The Majority of Virginia Homicides Come from Only Two Metro Areas

In most times and places, crime tends to be a highly localized phenomenon. I have covered this for Mises.org at the national level, pointing out that homicide rates in, say, the Mountain West and New England are far lower than homicide rates in the Great Lakes region or the South. Gun-control laws clearly don't explain these differences, since many places with rock-bottom homicide rates such as Idaho and Maine also have few controls on private gun ownership.

Thus, discussion of the "US homicide rate" tells us precious little about general trends since US homicide rates are kept relatively high by only a small number of cities. Baltimore city, for example, has a homicide ten times higher than the nation overall, and seventeen times larger than the Baltimore suburbs. In 2018, Baltimore reported more than three hundred homicides while similarly sized Denver reported about 67. These are huge differences.

Clearly, speaking generally of homicides as a problem in the United States or even in the State of Maryland tells us little about conditions experienced by most of the population in these places.

Given the very low homicide rates that prevail throughout most of the US, it is clear that enormous swaths of the US population are able to obtain, own, and use firearms freely without turning their cities and towns into war zones.

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