Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #19: Ruger 9mm

When trying to find information on the gun related incidents among the earlier mentioned 391 violent deaths that occurred in Philadelphia over 2007 (interactive Philadelphia homicide map for 2007), details on the make of specific firearms are left out. Generally when a suspect is apprehended, there is a mention of the caliber of the weapon allegedly used in the charged murder, but little else. From what we could cull here at Bostodelphia, 9mm semiautomatic pistols were the most common form of pistol used in Philadelphia homicides. Given that, we'll presume the dated information in this 1999 Crime Gun Trace Report put out by the ATF's Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative is still accurate in identifying Ruger 9mm's as the most common gun used in Philadelphia gun related crime.

Of course some Philadelphians don't care to hear anything at all about Philadelphia's gun crimes. (For the record, one of the reasons Bostodelphia opted to do this salute was to get people to think more about America's pervasive gun culture in general). Their justification stems from data indicating 2/3 of Philadelphia's 2006's shooting victims had mugshots on file with the police. This has led some folks, perhaps as a psychological defense mechanism in order to live and work in a city with an inordinate amount of gun violence, or more cynically psychologically protect their property value "investment" in areas affected by gun crime, to develop a "they had it coming stance" to news of shooting victims. These sentiments occasionally vent onto the internet and in some cases lead to people reflecting badly on their neighborhoods. For the record, the Daily News article is a bit unfair. In the discussion thread from which the "Scumbag" quote was pulled, you'll find that while the bulk of the word count in the thread, or the posts with the largest "volume" may be siding with the "victim had it coming" assertion, the bulk of the posters thought the uninformed assertion was as pigheaded as the reporter and the victim's family judged.

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