Further on the 17% increase of machine guns in Chicago

Let’s look at the numbers a little bit.

I couldn’t find a primary source for the numbers of guns recovered in Chicago each year, but I did find this from Anderson Cooper’s blog:

Chicago Police confiscate an average of 1 assault weapon a day.
10 thousand guns are recovered from crimes in Chicago each year and traced by the ATF.

It’s not safe to do so, but with the lack of verifiable information at my fingertips, let’s assume that his numbers are correct. That post was put up in May of 2009 so let’s assume the numbers are from 2008.

Further, for the sake of discussion, let’s assume that the NBC affiliate “story” that I referred to in my last post was actually talking about semi automatic rifles that look similar to machine guns, rather than ACTUAL machine guns, and that THOSE are what increased by 17% this year.

Just having to make those assumptions makes both this post and the information that it’s based on totally useless for any real purposes…which is pretty much par for the course for anything that comes out of the media…but this is just an intellectual exercise, so we’ll go with it.

An average of one “assault weapon” per day is 365 per year. That means that of all the guns recovered by the Chicago Police (10,000+), 3.7 percent were “assault weapons”.

A 17% increase over 365 means that 62 more scary looking guns will be recovered this year than last. So, the number goes from 365, to 427…and the percentage (assuming that the total number stays the same), goes to 4.3 percent.

Wow. So, with a completely and totally effective ban on scary looking guns (which are already banned in Chicago…along with virtually all other guns), and assuming that the criminals just don’t go back to handguns, shotguns, non-scary-looking semi-automatic rifles or 2×4’s, would result in a whopping 4.3 percent reduction of crime in Chicago?

Color me underwhelmed.


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