The NRA Picks On Philly, But Ignores The Reality of Crime Here

The NRA apparently doesn’t like the efforts of Mayor Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey to support new laws that might restrict the flow of guns in the United States. Which might be why this Tweet went out this afternoon:

Technically, that’s probably true, but here’s something else that’s also true: A disproportionate share of our crimes are committed with guns!

Mayor Nutter took some heat earlier this week for sounding callous about the fates of Philly’s murder victims, but lost in that brief brouhaha was his earlier observation that “EVERY category of crime was DOWN last year, except homicide,” and if that sounds a little bit like “I’ve won at every level except college and the pros,” well, it shouldn’t exactly. Because he’s right.

Here’s how the Inky depicted Philadelphia’s crime landscape just two months ago, at the end of 2012:

When 2012 comes to a close, killings will have risen for the third straight year, the highest total in Nutter’s five years in office. The count was 337 as of Monday afternoon, up from 324 in 2011.

Aggravated assaults with a gun (more than 2,400) will have stayed the same, while robberies with a gun (more than 3,300) will have dropped slightly from 2011.

What’s crazy about those numbers: The city’s overall crime rate has actually dropped 9 percent since Nutter took office.

Now, that would seem to defy the “broken windows” theory of policing, which suggests that if you get fewer petty crimes, you’ll also get fewer big crimes. But it sure seems to confirm the “guns kill people” theory of crime, which suggests that, well, guns kill people. The result is that increasingly, gun crimes form a disproportionate share of the crime in an otherwise increasingly peaceful city.

Overstatement? Maybe. But you’ve at least got some context and numbers here, instead of the NRA’s mean-spirited, context-free Tweet. It’s not the kind of thing Philadelphians like.