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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 07 Oct 2015 @ 1:42 PM 

I guess the Nobel Peace Prize just doesn’t mean what it used to. The US Military bombed a hospital in Afghanistan that was being run by Doctors Without Borders.

Obama bombs hospital

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Categories: Political, Status Updates, USA
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 07 Oct 2015 @ 01 42 PM

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 24 Jul 2015 @ 7:34 AM 

Today in Utah, its Pioneer Day. For the LDS people its a big historical celebration of their ancestors crossing the plains to settle here in UT. It is also a state holiday. For us gentiles, its a random day where things aren’t open and epic amounts of fireworks are shot that rival the 4th of July while I try to keep my dogs from freaking out because they think that once again this month the world is coming to an end.

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Categories: Around the House, Status Updates, USA
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 24 Jul 2015 @ 07 38 AM

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 30 Jun 2015 @ 2:53 PM 

I tell people who come to Utah, that there’s two things Utah people like

  • Fireworks
  • Guns

Apparently, blowing things up is popular here. I agree, those are fun things to do. Its quite the spectacle on July 4th and July 24th (Pioneer Day, its a LDS UT thing).

July 4th is coming up. I recently saw this posted on the Sandy City FB page regarding fireworks

To celebrate Independence day, the day we declared our freedom from tyranny, you may shoot and buy fireworks but only on certain days and times. Shooting is limited to July 1st – July 7th from 11AM – 11PM. And you can not use

  • Firecrackers
  • M-80s
  • Cherry bombs
  • Bottle-rockets
  • Roman candles
  • Single or re loadable mortars
  • Ground salutes Any other explosive obtained outside of Utah borders.

Am I the only one who sees the irony of this? You may celebrate your freedom but you must do what we say and when we say you can.

Firecrackers? Really? Firecrackers were the first fireworks my dad ever let me light as a small child. It was considered the safe one for me to do outside of sparklers. Nanny state…..

I know there’s probably good reasons for some of the rules, but you have to at least laugh at the irony. Or get angry, your choice. It is a “free” country after all.

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Categories: Status Updates, USA
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 30 Jun 2015 @ 02 53 PM

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I do have mixed feelings on the decision. As a Christian, I don’t like the idea of the homosexual lifestyle. As a freedom loving American, I also don’t like the idea of our government saying what people can and can’t do with their personal lives. Instead of being upset, one of the pastors of our church put this up on Facebook. It says all I need it to.

1 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
4He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

Psalm 2:1-6

The pastor’s paraphrase: “The nations can try to legislate what they want, but God sits in heaven and laughs, and will hold them in derision … Jesus still reigns.”

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Categories: Political, Religion, Status Updates, USA
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 30 Jun 2015 @ 02 13 PM

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This is a short TED Talk about  how the FBI has been taking advantage of mentally handicapped and financially strapped Americans and pushing them into becoming terrorists. What better way to ensure your funding than by creating the problems that you are supposed to be solving.

 

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Categories: USA
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 09 Jun 2015 @ 09 52 PM

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 04 Jun 2015 @ 9:43 AM 

It makes me very uncomfortable every time I hear a politician or news reader refer to America as the homeland.

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Categories: Political, Status Updates, USA
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 04 Jun 2015 @ 09 43 AM

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 07 Mar 2015 @ 2:41 PM 

Well so much for that. I wish we could just leave our clock alone. Politicians, pfffft.

Proposal to end Daylight Saving Time in Utah won’t advance in legislature

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Categories: Political
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 20 May 2015 @ 02 43 PM

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 21 Feb 2015 @ 2:28 PM 
 

 

 

 

Hmmmmm…..

citizens get choice in vote

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Categories: Political
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 20 May 2015 @ 02 39 PM

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 04 Nov 2014 @ 4:47 PM 

Begin cynic rant.

What I’m going to say is going to make some people angry. That’s okay because I have to read a lot of other things that people say that get in my craw. First Amendment right (that’s free speech for those that don’t know).

Today, Americans get to participate in the illusion of choice. Choice that voting for one person over the other is going to allow their belief of what they want their government to look like will be represented by a politician. Afterall, we live in a constitutional republic right? Unfortunately, this choice isn’t like in The Matrix where Neo chooses between the red pill or the blue pill. Our choice doesn’t have dramatically different outcomes. Its more like the choice between a red M&M and a blue M&M. You get the option of getting to eat a piece of candy that has the prettier coating to it that you like. Once you eat it, there is no difference.

Unbelievable amounts of money get spent by candidates to get elected (or not) for a position that, according to the associated government salary, doesn’t make that kind of expenditure worth it. I am not convinced that most of those campaign donations come from average middle class working people. The reason people donate to a campaign is because they want their interests represented. Once a politician is in office, their campaign backers guide their decision making. This is so donors will give financially to their campaign again next time, along with other financial benefits that are hidden from the public eye. Seeing as how our country doesn’t have term limits, politicians make a career out of a position that was intended to be held by someone that represents their average constituent and then returns to normal life.

So you can get out there and cheer for your red or blue or green or what ever color team your person plays for. Regardless, who gets voted into office is going to be bought off to be represented by someone who has more money than that average politician’s constituent.

It always comes down to money. The ones with alot of it, get to have more of a say than those with little of it or none of it.

End cynical rant.

This is the first election where I didn’t see a single campaign ad or get a single recorded phone call asking me to vote one way or the other. Flyers in the mail got filtered directly into the recycle bin where they were never looked at or brought inside. Not watching live broadcast TV prevents marketers from convincing me to follow their ad. I didn’t sign up for a political party. I don’t sign up for free give aways or give customer loyalty programs my phone number. In the end, the only annoyance of the election I had to put up with were the ridiculous political signs all over town. I don’t read them, but I acknowledge that there is something ugly over there.

When it came time to fill out my mail in ballot, it was the first time I had seen most of the names on the ballot. Our state has a website set up for candidates to put up some information so voters can educate themselves before making a decision.

Some observations:

  • The candidates that don’t bother to submit any information for would be voters to find out about them get zero consideration from me. If you can’t get your S together enough to do something as simple as a simple bio and a link to your website, you have no business presiding over me in government.
  • The candidates that have a link in their profile to a website that no longer exists also get zero consideration
  • The candidates that only have a Facebook profile without a website get less consideration. Lazy.
  • The one candidate that claimed to have worked in IT but had a website that only loaded a blank page, got zero consideration.
  • The candidate that had a broken link to his website and only had a Facebook page which contained rants about the evils of vaccines, got zero consideration.
  • The candidate running for the Democratic party that did his best to hide his association with the Democratic party and only offered hope and change type promises on his website without details of how said dreams were going to happen, did not get my vote. He also claimed that as a state representative he was going to increase wages for firefighters and police officers. Last I checked those folks are employed by municipalities, not the state. Good luck having say over that. And by the way, how are you going to pay for that if you did get that changed?

All that being said, I still believe in an America where we are awesome. Better than any other country. And if you don’t like that, go pound sand. While our rights are being taken away like a lobster being cooked in hot water, there’s still no other place I would like to live. Except maybe the America of the past.

Tags Categories: Political, USA Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 04 Nov 2014 @ 04 54 PM

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