Evidence of a ‘Ferguson Effect’ Costing Thousands of American Lives

Tonic for an Inflexible Media: 7 Scientific Papers + 1 Analysis by Astral Codex Ten (Scott Alexander) + Bonus Data & Resources

The Washington Post recently framed a story that it’s the rise in gun sales that led to a spike in homicides. Inconveniently, their own graph shows no rise in suicides by firearm. SOURCE: The Washington Post
Imagine if we stayed at 2014 levels of homicides. If we did, we’d have at least 26,500 more people alive today, half of them black lives. SOURCE (2nd tab): https://tinyurl.com/jails-police-save-lives

It’s the Guns, Stupid

Defunding Police & “Mostly Peaceful” Protests

Buried in the study itself was the fact violence erupted in approximately 570 of those protests. SOURCE: CNN

What Is The Ferguson Effect & Why Write About It?

What the WaPo Missed

SOURCE: https://scholarworks.uark.edu/edrepub/136/
SOURCE: https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w27324/w27324.pdf
SOURCE: Zach Goldberg in a Tablet Magazine article titled “How the Media Led the Great Racial Awakening

The Focus: 0.3% of Total Gun Murders

SOURCE: https://bjs.ojp.gov/content/pub/pdf/GUIC.PDF
  1. How do you solve the problem of “gun violence” when 4 out of 5 deaths are from handguns, which gun control advocates have little interest addressing?
  2. How can you say you truly care about the bloodshed from guns when the public conversation largely avoids the 99.7% of firearm murders that aren’t mass shootings?
  3. Who can honestly argue with a straight face that the 50% increase in murders — creating 26,000 additional murders over six years — was driven by mass shootings?
SOURCE: https://heyjackass.com/2022-police-involved-shootings/

What Do Republicans Offer?

SOURCE: CDC and Manhattan Institute

Good Points in Washington Post Article

SOURCE: The Washington Post

Why Fear the (Cancellation) Reaper?

That YouTube moment in 2022 when Roland Fryer rightfully calls his fellow academics cowards for not publishing the same data he had.

Now the Main Course

7 Studies Indicating a Ferguson Effect of Greater Violence & Crime

“Guns [are] almost entirely responsible for an overall rise in homicides across the country from 2018 to 2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

SOURCE: New York Times
Large spike on the left didn’t cause a murder spike. Did the one on the right? SOURCE: The Washington Post

But Is It Guns?

Is It The Pandemic?

Is It Weeks of Months of Anti-Police Protest, Civic Disruption, and Attacks on Policing? (Bingo.)

One More Thing On the Washington Post Article

My Data on How Policing Saves Lives

53% of “very liberal” people in the United States believe 1,000 more more unarmed blacks are killed by police each year. The real number is closer to 10–20. How are we supposed to trust “that side” of the issue when they inflate reality by a multiplier of 100? SOURCE: https://www.skeptic.com/research-center/reports/Research-Report-CUPES-007.pdf)

What I Want Every Black Lives Matter Protester to Understand

  • 400 out of 1000 people lethally attacking or killing cops are black.
  • 250 out of 1000 people killed by cops are black.
SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Still Think Police Use Too Much Force? Consider This One Chart:

Use of force does not occur in 96% of white arrests and 96.7% of black arrests in Chicago according the same data used in the Obama-era U.S. Department of Justice Report to condemn CPD for using “excessive force.”

Don’t Believe Policing Saves Lives?

In Conclusion



Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes for all. Empiricism, relevant facts, and logical arguments > simple narratives.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
David Shuey

Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes for all. Empiricism, relevant facts, and logical arguments > simple narratives.