Self defense figures by race
Howard Nemerov has some charts and statistics on justifiable homicide, race, and right to carry laws. Basically: in RTC States, blacks are on the giving end of nearly 50% of self-defense homicides (i.e., justifiable), and in non RTC States the percentage drops by nearly half. Howard notes this indicates that RTC laws are of special benefit to black Americans, since they are more likely to be put in a position where self-defense is vital.
I wonder how much of this is a real effect, and how much is statistics being skewed by bad laws. What I mean is are black really less likely to defend themselves in less gun friendly states, or are they defending themselves but hiding from the police later for fear of prosecution.
Posted by: happycynic at August 31, 2009 01:44 PM
A disproportionate amount of "street" or violent crime that would give rise to a justified defense is black on black.
It's not surprising that Blacks would benefit most from rational gun laws and I think John Lott made some points re this.
Posted by: D.Laden at August 31, 2009 03:59 PM
This statistic could be explained numerous ways. One possible explanation is given identical facts in a sample self-defense scenario, in a RTC state it would be ruled justifiable by the prosecutor/judge, whereas with identical facts a prosecutor/judge in a non-RTC state would find it was not self defense, and force the would-be defender to plea to a lesser charge or face trial.
There's so much fudge in the courthouse that there is no such thing as apples to apples comparisons when comparing different jurisdictions.
Posted by: Kman at August 31, 2009 05:46 PM
My initial expectation would be that the sudden change in 2004 was due to the states that became RTC in 2003, rather than any change in the individual states.
Posted by: Jeff Dege at September 1, 2009 09:18 AM