Steven Pinker: Are guns to blame for America’s homicide rate?

One of the big puzzles when it comes to understanding
violence is why the American rate of violence is five to ten times higher than that of other
wealthy democracies. There are countries that have spectacularly
high rates of violence mainly in Central America and North and South America and in Southern
Africa. But it’s funny to see the United States
not quite up there but much higher rates of homicide than our peers in the British Commonwealth
and in Europe. Now the ready answer is well, that’s because
we have all those guns. And that is part of the answer but it’s
not the total answer. Because even if you subtract out all of the
gun homicides in the United States and you just look at all the murders committed with
ropes and candlesticks and knives and so on. The United States still has a higher rate
of homicide. But and we also don’t know for sure whether
the favorite remedy of many people on the liberal left, namely tougher gun control,
would have an effect in lowering homicides given how many guns are already out there. The United States has more guns than people
so restricting the sale of future guns is a small measure. Maybe it does but no one really knows for
sure. And we do know that the United States itself
had quite a spectacular reduction in violent crime starting in the 90s and again in the
2000s. It certainly wasn’t because massive numbers
of guns were taken off the streets. Quite the contrary. So there’s a lot we don’t know but tragically
and boneheadedly the U.S. Congress passed a law that the Centers for Disease Control
was not allowed to study gun violence as a public health problem. Now that is insanity. That is an example of political interference
with conductive research. In the United States gun rights are a sacred
cause of the right and anything that might compromise the right of everyone to have a
gun is squelched. I’ve talked about many of the threats to
academic freedom from the campus left but the political right is far more pernicious
because they actually have power. I mean academics, it’s often said that academic
debates are fierce because so little is at stake but when it comes to government a lot
is at stake and the suppression of research on gun violence is an example of how the right
is also guilty of suppressing freedom of inquiry and it’s one of the reasons why we

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Funny how people that think they are high IQ cannot figure out what everyone else already knows. This Steven Pinker character is a good example. If he would just get past political correctness and understand race realism, understand who it is that are committing these homicides he would understand very quickly why america has the homicide rate it does.
    Remove nonwhite crime from the stats and our crime rate would mirror that of pre-open borders western europe.

  2. America has approximately 40,000 gun deaths a year
    Gun suicide – 29,000
    Gun accidents – 2-300
    Police/Civilian defence shootings – 1,600-2,000
    Intentional gun homicides – 8-10,000
    80% of gun homicides are gang related 7,000

    That leaves 1,500-2,000 non gang related murders in a country with a population of 327 million people. You have a 0.00001% chance of death by a firearm, but if you're not part of a gang, don't commit a crime, or don't plan on committing suicide, your chances of death by a firearm in this country is virtually 0.00%
    Guns are not the problem.

    According to the CDC, up to 3 million American citizens use firearms for self defense every single year. According to the ATF and FBI, the gun homicide rate dropped by over 1/3 since 1993 while gun ownership more than doubled amongst law abiding citizens.
    Mr and Mrs John Q taxpayers make up the majority of legal gun owners, and they aren't the ones committing 80% of gun homicides, its gang members, outlaw bikers, and drug cartels.

  3. Stricter regulations around guns and private dealers, and stricter rules on ownership. Guns ITSELF aren't the issue.

  4. The decision to kill comes before the choice of the method.

    Ask why do many people choose to kill before restricting the method. Otherwise you'll end up banning pointed kitchen knives and arresting people for carrying potato peelers.

    Just like the U.K.

  5. It never ceases to fascinate me how sure people are about a solution for hugely complex topics in the news. Even going so far as having a singular solution which is never the answer to any complex issue.

  6. While the CEnter for Disease Control does not conduct gun violence research, it is conducted and funded through the Department of Justice.

  7. 100 times more people are killed by their Doctors through Medical Malpractice.

    You are more likely to be hit by lightning than killed by an assault rifle.

  8. This guy is absolute lier. America does not have a abnormally high homicide rate or suicide. He is making a false argument right from the beginning.

  9. There's one important thing he ignored. The gun lobby didn't limit private inquiry, they limited government inquiry. It's not the gun lobby's fault that somebody made government research funding so large that it crowded out private funding. Do you want a world with more, politically limited funding or do you want a world where the government doesn't take so much that private people feel they shouldn't choose research of their own to fund because that's the two choices.

  10. The title of this video is a lie as it does not answer its own question. Then it goes on to lie about the restrictions placed on the CDC saying that by law they are not allowed to research gun violence, they can. They even did under Obama (link here which will probably be broke so copy and paste it). The law restricts the CDC from ADVOCACY because the CDC was running TV, radio, and news paper adds to lobby for gun control in the 90s basically using tax payer money in order to push for political change in violation of the hatch act. The specific law is called the Dickey Amendment which specifically states "none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control." The amendment says absolutely nothing about banning research, only advocating. You can find the amendment in the law itself on page 245 of the document in this link ( again probably broken because youtube will block links so copy paste if needed).

    So much for "Big Think" there guys.

  11. I'm a responsible gun owner. How? I came out of my gym last year and a guy tried to mug me using a knife. He asked for my wallet. I reached in to my gym bag and pulled out my revolver. I told him to get on the ground and he did. A passerby called the police and the attempted mugger was arrested. He was wanted on multiple warrants out of state and was a suspect in a stabbing from the night before, because the person he mugged " didn't have enough money " without my weapon, I could have easily been severely hurt or even killed. He was half my age and probably 50 pounds in me. Even though I'm in great shape for being 60, I dont delude myself I could have punched it out with a thug in his late 20s. Did I want to be Clint Eastwood in dirty harry? Nope. Did I want to shoot him as some act of machismo? Nope Would I have if he had moved on me? Yes. I don't look for trouble and have never been arrested. I am the typical responsible gun owner and when I'm lectured by the left and dems (who are often protected by armed security or live in gated communities) I simply cant accept them as a legitimate voice to forego my second amendment.

  12. people have been killing each other since the beginning of time….
    take away guns and we will find another way of killing each other.

  13. Guns + Low IQ Racial groups with Low Impulse Control = High Murder Rate . However even Steven Pinker can't say this

  14. There is demographic minority committing a large mojority of the homicides. If you account for this from a demographic stand point the US has a similar homicide rate to a racially homogenous country in Europe.

  15. Thought experiment: let's say you want to increase homicide rate. How would you do that?
    Proposal: add more guns so that every household has at least 2 of them lying around.
    Would that work? I think it might increase the rate a little bit …

  16. When you arm the working class while failing to provide them with class consciousness, universal healthcare, and hope for a future without exploitation you get that violence expressing itself the way it does in The US

  17. The solution for barbarism will only take place in the individual, however, the leaders of society, assuming they’re not troubled consciously, strive to rearrange the ways to a healthier outcome for any individual willing. This would need to be done on a voluntary basis, but an equitable system to counter the barbarisms, yes..

  18. Look up the highest homicide rates by city and then look up WHO governed them for decades. Doesn't take a deep analysis from the CDC to figure out that one. Hint: It start with a "D", with social programs that actively seek to DESTROY family cohesion, for their own political benefit.

  19. I'm still waiting for a compelling reason to support the sale of a civilian semi-automatic variant of a lightweight military automatic rifle to the public.

  20. Guns are Not to blame…but the Mindset of this Nation…
    Murdering Unborn Babies In the Name of Freedom and Freedom of Religion ???
    Mankind himself has Diminished the Value of life itself by murdering its unborn…
    So why do people Wonder why a person would commit mass killings…
    We are a Product of our Inviorment …
    Murderers breed Murderers…

  21. Injustice prevails where there are no moral or ethical accountability, especially the doctrine of Atheism.

  22. If you subtract out all the minority population in the United States, counting only the European population in the rural areas, plus minus the suicides, then the United States gun violence would be on par with Europe, that is before Europe was invaded by Islam

  23. Yes the right is against blaming guns for deaths. And the left is against blaming non whites for deaths. And it is our demographics that make us more similar in violence to Latin America than Europe.

  24. I am come from Austria. You can have a gun, but you must have a license and you must keep it in a Tresor. We have Capitalism but also a health and welfare System that helps all People. I think one of the big Problems with uSA is, that is a country full of immigrants that is not a organic society like in Europe. But Society Problems you can only soluted when all working together.

  25. There are 321 million people living in the United States.
    There are 357 million known guns in the United States.
    There are roughly 32,000 deaths from firearms in the United States.
    60% are from suicides. That’s 19,200
    3% are accidental. That’s 960
    4% are justified. That’s 1,280
    33% are homicides. That’s 10,560
    80% of those homicides are gang related. That’s 8,448

    That’s 2,112 in a society of 321 million people.

    That leaves a 0.010256410256% chance of death by a gun.
    A 0.0008564% chance if you don’t hang out in the wrong area, or plan a crime, and are not planning a suicide.

  26. let's just look at homicide rates in other countries like Japan where there are basically no guns. Oh there are almost ZERO gun death's…

  27. People can kill with anything. Cars and Alcohol for an example. AND thousands and thousands of other things can end another person’s life. Anyone want to consider that we are just a violent nation?

    Japan raises honor and respect to very high standards at young ages. Part of the problem is culture in a nation. We are still a young country.

  28. "The right is pernicious" is fallacious. The right knows tactics are implemented to chip away at the 2nd Amendment, thus the right s knows it is a "rights" issue. The good Dr. is actually addressing mental health and sociological issues. Personally, I say "state hospitals" should be brought back, and as I recall; admission was voluntary.

  29. There is no ban on federal funding for gun violence research. What is banned, correctly, is using federal funding to promote gun control.

  30. Because we have more gangs than those other places. Gangs kill people using guns it's not rocket science. We also completely destroyed the parts of civilization that promoted good morale citizens like the family, community, religion etc.

  31. When the right suppresses free thought and inquiry, where are the free speech advocates like Jordan Peterson, Time pool and Dave Rubin? Why are threats to free thought from the left the only ones worthy of our attention?

  32. How can anyone take this guy seriously, he hung out with Epstein AFTER he was a known child trafficker. Either he's a pedophile or the dumbest human alive

  33. Half of the homocides committed in this country are for suicide. How would an inquiry into gun violence explain any of that? This politicizing of everything is almost comical. And the right does not have the power in this country or abortion wouldn't be the law of the land. Can't you self-righteous leftists admit anything?

  34. Maybe it has something to do with how miserable most of us are? Shit wages, shit healthcare, shit opportunities, shit school. Etc.

  35. You don't just limit future gun sales, you buy back and destroy guns. You "don't know" because you're unwilling to learn from other countries…

  36. Read the FBI report on killing and death for 2019. There are 50% more guns in the last 20 years on the street and the murder rate has dropped by 50% by gun death. 65% Of all gun deaths are suicide . Mass shooting makes up less than 1% of shooting deaths. While as bad as an people killed is that’s less than 300 people this year while over 13,000 people die each year from DRUNK DRIVING!!!!!!!!

    More than 3 times as many people died this year from stabbing, 2 x as many have died from fists and feet.

  37. Stop counting suicides as murders, like the rest of the world does, and don’t count murders in the gun free zones of Chicago and California by gang on gang crime and the murder rate in the US is lower than than the most of the rest of the “civilized” world. The CDC did study homicide rates during Obamas term as President until his administration shut the study down because they found that results matched what I stated above, which didn’t match the leftists skewed worldview. The fact that Pinker doesn’t mention the Obama era study sounds to me as a little disingenuous.

  38. I think it needs to be pointed out that protection of gun rights is a sacred right to Americans in general, not just for the right. There is a large portion of left leaning people who are very pro gun rights but because it does not fit in with the popular left agenda they’re never ever given the light of day.

    It is absolutely absurd that the government has any right to prevent scientific research in any capacity and it is Un-American in the highest form that this was ever passed. Like it was mentioned here in the video gun violence has fluctuated in the past few decades, and truly the reason gun violence feels like it’s more common now is simply because of the media’s attention towards it and rerunning the same stories over and over even weeks after they happen.

    We need to realize that the gun control argument right now is a knee jerk reaction to the fear the media is placing on us. It feels like the answer to the unknown cause of violence to remove the tools, but does this truly remove the violent nature within those who just want to cause the worst chaos? Will we then see an increase in homemade bombings like the Boston marathon? Or running trucks into crowds of people? We don’t have the answers and this terrifies us. We absolutely need to research this, but more importantly we need to stop letting the big media control our every thought and lessen their influence because I believe they are the ultimate cause to a lot of what’s happening out there. But we need to free science of these government restrictions so we can actually make progress in figuring out the issue.

  39. What the hell did I just listen to? Ramblings of an out of touch "educational professional", circle logic, and 0 facts.

  40. There isn't anything liberal about making people disarmed slaves.

    Liberal Lib"er*al (l[i^]b"[~e]r*al), a. [F. lib['e]ral, L.
    liberalis, from liber free; perh. akin to libet, lubet, it
    pleases, E. lief. Cf. {Deliver}.]
    1. Free by birth; hence, befitting a freeman or gentleman;
    refined; noble; independent; free; not servile or mean;
    Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

  41. I certainly wouldn't blame the tools for what the tool users are doing nor would I blame the tool users because the majority or not aware enough to be in control of their actions.

    The majority are merely aware and largely reactionary rather than educated and conscious and therefore capable of predicting many perils that lie ahead and then executing a plan.

    There are a lot of reasons why people kill and in America people have more reasons.

    The answers to this are not going to fit neatly into a forum response and the closer I get to accurate the more pissed off everyone will be. (You know what, fuck it, I can't resist, time to piss a bunch of people off, destroy my career and waste my fucking time in an echo chamber for a Channel of a bunch of intellectually dishonest cowardly conformist manipulators.)

    Pinker claims that there's a lot we don't know but unfortunately he doesn't know what I know. so his statement that there's a lot we don't know, really only applies to him and the