affect the murder rate. To make the numbers more relevant I took the population and divided it by 100,000 people so we could see how many people per 100,00 were being killed. According to the data, despite a population increase, there is a firearm murder rate decrease. This says that while nearly 6 in 100,000 Americans were being killed with firearms in 1992, in 2014 that had dropped to about 2.5 in 100,000 Americans being killed with firearms. This makes a case that people getting shot and killed with guns is happening less often than it used to. Are things getting better?

firearm murders per 100k population

Firearm murders per 100,000 US population

Now that I can see that people getting killed with firearms is not getting worse, I thought it would be interesting to see by what method people are getting killed. The pie chart below breaks out the type of weapon used to kill people. Clearly, murders by use of handguns are the most frequent. Surprisingly, evil assault rifles is at the bottom of the list which is below knives, personal weapons (fists, arms, legs, feet), blunt objects (such as baseball bats), and shotguns.

percent of murders by type

Cause of murders by percent 1992-2014

I hope this allows you to see some of the data that is out there so you can decide what the urgency might be about people being killed by firearms.

I believe we are just getting the usual F.U.D. (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) from politicians and news outlets. Bad people using guns to kill people is not something that is getting worse. Clearly, assault rifles with high capacity magazines are not the most urgent item in need of legislation. Statistics show that violent crime is becoming less common. I believe that the main cause for concern is the devaluing of human life among people. I don’t know how you put a statistic to that, and I certainly don’t know how you legislate morality. Just because a talking head on TV, radio, or your favorite website claim one thing, does not always mean it is the truth.

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Categories: Guns, Political, USA
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 12 Oct 2015 @ 07 09 AM

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 30 Aug 2015 @ 4:39 PM 

This weekend I took another shooting class with the Counterterrorism Institute of America. The name of the class was Advanced Defensive Handgun. As you can see, I need more practice. This drill simulated protecting a small child while firing and running to cover. I am shooting a Springfield XDS .45

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Categories: Guns, Hobbies
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 02 Sep 2015 @ 05 54 PM

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Photo of the Marine Corps recruiting office store front that was shot up today. I circled and drew an arrow to the important part of the picture.

chattanooga-recruiting-center-highlighted

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Categories: Guns
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 16 Jul 2015 @ 08 14 PM

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 26 May 2015 @ 9:05 PM 

I have a bag I carry with me every time I leave the house. It is called the 5.11 Tactical Moab 6. The popular name for this is called an EDC (Every Day Carry) bag. I have choosen to carry my Springfield XDS 45 handgun in this bag as opposed to carrying it on my hip. The bag has a velcro quick access pocket made just for this.

I have chosen to carry in a bag for a few reasons. The first is that the seat in my car (Nissan Versa) is so narrow, that I can not sit in there with something on my hip. I am also a big person, so that probably has something to do with it. The second reason is that I have some medical equipment that I want to carry around with me where ever I go. The third reason is that I am dad with young kids. I go to playgrounds and places where other kids and parents who may be scared of guns will be. I feel like the bag I carry around on my shoulder is less intimidating than if my weapon is exposed accidentally.

I already knew it was going to take me longer to draw my weapon out of this bag, but other than that I hadn’t done any practicing with it until this past weekend at the Concealed Carry Gunfighter class. Dennis made a good point that each person needs to know their limitations. Practicing fighting from this bag really made me see how different it was from drawing from the hip. It takes a little longer and the mechanics of the draw are different than drawing from the hip. As an example, once  the weapon is drawn out of its holster from the hip, shooting from the hip is an easy transition. When I draw from my bag, my off hand pulls the bag in front of me while my shooting hand reaches in to draw the weapon. Once the weapon is out of the bag, it is pointing to the left (I’m right handed). Its different, and its something I will have to practice more of. Also, finding and grabbing the weapon in the pocket takes a little bit longer than just knowing where it is on your hip.

Reloading was a challenge I hadn’t fully considered it until I was at the range. The bag comes with a place inside a zippered pocket to store two full sized AR magazines. The 5 round XDS magazines get swallowed whole in those pockets. Getting at these is a two handed operation when done quickly. One handed takes much longer as well as taking your eyes off the target. Dennis recommended adding a pouch on the side to attach to the MOLLE straps for a magazine. Ordinarily I don’t like the traveling salesman look of having things hanging off the outside of a bag. Its something else that can get caught on something or fall off. I just happened to have a pouch for my flashlight in the bag that happened to work for the day. There are a number of magazine specific pouches, but I didn’t like them as they tended to have a Velcro strap over the top of the magazine to hold it in place. This pouch will have to hang upside down on the side of the bag when I am carrying it on my back. These pouches also left the contents exposed so anyone could see that I had a magazine on the side of my bag. I did find a small pouch that fully covers the contents and has a buckle as well as velcro. I recently ordered it and am still waiting for it to come in. It is small, but so are the magazines for my XDS. Hopefully it will do what I want.

I intentionally chose a color for my bag that looks less tactical (grey). I also covered up the Velcro with non tactical patches to lower suspicion. At Dennis’ suggestion, I covered up the 5.11 logo with duct tape. I am aware that it has MOLLE straps on it, but I don’t want to cut them off at this point. The objective was to make my bag look like something a geeky dad may carry with him instead of looking like a sheepdog bag.

The medical equipment I chose to carry with me was influenced from a podcast I listened to where an ED doctor talked about his medical kits and what he chooses to carry with him. His take away point is that there are a limited number of interventions where seconds count. I live in an urban setting where fire and EMS should be able to arrive to my location within 10 minutes of calling. I’m a paramedic, and I have training that has helped me to make a decision on what I feel like I can have with me to help bridge the gap while waiting for advanced care to arrive. The things that I can help where seconds count is the ABC’s: Airway, Breathing, Circulation. Here is a list of the medical equipment I carry with me:

  1. Rigid CPR mask
  2. Set of OPA’s (oral pharyngeal airways)
  3. Magill forceps
  4. Two tourniquets
  5. Trauma sheers
  6. Three sets of EMS gloves
  7. Flashlight
  8. A watch
  9. Plain index cards
  10. Pen
  11. Sharpie marker
  12. Hand sanitzer

There are some other things I carry in there, but they are not the scope of this post. I hope this gives some ideas or insight if you carry a bag or are considering carrying one.

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Categories: Fire/EMS, Guns
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 26 May 2015 @ 09 07 PM

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 23 May 2015 @ 3:32 PM 

Had fun today training with Counterterrorism Institute learning how to fight when carrying a concealed handgun. ‪#‎bethesheepdog‬

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Categories: Guns, Status Updates
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 24 May 2015 @ 03 51 PM

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