Running the Numbers; or, The Truth Isn’t Always Politically Correct (Correction!)

Correction below, thanks GunGeek…

I’m surprised I haven’t heard this commercial yet…
Via SayUncle, we have this, once again from the Bayou City (emphasis mine — ed.):

His name is Jim Pruett and he formed half of one of the most outrageous duos in Houston radio history — Stevens and Pruett — back in the 1990’s. He’s raising controversy on the airwaves again — this time as a gun shop owner. He says Houstonians must arm themselves, because of the rise in crime. But, as you would imagine, some Katrina evacuees say they are being publicly called out.

“The sale of handguns are up 50 percent in this store,” Pruett told Eyewitness News.

Gun shop owner Jim Pruett says Houston’s growing crime problem has brought a boom in business. It’s a trend Pruett ties in part to the arrival of Katrina evacuees. This is his latest radio advertisement:

“When the Katricans themselves as saying the crime rate will go up if they don’t have more free rent, then it’s time to get your concealed weapons license.”

We listened to ad in the home of Debra Campbell. She’s a Katrina survivor.

She said, “I think that commercial is very inhumane. It is targeting us now. It allows Houstonians or whatever criminals to gun us down for no reason.”

Well, um, no, the commercial doesn’t do that…the law still says that if you get killed for no reason, your killer will still be prosecuted. As for the criminals, well, they’re gonna break those laws anyway, Ms. Campbell, that’s why they’re called, um, criminals. While I can understand why some of the Katrina evacuees in Houston might feel slighted by the attitude of good people like Jim Pruett, the facts speak for themselves. I was listening to Walton and Johnson yesterday morning, and they mentioned something that I had never thought about.
The population of Houston proper stands at about 2 million, with metro Houston at about 3 million.
150,000 people came to Houston last fall in the aftermath of Katrina.
Just for grins, let’s say that 10,000 of those, at most, have ended up with blood on their hands.
10,000 added to 2 million works out to a 0.5 percent increase in population.

And via Houston Strategies, we have this(emphasis mine — ed.):

Houston took in 150,000 evacuees — the most of any U.S. city — after Katrina struck on Aug. 29. Houston police believe the evacuees are partly responsible for a nearly 17.5 percent increase in homicides so far this year over the same period in 2005.

About 21 percent of Houston’s 232 homicides through July 25 involved an evacuee as either a suspect or a victim, according to police, who attribute much of the bloodshed to fighting among rival New Orleans gang members.

A 0.5 percent increase in the population (NOT the criminal population, we’re just assuming that 10,000 out of the 150,000 are violent criminals, which I would think is really pushing it, but who knows? — ed., 5:36 PM),and a 17.5 percent increase in murders. (And even taking the entire 150,000 evacuees, that’s still only a population increase of 7.5 percent. — ed., 5:41 PM) So, it would seem that a disproportionate increase in crime has indeed come with the exodus of New Orleanians to Houston, and there’s not much getting around that. I saw Spike Lee’s “When The Levees Broke” a few weeks ago, and I recall who I think was some sort of activist scoffing at the notion that Katrina evacuees caused such a spike in Houston’s crime rate, “as if Houston was all sunshine and rainbows before Katrina,” or some tripe like that. No, Houston was certainly not all sunshine and rainbows before Katrina, but I still found it rather disgusting that anyone would downplay the evacuees’ role in the increased Houston crime rate to such an extent. I am almost surprised we haven’t seen more of the “blame the guns” rhetoric, especially considering that New Orleans Mayor Raycist Nagin was, if I remember correctly, one of the first big-city mayors to file suit against the gun industry.

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