In the debate regarding gun rights, the number of gun-related deaths will invariably come up. This is simply the natural order of things. We all know by now that the number pushed by gun control advocates includes suicides, a point most gun rights advocates take issue with. However, it looks like some locales are doing something that might be even more of a problem.
It seems they’re lumping justifiable homicides and regular homicides into the same category.
Police in Little Rock have redefined what types of killings are included in the city’s homicide total in a move that will lower the annual tally that’s recorded.
Lt. Michael Ford tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that justifiable homicides will no longer be included in the broader tally.
There were 55 killings in the city as of Friday but authorities will record 53 homicides because two deaths were the result of officer-involved shootings that were determined to be justifiable.
The change in Little Rock is in order to comply with FBI reporting guidelines, but those guidelines have been in place for years.
How many other places are reporting justifiable homicides–cases such as self-defense shootings–as simple homicides, thus skewing the numbers upward?
While it may only be a few nationwide, those are still cases that support the idea that guns save lives that are being used to discredit the idea. I’m sorry, but that just bothers me.
There’s more. As Dean Weingarten notes:
If more than one person is involved in a felony, and someone is killed during because of the felonious actions, an accomplice can be charged with the killing. It is known in the law as the felony murder rule.
If an accomplice is charged with murder under the felony murder rule, the homicide is counted as a murder, even if the person who killed the criminal committing the felony was justified in doing so. The Little Rock Police give us an example.
One example is the death of 20-year-old Mashon Jackson, who was killed by a single bullet in a shootout on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on Jan. 8.
Investigators couldn’t determine who specifically fired the shot that killed Jackson. The Pulaski County prosecuting attorney’s office cleared the men who were involved on the opposite side of the shootout.
The two men police say were riding with Jackson that night — Jerico Mosley and Tre’sean Freeman — were each charged with one count of manslaughter in connection to Jackson’s death and four counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, online court records show.
Jackson’s death will be included within the city’s homicide count because both Freeman and Mosley were criminally charged, Moore said.
This happens across the country. It is one reason the FBI UCR count catches such a small percentage of justifiable homicides.
It’s a fair point, but it still creates numbers that seem to support gun control when, in fact, these cases prove the opposite.
If this isn’t ground for a reform of the accounting process, I don’t know what is. Of course, anti-gun zealots will scream at the idea, especially if they know it will reduce the numbers of gun-related deaths, something they can’t seem to stomach. They want those numbers high, as high as possible. They don’t care how dishonest it is.