Reflective Statement – CarsonWentz

Core Value 1. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

Once it became our job to find a topic to research about I knew I wanted to pick something with gun control because this topic interest me.  It then became a struggle for me to narrow down on a specific thesis in this gun control topic because there is so many different factors.  I had partially narrowed down to homicide rates, and was still stuck, and thats when feedback and conversation with Professor Hodges allowed me to finally get to a really narrowed thesis.  It was in one of our meetings that we talked about the research I have already done about homicide rates, and the characteristics in a city that trends with higher or lower homicide rate, when Professor brought about the topic of finding two cities with similar characteristics, but with different gun laws, and examining the homicide rates.  This was truly helpful and is what I ended up researching for my research paper.

Core Value 2. My work demonstrates that I read critically, and that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities. 

Throughout the semester, there was a lot of researching, which brought the need for reading critically many times.  One of the first assignments we had to do was the “Stone Money” assignment where we had to listen to the NPR’s broadcast, and read about the island of Yap’s money system and bitcoin.  The idea of “money is fiction” was an idea that I have never really thought about before, and after reading and listening about it multiple times, it brought new ideas to me that I was able to write about.  From critically looking into these different sources, I found that the same type of money system the people from Yap used, it very similar to our’s today, with credit cards, mobile banking, and even bitcoin.

Core Value 3. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

The assignment that I really had to analyze the purpose, audience, and contexts of other texts was definitely the “Safer Saws” assignment.  There were many different sources for this topic from lawyers, safety commissions, the owner of Safe Stop, customer reviews, and even a video of showing the Safe Saw technology in action.  It really made me think and realize that each different source had a different viewpoint and was writing with different purpose.  It was very interesting to see that the technology made by Steve Gass that would save many saw injuries from happening does not have everybody’s approval to make it mandatory for all saws to have it, but realizing the different audience’s purpose to disagree made sense.

Core Value 4: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

The best assignment that demonstrates this value would be my visual rhetoric assignment.  This assignment was very interesting to me because it made me really think about what the people who make the commercials think about when making them.  Within every screen shot, there was so much happening, and to interpret those illustrations, second by second, was actually more challenging than I expected.  This is a good example of this value because it wasn’t just writing what was displayed, but we had to interpret and explain why certain things were done a certain way.

Core Value 5. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation. 

Throughout the semester a lot of research was done on my topic, which means a lot of sources need to be credited in my writing.  My bibliography best demonstrates my ethical responsibility and that is where the sources are for my research topic.  This semester I was taught a new way of citing our sources, unlike the MLA style I have done so in the past, which was actually easier.  Many different articles, journals, and studies were used in my writing and I was positively sure that they were cited when used.

Annotated Bibliography – CarsonWentz11

1) Board, Editorial. “Chicago’s Great Shame, Chicago’s Crisis: Blood on the Streets.” Chicago Tribune, Chicago Tribune, 7 Aug. 2018, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-violence-chicago-gangs-police-20180806-story.html.

Content: The article by the Chicago Tribune describes the gang violence and the high number of shootings there are in the summer of 2018.  It mentions multiple shootings that have occurred and calling the streets a “war zone.”  There are quotes from the Chicago Police chief of patrol and Superintendent of why this violence goes on and ways to slow it down.

How it was used:  This source was used to to describe the gang violence in Chicago and the quote describing the gang violence from Chicago Police chief of patrol was also used.

2) “Crime Statistics.” Chicago Police Department, home.chicagopolice.org/online-services/crime-statistics/.

Content: This source displays all the crime statistics for the City of Chicago.  When on “city wide statistics”, it shows the recent crime statistics, but also shows the history of past years crime stats for all types of violent crime, all the way back to 2014.

How it was used: This source was used to show the number of murders in Chicago in 2017.

3) Downen, Robert. “Houston Murders Drop 11 Percent in 2017.” HoustonChronicle.com, Houston Chronicle, 8 Jan. 2018, http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-murders-drop-11-percent-in-2017-12477945.php.

Content: In this article, it describes how the number of murders in Houston have dropped in 2017, but only by 11 percent.  They interview the Houston Police Chief on how the Police attempt to lower the number of homicides.  The article also states that there are still the same problems with violence in the city, and that the violent crime rate has increased.

How it was used: This article was used for the number of homicides that occurred in Houston in 2017.

4) Fieldstadt, Elisha. “Gun Ownership by State.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 16 Feb. 2018, http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/gun-ownership-rates-by-state/.

Content: This source lists in order the gun ownership rates for all 50 states in 2015.
How it was used: This source was used to determine the gun ownership rates for Texas and Illinois when comparing gun ownership rates to homicide rates.

5) “Firearm Violence, 1993-2011.” Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?iid=4616&ty=pbdetail.

Content: The study from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveals firearm violence statistics gathered from 1993-2011.  It displays nonfatal firearm victimizations, criminal firearm violence, percent of violence involving a firearm, by type of crime and by type of firearm.  It also describes the fatal and nonfatal firearm violence by gender, race, region population, and location.

How it was used: This source was used to show the statistics on fatal firearm violence between genders, and race.

6) “Giffords Law Center’s Annual Gun Law Scorecard.” Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, lawcenter.giffords.org/scorecard/#rankings.

Content: The source has its own grading system on each state’s gun laws.  An A-F grading scale is applied to every state based on how tough their gun laws are, which include, background checks, child access prevention, concealed carry permitting, domestic violence, extreme risk prevention order, and military-style weapon.

How it was used: This source is used for their grading of Illinois’ and Texas’ gun laws, in which it graded them, a B+ for Illinois, and a F for Texas.

7) Gius, Mark. “The Effect of Gun Ownership Rates on Homicide Rates: A State-Level Analysis.” Applied Economics Letters, vol. 16, no. 17, 2009, pp. 1687-1690.

Content: This study analyzes state-wide gun ownership data from 2001, 2002, and 2004, and compared it to the homicide rates.  The author concluded that there is a positive correlation of gun ownership rates and homicide rates.

How I used it:  I used this source for my rebuttal argument. The data for gun ownership rates and homicide rates for Texas and Illinois does not agree with Gius’ conclusion that a higher gun ownership rate means a increased homicide rate.

8) “Hidden America: Don’t Shoot I Want to Grow Up.” ABC News, ABC News Network, abcnews.go.com/Nightline/fullpage/chicago-gang-violence-numbers-17509042.

Content: This article from ABC News describe numerous statistics about gang violence in Chicago.  It mentions the rise in homicides, the number of gang members, and increased gang activity.

How it was used: This source was used for their estimated number of gang members in Chicago.

9) “Illinois.” Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/state-law/illinois/.

Content: This source, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, supplies all the information about Illinois gun laws.

How it was used:  This source was used to gather information about many of the laws that differ from Texas’ gun laws.

10) “Inequality and Violent Crime.”, vol. 45, no. 1, 2002, pp. 1-39. https://www-jstor-org.ezproxy.rowan.edu/stable/pdf/10.1086/338347.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A07102c8d9e558472fefa254f72cccc04

Content: This study investigates the link between income inequality and crime by researching many countries for five years, and examine the number of robberies and homicides.  The study discovered that there was a positive correlation between crime rates and income inequality.

How it was used: This study was used to show the important of comparing to cities that have equal income inequalities, because income inequality does have a correlation to crime rates.

11) Madhani, Aamer. “Baltimore Is the Nation’s Most Dangerous Big City.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 1 Oct. 2018, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/02/19/homicides-toll-big-u-s-cities-2017/302763002/.

Content: This source describes the homicide numbers and rates for 2017 and, also, their change from 2016 for all the US 50 largest cities.

How it was used: This source was used for the number of homicides and the homicide rate for Houston and Chicago in 2017.

12) Males, Mike. “Age, Poverty, Homicide, and Gun Homicide.”SAGE Open, vol. 5, no. 1, 2015. https://doaj.org/article/0bac3455534640e389dea20ec8acfbf1

Content: This study examines all the homicide deaths aged 15 to 69 in California from 1991 to 2012 by poverty status.  The results show that higher levels of poverty are more concentrated at younger ages.  Along with that, the homicide death rate was highest for younger ages and for higher poverty percentage.

How it was used:  This study was used mainly for the correlation that a higher homicide death rate was correlated to people who were in a higher poverty bracket.  This was used for another example why comparing cities with similar economic characteristics were used.

13) Mayberry, Ed. “UPDATE: Harris County Has State’s Largest Concentration of Gang Members in Texas, Says DPS.” Houston Public Media, Houston Public Media, 26 July 2017, http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2017/07/26/227326/texas-gang-report-threat-assessment/.

Content: This article describes the high gang violence that is occurring in Harris County, Texas.  It mentions biggest gangs in the area and interviews a person from the Department of Public Safety, about the gangs and what is being done about the gangs.

How it was used:  This article was used for the names of the largest gangs in the Houston area and information on the gang violence in Texas.

14) “Murder.” FBI, FBI, 10 Sept. 2018, ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2017/crime-in-the-u.s.-2017/topic-pages/murder.

Content: This source is all statistics from the FBI on murders in 2017.  The information includes age groups, gender, race, and ethnicity.

How it was used:  This source was used for the information regarding the which percent of murders was committed by each gender, race, and ethnicity.

15) “National Center for Health Statistics.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Jan. 2018, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/homicide_mortality/homicide.htm.

Content: This source displays the number of homicide deaths and the homicide death rates for all 50 states.

How it was used:  This source was used to find the homicide death rates for both Texas and Illinois in 2015.

16) “National Youth Gang Survey Analysis.” Measuring the Extent of Gang Problemshttp://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/survey-analysis/measuring-the-extent-of-gang-problems.

Content: This source present information about gangs from 1996-2012.  Information such as, estimated number of gangs, distribution of gangs by area type, estimated number of gang members, and number of gang related homicides.

How it was used: This source was used to describe the high number of gang homicides that occurred in cities.

17) “Texas.” Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/state-law/texas/.

Content:  This source has information on all the gun laws for Texas.

How it was used:  This source was used to describe the gun laws Texas has and gun laws that Texas doesn’t share with Illinois.

18) “U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Chicago City, Illinois; Houston City, Texas; UNITED STATES.” Census Bureau QuickFacts, United States Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/chicagocityillinois,houstoncitytexas,US/PST045217.

Content: This source has all the census information gathered for Chicago and Houston.  This information consists of population, age and sex, race, ethnicity, housing, education, health, economy, income and poverty, business, and geography.

How it was used: Many of the census categories, such as, population, sex, race, ethnicity, economy, and income and poverty, were used and the statistics for each category was needed for both Houston and Chicago.

19) “U.S. – Number of Registered Weapons by State 2018 | Statistic.” Statista, www.statista.com/statistics/215655/number-of-registered-weapons-in-the-us-by-state/.

Content: The source simply lists the number of registered weapons for all 50 states in
2018.
How it was used:  This source was used for the registered weapons in Texas and Illinois for the argument of higher gun ownership rates does not mean higher homicide rate in these two states.

20) Wood, Keith. “Best States for Gun Owners (2017).” Guns & Ammo, 3 Nov. 2017, www.gunsandammo.com/editorial/best-states-for-gun-owners-2017/247983.

Content: This source has analyzed all the gun laws in all 50 states and the District of Colombia and has listed in order the best states for gun owners to live in based on the gun laws.

How it was used:  The source was used when comparing Texas and Illinois and their gun laws, showing that Illinois has more strict gun laws than Texas.

Definition Rewrite – CarsonWentz11

  How community factors can effect gun violence.

Gun control laws and their relation to the amount of gun violence is a significant issue in today’s political spectrum.  Gun laws are different for every state and the amount of gun violence varies all over throughout the country.  Therefore, it is very tough to discover hard evidence whether gun control laws do decrease gun violence or if they don’t.  Besides of gun control laws, one can look at factors in the community and see how they effect gun violence.  There are many community factors that could play a role, such as, economics, gender, race and location.

The largest amount of gun deaths, in our nation, come from suicides.  The amount of suicides is already very high in our country, but during The Great Recession suicide amount increased drastically, according to a study from Oxford University.   Oxford University’s Dr. Aaron Reeves stated, “There has been a substantial rise in suicides during the recession, greater than we would have anticipated based on previous trends.”  The study from Oxford University discovered that about 10,000 suicides from North America and Europe were linked to the recession that started in 2007.  This time of troubling economics where people lost their jobs, lost their homes, and fell in deep debt, brought people to where they felt they didn’t want to suffer through it anymore.  The recession was a troubling economy for the whole country, but if we now discuss smaller communities that are having economic problems, the same results of suicides could happen.

Besides of suicides, community economics also play a role in gun violence.  Low income communities tend to have higher violent crime and gun deaths.  In a journal, by Mike Males’ from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, called “Age, Poverty, Homicide, and Gun Homicide: Is Young Age or poverty Level the Key Issue,” examined “the 54,094 homicide deaths, including 41,123 gun homicides, victimizing California residents ages 15 to 69 during 1991 to 2012 by poverty status.”  This study states that the gun homicide deaths per 100,000 population (average annual) for all ages, increased in each higher poverty bracket.  The gun homicide deaths per 100,000 population, in the “less than 10%” poverty bracket, was only 2.0, but continued to increase all the way to 27.9 gun homicides per 100,000 population in the “more than 25%” poverty bracket.  Inner cities across the country, unfortunately, have the lowest income rates, while also having the highest homicide rates.  Detroit Michigan, which was considered the poorest city in America in 2014 according to Bruce Kennedy, CBS News, also had the third highest homicides, at 295, in 2015.  Other factors that come into play, are crowded populations and gang violence, and According to the National Gang Center, “highly populated areas accounted for the vast majority of gang homicides: nearly 67 percent occurred in cities with populations over 100,000,” and “the total number of gang homicides reported by respondents in the NYGS sample averaged nearly 2,000 annually from 2007 to 2012. During roughly the same time period (2007 to 2011), the FBI estimated, on average, more than 15,500 homicides across the United States. These estimates suggest that gang-related homicides typically accounted for around 13 percent of all homicides annually.”  This trend of low income inner cities having very high homicide rates continues in all major cities across the nation.  The inner cities of America have been struck with poverty for generations.  Causes for the poverty include, racial and gender discrimination, structure shifts in the economy, racial and income segregation, crowded migration, and simply not enough jobs.  Another main cause for high poverty rates is people not getting high enough education.  People who drop out of school before finishing high school, tend to struggle to find steady jobs that will pay enough standard living cost.  These are just a few causes of the high amounts of poverty in the inner cities.

Another factor that can effect gun violence is gender and race.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics,  “In 2010, the rate of firearm homicides for males was 6.2 per 100,000 compared to 1.1 for females.”  This is a very large margin between homicides by male and females and this can play a role in communities.  If one community is way more outnumbered by males to females, one can suspect that there will be a higher firearm homicide rate compared to a community that females outnumber the males.  Another stat from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics is, “In 2010, the rate of firearm homicides for blacks was 14.6 per 100,000, compared to 1.9 for whites, 2.7 for American Indians and Alaska Natives, and 1.0 for Asians and Pacific Islanders.”

An important factor that can effect gun violence is gun ownership.  Gun ownership is highly correlated to gun violence and suicides.  When looking a specific area or community for the amount of gun violence, it should be taken in account how highly populated the area is with gun owners.  In a larger scale, one could even look at the different parts of America.  Parts like the southeast, south, and southwest have a higher gun ownership rate than the west coast and the northeast.  Location is very important because in different parts of the country people tend to have different views on guns.  In the Southern parts of America, where gun ownership rates are the highest, people don’t really care about people arming themselves, while in other parts, many people don’t believe gun ownership should be allowed.

With all these factors in different communities, it can allow one to look more into which community factors play a role in gun violence, especially homicides and suicides.  There are many studies that are very broad in what they are looking for, in accordance to gun violence and gun control laws.  Some will say these gun laws are lowering gun violence, while other studies will show they don’t.  Instead they could look into what the economic situation of that community is like, whether it is a populated urban city or a rural area, the gender and race percentage, and the gun ownership rate.

References

ReferencesMales, Mike. “Age, Poverty, Homicide, and Gun Homicide.”SAGE Open, vol. 5, no. 1, 2015. https://doaj.org/article/0bac3455534640e389dea20ec8acfbf1

Kennedy, Bruce. “America’s 11 Poorest Cities.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 18 Feb. 2015,

Dallas, Mary Elizabeth. “Recession Linked to More than 10,000 Suicides.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 12 June 2014

Firearm Violence, 1993-2011.” Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), May. 2013.

“National Youth Gang Survey Analysis.” Measuring the Extent of Gang Problemshttp://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/survey-analysis/measuring-the-extent-of-gang-problems.

Causal Rewrite – CarsonWentz11

The Motives for Murders

The crime of murdering another human is not something people do for enjoyment, unless they are a psychopath, which is why one could question why there were still 17,184 murders in the United States last year.  Because committing murder is such a heinous act, something or someone really needs to motivate the killer to commit the crime.  Criminals have stated many reasons for murdering people, and motives such as, revenge, domestic arguments, money or drug incidences, and alcohol related arguments are the most common.  All these common motives, usually have something to do with the murderer and the victim knowing each other and that is quite common.  According to the FBI’s “Crime in the United States 2011,” “In 2011, in incidents of murder for which the relationships of murder victims and offenders were known, 54.3 percent were killed by someone they knew (acquaintance, neighbor, friend, boyfriend, etc.); 24.8 percent of victims were slain by family members.”

There are a lot of murders that are committed by people who are very close to the victims, so something major must have really happened for those murders to take place.  When thinking about close relationships, the main one is marriage and family. Domestic arguments that lead to domestic abuse is the reason for a big portion of female homicides.  The same FBI report states, “Of the female murder victims for whom the relationships to their offenders were known, 36.5 percent were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.”  Domestic violence is a horrible thing to happen, but arguments in relationships and at home, that lead to violence, is sadly one of the largest causes for murder in our country.

Along with relationships and marriages, a common belief that revenge murder after relationship issues, like cheating, happens a lot is untrue.  Getting caught cheating on someone can make the other person in the relationship very angry and they might want to murder the person their girl or boy friend was cheating on, but not many actually act on their fantasies.  In fact, according to the NPR, in 2009 only 89 murders were committed out of sexual jealously.

Another major cause for homicides is actually from actions from other crimes.  Two main crimes that leads to homicides, which also has to do with the motive of money, is robbery and burglaries.  A lot of stealing crimes go into those two similar crimes, and sometimes when events go wrong, or too much is at stake, that’s when things can take a turn for the worse.  Even a far more worse crime than stealing, rape, also leads to a percentage of homicides.  The FBI reports, “Felony circumstances (rape, robbery, burglary, etc.) accounted for 23.1 percent of murders.”   Robbery and burglary are two crimes in which the criminal is trying to steal something, mostly to gain off of it.  Either if its money, or if its valuable items that can be sold for money, some people will do a lot for money, especially if they desperately need it.

Drugs and alcohol also can play a huge role in motives for homicides.  First, drugs and alcohol can very well impair people’s thoughts and actions, in which then could lead to making someone more angry and possibly act on that anger.  Even though drugs and alcohol can both impair people’s thought processes, alcohol is much more involved in homicides than drugs like cocaine and heroin.  A quote from the Alcohol Rehab Guide states, “In fact, about 40 percent of convicted murderers had used alcohol before or during the crime.”  When under the influence, it can make people do something, like commit a crime, that they wouldn’t do if they were sober.  Besides of drugs and alcohol making people impaired, the need for drugs can also make a motive for homicides.  When people are addicted to drugs, they might get to a point where they will do anything so they can receive the drugs.  This can lead to robbery, which could lead to a homicide, or they could have issues with their dealer, which could also lead to a homicide.  Drug addiction is very serious and dangerous, and can make those addicted do very bad actions just so they can get the high they need.

Another cause for homicides is gang-related violence.  Gang-related violence has had a horrible effect, mostly in large cities, in which they are responsible for a lot of crime.  Unfortunately, some of the crime involved with gangs, is homicide.  According to the National Gang Center, “The total number of gang homicides reported by respondents in the NYGS sample averaged nearly 2,000 annually from 2007 to 2012. During roughly the same time period (2007 to 2011), the FBI estimated, on average, more than 15,500 homicides across the United States. These estimates suggest that gang-related homicides typically accounted for around 13 percent of all homicides annually.”  This statistic is significant because for the small amount of people who involved in gangs, the percent of gang-related homicides is very high.  Chicago, which gang violence is a major problem, according to ABC News, “gang members were responsible for 61 percent of all homicides in 2011.”

Out of all the bad homicides that are criminal, there are a few that are justified.  These justified homicides have motives for the safety of either themselves or for others.  Many police shootings fall under this category.  Also homicides by citizens who react in self defense are justified.  According to the FBI report from 2011, “Law enforcement reported 653 justifiable homicides in 2011.  Of those, law enforcement officers justifiably killed 393 felons, and private citizens justifiably killed 260 people during the commission of a crime.”

Altogether, most people are not just going out committing murder for the fun of it.  To do something so drastically violent, there is usually a very strong motivation.  There are many motives for people to commit a homicide, in which it might be because of anger, they might be to under the influence and act unexpectedly, the need to drugs, gang-related decisions, domestic problems, and self-defense.

References

“Alcohol Related Crimes – Statistics and Facts.” Alcohol Rehab Guidehttp://www.alcoholrehabguide.org/alcohol/crimes/.

Domonoske, Camila. “CDC: Half Of All Female Homicide Victims Are Killed By Intimate Partners.” NPR, NPR, 21 July 2017, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/07/21/538518569/cdc-half-of-all-female-murder-victims-are-killed-by-intimate-partners.

“Expanded Homicide Data.” FBI, FBI, 20 Aug. 2012, ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded/expanded-homicide-data.

“Hidden America: Don’t Shoot I Want to Grow Up.” ABC News, ABC News Network, abcnews.go.com/Nightline/fullpage/chicago-gang-violence-numbers-17509042.

“National Youth Gang Survey Analysis.” Measuring the Extent of Gang Problemshttp://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/survey-analysis/measuring-the-extent-of-gang-problems.

Research – CarsonWentz11

Houston and Chicago: 2017 Homicide Rate vs. Gun Laws

State firearm laws, such as, needing a permit to purchase and licensing of owners, would make one believe that cities in those states with more strict firearm laws would be occupied with less homicide rates.  To the contrary, two cities, Houston, Texas, and Chicago, Illinois, which are very similar in characteristics, in particular, population, race, income and poverty, are located in states with different types of gun laws. The homicide rate in these two cities in 2017 are drastically different, with Chicago having a much higher rate than Houston, despite Illinois having tougher gun laws that Texas.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Houston and Chicago are quite similar when looking at their community statistics.  First, the Census Bureau’s estimated 2017 populations for Houston and Chicago were 2,312,717 and 2,716,450.  The percent female of these populations in Houston was 49.9% and in Chicago it was 51.5%.  This similar trend continues in the Census Bureau’s race statistics for both cities, with the percent of “White only” in Houston was 58.3% and in Chicago it was 48.7%.  The percent of “Black or African American alone” in Houston was 22.8% and in Chicago it was 30.9%.  The percent of “Hispanic or Latino” in Houston was 44.3% and in Chicago it was 29.1%.  The percent of “Asian alone” in Houston was 6.7% and in Chicago it was 6.1%.  The similarities continue in the Census Bureau’s economic statistics, which state the percent of “in civilian labor force, total” for Houston was 68.2% and in Chicago it was 66.4%.  The “median household income” for Houston was $47,010 and in Chicago it was $50,434.  The percent of “persons in poverty” was 21.9% in Houston and 21.7% in Chicago.

These parallels that Houston and Chicago have, are very significant when the homicide rates are compared.  According to the FBI’s “2017 Crime in the United States” Expanded Homicide Data Table 3, the homicide rates in 2017 varied greatly between different races and ethnicities.  The FBI determined, out of the known homicide information in 2017, that the homicide rate for White persons was 29.7%, for Black or African American persons it was 37.4%, for Hispanic or Latino persons is was 11.4%, and for not Hispanic or Latino persons is was 48%.  The U.S. Department of Justice gathered firearm homicide information in their special report, “Firearm Violence, 1993-2011,” which also determined that Black or African American persons had the highest firearm homicide rate, by race.  The FBI also reports the percent of known homicides in 2017 committed by each sex, with 61.8% by males and only 8.4% by females.  Due to these differences in homicide rates between different races and ethnicities, and the drastic difference in homicide rates between the two sexes, the similarities of race and ethnicity percentage and gender percentage that both Houston and Chicago share, eliminates the chance that one city might have an increased or decreased homicide rate because their race, ethnicity, or gender percentage are different than the other city being compared.

Another important similarity that both Houston and Chicago share is their poverty rate and average income.  Income inequality has heavily affected cities in the United States, such as Houston and Chicago, and there is a strong correlation between income inequality and homicide rates, not just in the United States, but in other countries as well.  In a study performed by The University of Chicago called “Inequality and Violent Crime,” they investigated the 5-year averages for 39 countries for homicides and compared them with income inequality from the Gini index.  The researchers determined that there was a positive correlation between income inequality and homicide rates.  In another journal, by Mike Males’ from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, called “Age, Poverty, Homicide, and Gun Homicide: Is Young Age or poverty Level the Key Issue,” examined “the 54,094 homicide deaths, including 41,123 gun homicides, victimizing California residents ages 15 to 69 during 1991 to 2012 by poverty status.”  This study states that the gun homicide deaths per 100,000 population (average annual) for all ages, increased in each higher poverty bracket.  The gun homicide deaths per 100,000 population, in the “less than 10%” poverty bracket, was only 2.0, but continued to increase all the way to 27.9 gun homicides per 100,000 population in the “more than 25%” poverty bracket.  There was also another study that analyzed homicide rates and income inequality throughout the whole United States, by Harvard’s Ichiro Kawachi, that found, “when income inequality was higher, so was the rate of homicide. Income inequality alone explained 74% of the variance in murder rates and half of the aggravated assaults.”  As the studies prove, income inequality is positively correlated to homicide rates throughout the United States and the world, so when comparing the homicide rates of two different areas, it is important to use areas that are similar economically because it does play in a role in the number of homicides, and that is why Houston and Chicago are being used.

When the topic of homicides in large cities is brought up, it is imperative to investigate the gang-violence that occurs because it is a major part in large city crime, especially homicides.  According to the National Gang Center, “highly populated areas accounted for the vast majority of gang homicides: nearly 67 percent occurred in cities with populations over 100,000,” and “the total number of gang homicides reported by respondents in the NYGS sample averaged nearly 2,000 annually from 2007 to 2012. During roughly the same time period (2007 to 2011), the FBI estimated, on average, more than 15,500 homicides across the United States. These estimates suggest that gang-related homicides typically accounted for around 13 percent of all homicides annually.”  Knowing that gangs can affect homicide rates, it is important to make sure that both Houston and Chicago have issues with gang-violence and they do. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, “there are an estimated 100,000 gang members in Texas, with the highest concentration in Harris County,” which Houston is located.  The Texas Department of Safety also reported that the most significant gangs in the Houston area include, “Houstone — a Tango Blast offshoot — as well as all sets of Bloods and Crips, and the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.”  Chicago is facing a similar gang problem, if not worse.  ABC News states that in 2011 there were 100,000 gang members in Chicago, and “gang members were responsible for 61 percent of all homicides in 2011.”  In an article from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago’s Police Department’s chief of patrol stated, “gang members engage in mindless violence without any fear of consequence: If they’ve used a gun and are not incarcerated, they’ll do it again. That’s the life they know.”

 

Despite all the characteristics that both Houston and Chicago share, when it comes to gun laws they have many differences.  One of the most significant differences is the requirements to purchase a firearm and ammunition.  According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), it is Illinois state law that for a person to purchase a firearm or ammunition, they must have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card.  Stated by the Giffords Law Center, “Each applicant for a FOID card is required to complete an application and “submit evidence” to the Illinois Department of State Police (“DSP”) that she or he is 21 years of age or over (or, if under 21, show that she or he has the written consent of a parent or legal guardian to possess firearms), is a resident of Illinois, and is not a prohibited purchaser. An applicant must also furnish his or her photograph.5 The DSP conducts an automated search of its criminal history record information files and those of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”), and of the files of the state Department of Human Services relating to mental health and developmental disabilities to obtain any felony conviction or patient hospitalization information which would disqualify a person from obtaining or require revocation of a currently valid FOID card.”  This law is important because, according to the Giffords Law Center, in Illinois, background checks are not required at gun shows and unlicensed gun sellers, but they are required to be presented with the purchaser’s FOID card, which shows they have already gone through a background check when registering for the FOID card.   On the other hand, in Texas, it is much easier to purchase a firearm.  In Texas, according to the ATF, a firearm purchaser does not need a license and there are not any laws like the one in Illinois, making a firearm purchaser have a FOID card.  In Texas, the purchaser really only needs to go through a background check, which isn’t even mandatory for private sellers. According to the Giffords Law Center, “Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm,” and “Texas does not require private sellers (sellers who are not licensed dealers) to initiate a background check when transferring a firearm.” Another major difference in the gun laws in these two states that have to do with purchasing a firearm, is the waiting periods.  According to the Giffords Law Center, “Illinois prohibits any person from delivering a firearm prior to the expiration of statutory waiting periods, which are currently 24 hours for long guns and 72 hours for handguns,” meanwhile, Texas has no law requiring waiting periods for any type of gun.

Another difference in Texas and Illinois gun laws is there laws on carrying firearms.  According to the ATF, their concealed carry laws are actually very similar, with having to be 21 years old, having not been convicted of a felony, does not suffer from a mental illness, having not been convicted of certain laws, having completed a firearms safety test, and their license expires after five years.  The major difference in their concealed carry laws, from the ATF, is Illinois law does not allow individuals from out of state to carry guns, even if they have a permit to carry in their home state.  The biggest difference in state laws, when it comes to carrying firearms, is their laws on open carry.  According to the Giffords Law Center, Texas allows the open carrying of long guns but not in the display in a public place, and recently in 2015, Texas passed a law that allows license holders to carry visible handguns on their persons, but must be in a shoulder or belt holster.  Whereas, according to the ATF, Illinois does not allow open carrying of firearms.

Another difference in firearm laws is their laws on guns in vehicles.  According to the Giffords Law Center, Texas has no law on carrying long guns in vehicles and does not require a handgun license for a person to carry a handgun while in a motor vehicle, as long as it is not in plain view.  On the other hand, in Illinois, to transport a firearm, the owner must have the gun:, “1) broken down in a non-functioning state; 2) not immediately accessible; or 3) unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person with a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card.”  More gun laws that Illinois has and Texas doesn’t, according to the Giffords Law Center is, Illinois “allows family members and law enforcement officers to act to temporarily disarm dangerous people by using an Extreme Risk Protection Order (known in Illinois as a Firearms Restraining Order),” “has a Child Access Prevention law, which prohibits leaving a firearm unlocked and accessible to a minor under the age of 14,” and “requires firearms owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement.”

With all these differences in gun laws between Texas and Illinois, it is clear the Illinois has the tougher laws when it comes to firearms.  According to Giffords Law Center, in their annual gun law grades, in 2017, they ranked Illinois with a B+ and Texas with F.  In a pro-gun editorial from Guns & Ammo, listing the best states for gun owners in 2017, they listed Texas as the 8th best state for gun owners and listed Illinois at 40th.

Knowing that Illinois has more strict gun laws than Texas, one would believe that Chicago, which is located in Illinois, would have a lower homicide rate than Houston, which is in Texas. Since both Chicago and Houston are very similar in their characteristics, the research is able to be compared and according to the Chicago Police Department, in 2017, there were 613 murders in Chicago, and in Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle, there were 269 murders.  Reported by USA Today, analysis of police department crime data, the homicide rate per 100,000 for Chicago was 24.0 and for Houston it was 11.7.  The massive discrepancy between the homicide rates in these two cities, which are similar in characteristics, prove a city that is located in a state with less tough gun laws, can have a lower homicide rate than a city that is located in a state with tougher gun laws.

Knowing that Illinois has more strict gun laws than Texas, one would belive that Chicago which is located in Illinois would have a lower homicide rate than Houston which is in Texas. Since both Chicago and Houston are very similar in their characteristics, the research is able to be compared and according to the Chicago Police Department, in 2017, there was 613 murders in Chicago, and in Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle, there was 269 murders.  Reported by USA Today, analysis of police department crime data, the crime rate per 100,000 for Chicago was 24.0 and for Houston it was 11.7.  The massive discrepancy between the homicide rates in these two cities, which are similar in characteristics, prove a city that is located in a state with less tough gun laws, can have a lower homicide rate than a city that is located in a state with tougher gun laws.

In Mark Gius’ study, “The Effect of Gun Ownership Rates on Homicide Rates: A State-Level Analysis,” from the Applied Economic Letters, he presents some very interesting research about gun ownership rates compared to homicide rates in the United States, but his results don’t reflect the results when Texas and Illinois are compared.  Gius, from Quinnipiac University, stated, “The purpose of the present study is to examine the link between gun ownership rates and homicide rates. Using a very large cross-sectional survey dataset in order to obtain estimates for household-level gun ownership rates, and state-level data on homicides.”  The gun ownership rates, in this study, were estimated from surveys for the years 2001, 2002, and 2004, which included both handguns and long guns.  His data from the three years showed the average homicide rate was 4.64 murders per 100,00 residents and the average gun ownership rate was 37.5%.  After the completed study, Gius concludes that, “these results are noteworthy since they suggest that, using state-level data, gun ownership rates have a positive effect on homicide rates.  This result suggests that gun control laws, which restrict gun ownership, may be an effective method to reduce murders.”  While looking at Texas and Illinois, which Houston and Chicago are the most populated cities for each state, Gius’ results don’t match.  Texas is widely known as a state where owning a gun is very popular and the data agrees.  According to Statista, Texas has the largest number of registered weapons in the United States, with 637,612.  Texas has so many registered weapons, that Florida, which has the second highest registered weapons, has just above half of Texas, with 377,207.  Illinois is much farther down the list, with only 52,527 registered weapons.  The huge gap between these two states for registered weapons, obviously has to do with the large difference in population size, so it is significant to look at the gun ownership rates for these two states.  According to CBS News, in 2015, Texas had a gun ownership rate of 35.7 percent, compared to Illinois, who’s gun ownership rate was only 26.2 percent.  The homicide rates for both these states followed the same trend as their most populated cities, Houston and Chicago, where Illinois had a larger homicide rate than Texas.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the homicide rate for Illinois in 2015 was 6.9 percent, while in Texas the rate was 5.6 percent.  In his study, Gius conclusion of “gun ownerships rates having a positive effect on homicide rates” simply does not correlate when Texas and Illinois are compared.  Another statement by Gius, “gun control laws, which restrict gun ownership, may be an effective method to reduce murders,” doesn’t correlate between these two states because Illinois has more strict gun laws than Texas and still had a higher number of murders.

In conclusion, Chicago, Illinois, had a higher homicide rate than Houston, Texas, in 2017, despite having more strict gun laws.  These two cities share many similarities when it comes to characteristics that can affect homicide rates, such as, gender, race and ethnicity, income and poverty rates, and gang violence.  Despite all their similarities, Texas and Illinois gun laws are very different.  Illinois is much tougher with gun laws and has laws such as, needing a FOID card to purchase any gun, waiting periods to receive a firearm, and no open carrying, to name a few that Texas doesn’t have any laws on.  The difference in strength of gun laws between Illinois and Texas, had no correlation to the homicide ratesw in Chicago and Houston.

 

References

Board, Editorial. “Chicago’s Great Shame, Chicago’s Crisis: Blood on the Streets.” Chicago Tribune, Chicago Tribune, 7 Aug. 2018, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-violence-chicago-gangs-police-20180806-story.html.

“Crime Statistics.” Chicago Police Department, home.chicagopolice.org/online-services/crime-statistics/.

Downen, Robert. “Houston Murders Drop 11 Percent in 2017.” HoustonChronicle.com, Houston Chronicle, 8 Jan. 2018, http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-murders-drop-11-percent-in-2017-12477945.php

Fieldstadt, Elisha. “Gun Ownership by State.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 16 Feb. 2018, http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/gun-ownership-rates-by-state/.

“Firearm Violence, 1993-2011.” Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?iid=4616&ty=pbdetail.

“Giffords Law Center’s Annual Gun Law Scorecard.” Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, lawcenter.giffords.org/scorecard/#rankings.

“Hidden America: Don’t Shoot I Want to Grow Up.” ABC News, ABC News Network, abcnews.go.com/Nightline/fullpage/chicago-gang-violence-numbers-17509042.

“Illinois.” Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/state-law/illinois/.

“Inequality and Violent Crime.”, vol. 45, no. 1, 2002, pp. 1-39. https://www-jstor-org.ezproxy.rowan.edu/stable/pdf/10.1086/338347.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A07102c8d9e558472fefa254f72cccc04

Madhani, Aamer. “Baltimore Is the Nation’s Most Dangerous Big City.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 1 Oct. 2018, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/02/19/homicides-toll-big-u-s-cities-2017/302763002/.

Males, Mike. “Age, Poverty, Homicide, and Gun Homicide.”SAGE Open, vol. 5, no. 1, 2015. https://doaj.org/article/0bac3455534640e389dea20ec8acfbf1

Mayberry, Ed. “UPDATE: Harris County Has State’s Largest Concentration of Gang Members in Texas, Says DPS.” Houston Public Media, Houston Public Media, 26 July 2017, http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2017/07/26/227326/texas-gang-report-threat-assessment/.

“Murder.” FBI, FBI, 10 Sept. 2018, ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2017/crime-in-the-u.s.-2017/topic-pages/murder.

“National Center for Health Statistics.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Jan. 2018, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/homicide_mortality/homicide.htm.

 

“National Youth Gang Survey Analysis.” Measuring the Extent of Gang Problems, http://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/survey-analysis/measuring-the-extent-of-gang-problems.

Texas.” Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/state-law/texas/.

“U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Chicago City, Illinois; Houston City, Texas; UNITED STATES.” Census Bureau QuickFacts, United States Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/chicagocityillinois,houstoncitytexas,US/PST045217.

“U.S. – Number of Registered Weapons by State 2018 | Statistic.” Statista, http://www.statista.com/statistics/215655/number-of-registered-weapons-in-the-us-by-state/.

Wood, Keith. “Best States for Gun Owners (2017).” Guns & Ammo, 3 Nov. 2017, http://www.gunsandammo.com/editorial/best-states-for-gun-owners-2017/247983.

 

Visual Rewrite – CarsonWentz11

 

0.00 – 0.01 – A blue minivan that is very damaged, with lots of dents, a broken mirror, broken lights, and a tree branch out the rear window, is pulling into a driveway.  A middle-aged women is watering a dead plant next to the driveway.  The driveway leads to a brown, one-storied house.  The house looks like an average income house.  There are a couple trees behind the house and one in front, with no leaves on them, meaning it is around winter time. The sun is also out in this frame, meaning it is daytime.  The front yard is surrounded by a short wood fence.  There is also a big antenna on top of the house, which reminds us of the dead trees during the winter.  The audience can immediately tell this ad is satire because the mom is watering dead plants in the winter, which nobody ever does, and tells us that this family is not a normal family.

0.02-0.03 – The next frame then shows the side of the damaged minivan.  The driver is a female, who looks to be a teenager.  The driver is in the middle of opening her car door.  The middle-aged women, who seems to be her mom, is on the very side of the screen, with her back turned to the camera, and it looks like they are talking to each other.  Behind the minivan there is a giant tan garage.  This scene adds to the satire because no normal people would be acting so calm when they pull into the driveway with more damage to their car.

0.04-0.05 – The next frame shows just the front of the mom, and it looks like she is looking at the direction of the daughter.  She looks disappointed and mad, and has her arms on her hips.  She is also wearing a coat and a scarf, which is another point that it could be winter.  Though the mom looks a little mad, she doesn’t look that surprised and that she is used to the car coming home with more damage to it.

0.06-0.07 – In this frame, the daughter is standing right outside the minivan’s driving side door.  She is wearing a white shirt with a jean jacket over top.  It seems that she is looking back in the direction of her mom, as if her mom is talking to her.  The camera is closer to the car, so the damage and the scratches on the minivan is much more noticeable.  This scene makes the family even more crazy because the mom spots some new scratches to already very damaged car, and the daughter shrugs it off like its nothing.

0.08 – The daughter is still in the same position as the last frame, but her facial expression changes as if she is responding to her mom.  She is also now pointing at something on her car. The daughter just shrugging off damaging the car shows they don’t really care about what they are doing behind the wheel and the consequences of it.

0.09 – The next frame goes back to the mom and she is still talking to the daughter and  she still has a watering can in her hand.  This continually adds to show how dysfunctional this family is by not really reacting to damaging their car, and watering plants in the middle of winter.

0.10- 0.11 – The next frame goes back to the daughter as she still seems to be in discussion with her mom.  She is still pointing at something on the car, like the new damage is not that big of a deal.  The point of this is to show that the daughter really doesn’t understand the consequences of distracted driving and that normal people would be very angry if their car was damaged.

0.12 – The next frame shows a small white bulldozer, with a big black bucket in front, crash into the the front, opposite side of the minivan.  The bulldozer came from the side with the big garage.  Behind the view of the bulldozer, there is a blue dumpster and white van.  This scene’s argument is that the dad has the same mindset of not caring about damaging the car, and that they are a dysfunctional family.

0.13 – The following frame shows the mom again and she looks very surprised.  One of her arms goes up to her chest, and she looks like she is shocked at what she just saw.  She still has the watering pot in her one hand. The mom is at first surprised but still doesn’t get angry as a normal person would do if their car just got run into by a bulldozer.

0.14-0.16 – The driver of the bulldozer is shown and he is a middle aged male.  He is wearing a black hat and what looks to be work gear.  This gear includes heavy pants and jacket, along with a reflective vest.  The bull dozer is stopped right where it hit the minivan, and the bumper of the minivan is now off.  The man has a phone in his hand and he also looks to be talking to one of the females in the driveway.  The argument here is they are a dysfunctional family that don’t care about any of the actions they are doing.

0.17-0.19- The frame then changes angle and we can see that the man who is still in the bull dozer is in conversation with the younger female, who is still by the driver’s side door of the minivan.  She has her arms crossed.  The man still has his phone in his hand.  The front of the minivan is horribly damaged now that the bumper is off too.  In the background the rear of the minivan, there is another large garage across the street with some cars parked in front of it.  This shows a family that is not reacting normal family would react if the dad just ran into the car with a bulldozer because he was texting.

0.20 – The next frame then focuses on the teen girl.  She is now looking at her phone.  As she is looking at it, a little smirk is on her face.  This adds to the satire because she just goes back to her phone without a care in the world about what just happened to the car, and is just laughing it off.

0.21 – The following frame goes back to the man in the bull dozer, in which he seems to be looking at the teen girl and has a smile on his face.  He still has the phone in his hand.  This family does not care about anything because the dad is just laughing after he caused the car bumper to get knocked off.

0.22 – The next frame stays on the man but now he looks down on his phone, and begins to use it as it looks like he is pressing on the phone screen.  The dad continues to not care about what he just did and goes back to his phone which caused the accident in the first place.

0.23 – 0.26- The words, “Distracted driving is NO JOKE,” enter on a plain black screen.  Altogether this video shows a really dysfunctional family who doesn’t care one bit about the damage to the car.  It starts off weird with the mom watering dead plants in the winter, and ends with the family just laughing off the consequences of distracted driving.

Causal Argument – CarsonWentz11

The Motives for Murders

To actually commit a homicide is not an action most people do.  The crime of murdering another human is not something people do for enjoyment or a hobby, unless they are a psychopath, which is why one could question why there were still 17,184 murders in the United States last year.  Because committing murder is such a heinous act, something or someone really needs to motivate the killer to commit the crime.  Criminals have stated many reasons for murdering people, but motives such as, revenge, domestic arguments, money or drug incidences, and alcohol related arguments are the most common.  All these common motives, usually have something to do with the murderer and the victim knowing each other and that is quite common.  According to the FBI’s “Crime in the United States 2011,” “In 2011, in incidents of murder for which the relationships of murder victims and offenders were known, 54.3 percent were killed by someone they knew (acquaintance, neighbor, friend, boyfriend, etc.); 24.8 percent of victims were slain by family members.”

There are a lot of murders that are committed by people who are very close to the victims, so something major must have really happened for those murders to take place.  When thinking about close relationships, the main one is marriage and family.  Domestic arguments that lead to domestic abuse is the reason for a big portion of female homicides.  The same FBI report states, “Of the female murder victims for whom the relationships to their offenders were known, 36.5 percent were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.”  Domestic violence is a horrible thing to happen, but arguments in relationships and at home, that lead to violence, is sadly one of the largest causes for murder in our country.

Along with relationships and marriages, a common belief that revenge murder after relationship issues, like cheating, happens a lot is untrue.  Getting caught cheating on someone can make the other person in the relationship very angry and they might want to murder the person their girl or boy friend was cheating on, but not many actually act on their fantasies.  In fact, in 2009 only 89 murders were committed out of sexual jealously.

Another major cause for homicides is actually from actions from other crimes.  Two main crimes that leads to homicides, which also has to do with the motive of money, is robbery and burglaries.  A lot of stealing crimes go into those two similar crimes, and sometimes when events go wrong, or too much is at stake, that’s when things can take a turn for the worse.  Even a far more worse crime than stealing, rape, also leads to a percentage of homicides.  The FBI reports, “Felony circumstances (rape, robbery, burglary, etc.) accounted for 23.1 percent of murders.”   Robbery and burglary are two crimes in which the criminal is trying to steal something, mostly to gain off of it.  Either if its money, or if its valuable items that can be sold for money, some people will do a lot for money, especially if they desperately need it.

Drugs and alcohol also can play a huge role in motives for homicides.  First, drugs and alcohol can very well impair people’s thoughts and actions, in which then could lead to making someone more angry and possibly act on that anger.  Even though drugs and alcohol can both impair people’s though processes, alcohol is much more involved in homicides than drugs like cocaine and heroin.  A quote from the Alcohol Rehab Guide states, “In fact, about 40 percent of convicted murderers had used alcohol before or during the crime.”  When under the influence, it can make people do something, like commit a crime, that they wouldn’t do if they were sober.  Besides of drugs and alcohol making people impaired, the need for drugs can also make a motive for homicides.  When people are addicted to drugs, they might get to a point where they will do anything so they can receive the drugs.  This can lead to robbery, which could lead to a homicide, or they could have issues with their dealer, which could also lead to a homicide.  Drug addiction is very serious and dangerous, and can make those addicted do very bad actions just so they can get the high they need.

Another cause for homicides is gang-related violence.  Gang-related violence has had a horrible effect, mostly in large cities, in which they are responsible for a lot of crime.  Unfortunately, some of the crime involved with gangs, is homicide.  According to the National Gang Center, “The total number of gang homicides reported by respondents in the NYGS sample averaged nearly 2,000 annually from 2007 to 2012. During roughly the same time period (2007 to 2011), the FBI estimated, on average, more than 15,500 homicides across the United States. These estimates suggest that gang-related homicides typically accounted for around 13 percent of all homicides annually.”  This statistic is significant because for the small amount of people who involved in gangs, the percent of gang-related homicides is very high.

Out of all the bad homicides that are criminal, there are a few that are justified.  These justified homicides have motives for the safety of either themselves or for others.  Many police shootings fall under this category.  Also homicides by citizens who react in self defense are justified.  According to the FBI report from 2011, “Law enforcement reported 653 justifiable homicides in 2011.  Of those, law enforcement officers justifiably killed 393 felons, and private citizens justifiably killed 260 people during the commission of a crime.”

Altogether, most people are not just going out committing murder for the fun of it.  To do something so drastically violent, there is usually a very strong motivation.  There are many motives for people to commit a homicide, in which it might be because of anger, they might be to under the influence and act unexpectedly, the need to drugs, gang-related decisions, domestic problems, and self-defense.

References

“Alcohol Related Crimes – Statistics and Facts.” Alcohol Rehab Guide, http://www.alcoholrehabguide.org/alcohol/crimes/.

Domonoske, Camila. “CDC: Half Of All Female Homicide Victims Are Killed By Intimate Partners.” NPR, NPR, 21 July 2017, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/07/21/538518569/cdc-half-of-all-female-murder-victims-are-killed-by-intimate-partners.

“Expanded Homicide Data.” FBI, FBI, 20 Aug. 2012, ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded/expanded-homicide-data.

“National Youth Gang Survey Analysis.” Measuring the Extent of Gang Problems, http://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/survey-analysis/measuring-the-extent-of-gang-problems.