Saturday, September 05, 2015

Private Firearms vs. Officers Feloniously Killed in the U.S. 1961 - 2013

In the 1960's, the United States private firearms stock was increasing.  The number of police officers feloniously killed was also increasing.  At the time, people might be forgiven if they thought there was a causal relationship.  Now we have considerable more data.  While the private firearms stock has continued to increase, the number of police feloniously killed has fallen from the highs in the early to mid 1970s, and has dropped to about the same level as the middle 1960s.   2013 had the lowest number of police feloniously killed since 1887.

The number of private firearms was obtained from the ATF and "Point Blank"  by Gary Kleck, using Kleck's method of calculating the numbers from ATF data, in this previous article.

The number of police feloniously killed was obtained from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), or in some cases, secondary sources quoting the FBI UCR data.

The number of privately own firearms does not correlate with the felonious killing of police.

Hypothetical reasons postulated for a negative or positive correlation are abundant.

"More Guns, More Crime"

"More Guns, Less Crime"

"Guns Foster Responsibility"

"Guns Foster Irresponsibility"

Many more could be listed.

Aside from hypotheticals, a large increase in the private stock of firearms has occurred at the same time as a significant decrease in the felonious killing of police.  Since the middle of the 1970s, the stock of private firearms has soared while the number of felonious police killings has drifted lower.

 Chart from

Good data on the number of police officers is hard to find before 1989.  That makes per capita data for police officers uncertain.  For the period from 1989 to 2011, the rate of officers feloniously killed dropped from 18.12 per 100,000, to 13.44 per 100,000.   During the same period, the number of firearms per person rose from .85 to 1.07 in the United States.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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Anonymous said...

Every cop killing is a felonious killing according to the cops. Once the blue wall falls on you, you have no chance of the truth or the facts coming out because the other cops will kill you long before they arrest you. take the case of the suspect being burned to death in big bear Revenge is burning down the home you are in not bringing you to trial by the judge jury and executioners of the blue wall. I told many people days before that suspect died he would not be taken alive only because he killed a cop. excuses are a dime a dozen. cops spend a lot of dimes. I can prove many cops break the law but I never get anything done about it. cops do not arrest cops. the badge gives them cart blanche to lie, cheat and steal and commit murder as a group. Sam colt made every man equal. Most cops are scared to death if they meet an equal. I happen to be extremely fast on the draw and accurate, I carry for self protection.

Anonymous said...

Fairly certain you missed the point of the article. It's not about us vs. cops. It's about disproving the theory that increased fun ownership correlates to more cop killings. The numbers fly directly in the face of gun control advocates. While the number of privately owned weapons increases steadily the number of cops killed remained relatively consistent over the span of the study.

Anonymous said...

They didn't burn the house down to kill the suspect. They were "smoking him out." It's been a strategy since the old west days. Besides that, he didn't die because of the fire. He died from a gunshot.

Anonymous said...

The point is he never made it to trial and never had a chance to they made sure of that. It is easy to shoot a burned dead person. Just another ten cent excuse for murder by cop. I would not believe a cop standing on a mountain of Bibles. I have seen too much corruption. I had a cop as a business partner once. our business relationship lasted one month. He was so crooked he had to screw his uniform on. I have known some really good cops and I have had many experiences with the worst of them.