Missing victims: Why the Star-Ledger can't be trusted

On Friday, the Star-Ledger -- a newspaper owned by two billionaires -- ran an editorial that advocated taking firearms away from the poor and working class.  In support of their position, the usual politicians were quoted --  those who expect armed protection for themselves even as they deny it to their "subjects" -- as well as a hodgepodge of government statistics.  Oh, the statistics...

Most Americans would agree that the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and Washington, DC -- along with the hijacking and destruction of a passenger jet over Pennsylvania -- were crimes motivated by hate.  In the aftermath of the attack, no less than the President and the United States Attorney General agreed with this assessment. 

Now go to the U.S. Justice Department's Uniform Crime Report for 2001.  The report counts 12,020 victims of crimes that were the result of the "offender's bias."  7,768 of these were victims of "crimes against persons", with another 4,176 counted as victims of "crimes against property." 

Among the victims counted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Hate Crime Data Collection Program were 554 victims of "anti-Islamic" bias crimes. According to the official USDOJ/FBI figures for 2001, just 10 people died (murder/non-negligent manslaughter) in the United States as the result of crimes motivated by hate.  By our count, that is 3,037 victims short. 

The count of homicides in New York City for that year does not reflect the 2,823 victims of mass murder at the World Trade Center; or the 184 victims at the Pentagon; or even the 40 victims in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  They were all left out of the murder count.    

If you read the official homicide figures for 2001, you will find that the deadliest month in 2001 was July -- and that September actually experienced a drop in homicides from August before rising again in October.  This is not the fault of the FBI, who do their best, but who are, after all, servants of a political class more interested in the preservation of power than in honest and transparent government.

Statistics are always being changed or adjusted to benefit the government of the day.  Remember when they "adjusted" the unemployment figures so that people out of work, but who could no longer collect unemployment, would magically disappear from the count of the unemployed ?  It was as if they simply dried up and blew away.  Did no longer being officially "unemployed" fill their bellies?

The same government that came up with these statistics packages and sells Wall Street's line that the U.S. economy is doing fine.  And they assure us that have the data to back that up.  Hey, are you doing fine? 

Government lies.  According to U.S. Justice Department figures, the United States is experiencing a spike in espionage.  Actually, those figures simply reflect the fact that whistleblowers like Jesselyn Radack and Thomas Drake are being charged with serious crimes in an attempt to silence them and keep America's citizens in the dark.  Most of the cases break down before they ever get to court. 

Law enforcement officials have a plethora of stories about how some urban police departments fail to report "incidents" in an effort show progress against crime, while some rural and suburban departments over-report to secure more funding.  When shown the Star-Ledger editorial on Friday, one long-time police chief explained how one county reduced its drugs crimes by doing away with its narcotics task force.  "Just don't catch them" is one way to reduce reportable "incidents."

The editorial used a very narrow statistic -- the Uniform Crime Report's figures on "justifiable homicide"-- to argue that the 300 or so people whose lives are saved each year are hardly worth allowing them to own a firearm.  They didn't acknowledge that the definition the FBI uses for "justifiable homicide" is "the killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen." 

That definition leaves out a great many "incidents" in which an attacker or intruder is driven away by the appearance of a firearm, the discharge of a firearm, or the non-fatal wounding by a firearm.  Then there's those words "felon" and "felony."  We all know stories about how prosecutors play games with that -- turning felonies into misdemeanors on a whim.   There was a prosecutor out west, this guy got elected governor, who used to change felony drug crimes into "agricultural trespass" misdemeanors just to impress his first deputy (who, it turned out, was also his mistress). 

But even using their own very narrow definition, what the statistics show is that the number of justifiable homicides have nearly doubled in recent years, so that even their own statistics reveal that more innocent lives are being saved by people protecting themselves instead of being lost by people waiting for the police to show up.  The fact is, over 40 percent of the violent felons stopped through the use of a firearm are stopped by average citizens. 

That's not a knock on the police.  The liberal courts have ruled that the police have no duty to protect average citizens and when the families of murdered victims have tried to sue government for failing to prevent the death of a loved one, they have uniformly seen their cases tossed out of court. 

Politicians like Senator Loretta "Mother Roach" Weinberg are responsible for lengthening police response times and making service in law enforcement less attractive.  They are as pro-criminal as they are anti-police and against the right of self-defense.  That is different from being anti-gun.  They love guns... for their own protection, just not for ours. 

Until they fight to change the law and allow victims' survivors to sue government when it fails, what politicians like Weinberg and media outlets like the Star-Ledger are telling us to do is to shut up and die.  Excuse us if we don't take their advice.