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Marksmanship and Murder

Jeff Asher, at FiveThirtyEight.com, has done some analysis on shootings and fatalities by city.  The article’s title is “Why Are Shootings Deadlier In Some Cities Than Others?” and he subtitles it, “We need better data to find out.”  That may be the case – but I have a bit of shooting experience, as well as a little ability with statistics, and my first thought was that we need data that tells us why marksmanship is better in some communities than others.

Asher’s tables follow – I like tables:

RATE PER 100K RESIDENTS  
CITYTOTAL SHOOTING VICTIMSSHOOTING VICTIMSMURDER VICTIMS
Detroit1,207179.344.9
Chicago4,376160.427.9
Baltimore944152.051.2
New Orleans588149.444.5
Cincinnati426142.720.8
Atlanta585125.923.9
Newark344122.033.0
Milwaukee672111.923.3
Philadelphia1,30383.117.7
Minneapolis34082.28.9
Louisville50474.117.2
Nashville30947.012.5
Charlotte39344.87.5
Boston22934.47.1
Los Angeles1,17829.77.4
San Francisco22826.46.6
New York1,18213.83.9

SOURCES: LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AND MEDIA REPORTS

2016 SHOOTINGS  
CITYFATALNONFATALFATAL SHARE
Baltimore27467029.0%
New Orleans16442427.9
Newark8725725.3
Detroit25095720.7
Louisville10240220.2
Nashville5925019.1
Milwaukee11855417.6
San Francisco3918917.1
Philadelphia2191,08416.8
Chicago7133,66316.3
New York19598716.5
Boston3519415.3
Charlotte4934412.5
Cincinnati5237412.2  

Obviously, while Chicago has more shootings, their marksmanship level is low.  The article suggests that some other factor may be the case:

“Experts have several theories. One possibility: different guns. Last year, Justin George, a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, looked into why shootings in Baltimore are so lethal. George’s story says that higher-caliber firearms with bigger magazines seem to be replacing older firearms in places like Baltimore and Milwaukee. It’s possible that shootings are more deadly in Baltimore than in Chicago because criminals in Baltimore use more powerful guns or fire more bullets per shooting incident — but testing whether that’s the case isn’t possible with the data currently available.”

  As I look back on the tables, I realize that total shots fired and shots per victim might help a lot in understanding.

The article is worth reading. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-are-shootings-deadlier-in-some-cities-than-others/

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