New Department of Justice report refutes perception that firearm violence has increased
This week, the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report on “Firearm Violence, 1993-2001,” https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fv9311.pdf, which seemingly refutes the public’s perception regarding firearm violence.
The report indicated that both firearm related homicides and non-fatal firearm crimes are significantly down during the time period examined.
The report was primarily based on the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey but also took into account information from the School-Associated Violent Deaths Surveillance Study, the FBI’s Supplemental Homicide Reports, the Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities and the Survey of Inmates in Federal Correctional Facilities.
Since some of the data is based on self-reporting information, it is difficult to determine the efficacy of the report.
The highlights of the report indicated, in part, that firearm related homicides declined 39 percent from 1993 to 2011 and non-fatal firearms crimes declined 60 percent during the same period. BJS further reported that firearm violence accounted for about 70 percent of all homicides and less than 10 percent of all nonfatal violent crime.
No one should be the victim of violence, firearm-related or not. This report seemingly disputes the public perception that crimes by means of firearms have increased.
Lori G. Levin
Attorney at Law
180 N. LaSalle, Suite 3700
Chicago, IL 60601