A new study shows that over half of murders in America take place in only 2% of the counties in the country.
The study, conducted by John Lott's Crime Research Prevention Center, shows that 2% of America's counties had 51% of the country's murders in 2014; 5% of America's counties had 68% of the country's murders. According to Fox News, "If the deadliest 5% of the counties were removed, the U.S. murder rate would be 2.56 per 100,000 people."
In fact, 54% of counties didn't have a single murder, 69% had no more than one murder and 76% had no more than two murders, per the study.
When examining the counties that were responsible for the most murders in the country, the murders were concentrated in specific areas. For instance, most of the 2014 murders in Los Angeles County took place in Compton and East Los Angeles; there were very few murders in the San Fernando Valley.
The results are similar for Washington, D.C. – the murders were bunched in areas past the Anacostia River and in areas north and northeast of the capitol. The western parts of D.C. did have not many murders.
The study notes that these findings are in line with the data presented in Lott's book More Guns, Less Crime showing that "from 1977 to 2000, on average 73 percent of counties in any given year had zero murders."
The conclusion of the study is that "murder isn't a nationwide problem. It's a problem in a very small set of urban areas, and any solution must reduce those murders."
Lott told The American Spectator "that the counties that have zero murders have by far the highest gun ownership rates."
"The gun ownership rates in those more rural parts of the country are about 111% higher than the gun ownership rates in the urban areas that have the highest murder rates," Lott said.
There are certainly plenty of other factors that cause the disparity in murder rates between rural and urban areas, but the high gun ownership and low murder rate in rural areas cannot be ignored.
Here's more from The American Spectator:
The findings reinforce the thesis of Lott’s nearly 20-year-old book, More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control. Therein Lott writes that “criminals as a group tend to behave rationally — when crime becomes more difficult, less crime is committed. Higher arrest and conviction rates dramatically reduce crime. Criminals also move out of jurisdictions in which criminal deterrence increases. Yet criminals respond to more than just the actions taken by the police and the courts. Citizens can take private actions that also deter crime. Allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns reduces violent crimes, and the reductions coincide very closely with the number of concealed-handgun permits issued. Mass shootings in public places are reduced when law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry concealed handguns.”
In other words, the concentration of murders in specific areas of specific counties is the result of criminals electing to commit crimes in areas where they are less likely to face consequences.
H/T: Vessel News