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Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Gun violence more likely in Richmond County than in Georgia, US

US, state rates topped

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It’s three times more likely that a gun will be involved in an aggravated assault in Rich­mond County than the nation as a whole, according to the latest crime data from the FBI.

The FBI’s 2010 Uniform Crime Report showed that 56 percent of aggravated assaults in Richmond County ended in someone being shot. The national average is 18 percent; in Georgia, 25 percent.

The Richmond County percentage is actually down from previous years. In 2007 and 2008, more than 70 percent of aggravated assaults were shootings – four times the U.S. rate and nearly three times Georgia’s rate. Data for 2009 were not available.

Lt. Calvin Chew oversaw the Richmond County Sher­iff’s Office’s violent crimes division until January, when he became the administrative lieutenant over criminal investigations. He attributed the county’s high numbers to the wide availability of guns, legal or otherwise.

“It’s not a hard thing to do to get your hands on a gun,” Chew said. “Guns are just more available in the South and the criminal element is well-armed.”

William Reese, a professor of criminal justice and sociology at Augusta State Univer­sity, said the area’s high rate of gun violence could be attributed to two major factors: Augusta’s location and the culture of the South in general.

“Here in the South, there’s a tendency to settle interpersonal disputes with violence instead of discussion or calling the police to intervene,” he said. “Firearms also carry prestige around here. It’s a symbol of status and kids want that reputation, that mark of manhood.”

Reese also said Augusta is part of a long corridor of illegal guns regularly moving up the East Coast. Weapons come to the South on boats and planes and make their way up the coast, especially to New York, he said.

Reese said the corridor was becoming more evident on the federal level. He thinks many illegal weapons finish their journey north early when they find their way into the hands of area criminals.

“The availability of the guns is really all you need to know,” Reese said. “When the culture dictates that you solve those things with violence, shootings become statistically predictable.”

Chew said the tide has turned in the battle to get guns off the street and that the situation is improving.

“This became our main concern – to make the public safe,” he said. “Getting illegal guns off the street is a great way to do so, and we’re not going to stop until there are no illegal guns out there being
used during violent crimes.

“We’ve seen violent crimes and assaults committed with guns decrease every year since 2008. The progress from year to year has been gradual, but dropping from 73 percent in 2008 to 56 percent in 2010 is a huge step.”

Chew said recent sting operations – Operation Augusta Ink, Operation Fox Hunt and Operation Smoke Screen – led to the drop. The three undercover stings in the past five years resulted in more than 200 arrests and the seizure of at least 600 firearms.

Despite those successes, the battle against gun violence
is far from over, Chew said.

“We’ve let the criminals know we’re going to be actively going after them,” he said.

AGGRAVATED ASSAULTS

AREA - 2007 TOTAL - WITH GUNS

United States - 855,856 - 158,059 (18%)

Georgia - 22,569 - 6,042 (26%)

Richmond County - 185 - 133 (72%)

AREA - 2008 TOTAL - WITH GUNS

United States -  834,885 - 153,476 (18%)

Georgia - 20,206 - 5,476 (27%)

Richmond County - 238 - 174 (73%)

AREA - 2010 TOTAL - WITH GUNS

United States - 778,901 -  138,403 (18%)

Georgia - 20,287 - 5,160 (25%)

Richmond County - 273 - 153 (56%)

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. All statistical information was pulled from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, 2007-2010 or from Richmond County Sheriff’s Office monthly crime reports. The 2009 Uniform Crime Report for Richmond County did not include a breakdown of the weapons with which violent crimes were committed, The 2011 report is yet to be released in its entirety.

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Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 08/19/12 - 11:11 pm
4
0
'the culture of the South in

'the culture of the South in general.' I've been speaking on culture for a long time. And the government can't change culture directly, it starts at home. Though sometimes people on either end of the straw hamper efforts to build from home, people are given too many excuses and way too much freedom.

seenitB4
81877
Points
seenitB4 08/20/12 - 06:12 am
4
2
SCARE YOU YET!

OMG____Does this scare you.....it should.....stop sugar coating your problem Richmond county...YOU HAVE A BIG ONE!

CobaltGeorge
150910
Points
CobaltGeorge 08/20/12 - 06:25 am
3
2
That Can'T Be So!

"Gun violence more likely in Richmond County than in Georgia, US"

I have been a believer of Countyman all this time. Somebody better email this article to him real fast.

oldfella
599
Points
oldfella 08/20/12 - 06:41 am
7
0
“Getting illegal guns off the

“Getting illegal guns off the street is a great way to do so, and we’re not going to stop until there are no illegal guns out there being
used during violent crimes."

Hmmm......how about starting with getting the illegal (criminal) people off the street first? When you keep releasing criminals over and over you enable them to eventually commit gun violence. I've never yet seen a gun commit a crime on it's own. BTW not all Southerners have a culture of shooting to resolve issues. Certain segments of the culture certainly seem to, though, and statistics reveal this fact. Just sayin'.....

CobaltGeorge
150910
Points
CobaltGeorge 08/20/12 - 07:31 am
7
0
oldfella

"BTW not all Southerners have a culture of shooting to resolve issues. Certain segments of the culture certainly seem to, though, and statistics reveal this fact."

That is as close to an accurate non-PC assessment to the problem as you can get. Very good oldfella.

seenitB4
81877
Points
seenitB4 08/20/12 - 07:37 am
4
1
Now read this carefully....slowly

The FBI’s 2010 Uniform Crime Report showed that 56 percent of aggravated assaults in Richmond County ended in someone being shot. The national average is 18 percent; in Georgia, 25 percent.

Let it sink in.....now if this doesn't call for a crackdown....you can't be helped....
The majority in Richmond county.....will have to band together & demand a crackdown...you can't let the bad guys win ...

CobaltGeorge
150910
Points
CobaltGeorge 08/20/12 - 07:39 am
3
0
oldfella

You live only about 5 miles from me. I would like to see more of you on here. I love your way of thinking. You have been with us for 4 years.

CobaltGeorge
150910
Points
CobaltGeorge 08/20/12 - 07:44 am
7
0
I Said It Before.

The three monkey attitude has to no longer exist before those statistics will ever change.

Riverman1
79697
Points
Riverman1 08/20/12 - 07:49 am
5
2
Come on you know Richmond

Come on you know Richmond County is perfectly safe. They only kill each other. Nothing for people to worry about at First Friday or anywhere downtown. Y'all know that..right?

I'm surprised by this statement: "Reese also said Augusta is part of a long corridor of illegal guns regularly moving up the East Coast. Weapons come to the South on boats and planes and make their way up the coast, especially to New York, he said."

Are most guns used by bad guys smuggled guns into this country? If so we must be doing a pretty good job of controlling who buys guns since that can be legally purchased almost anywhere in the country.

TessGar
4
Points
TessGar 08/20/12 - 07:49 am
2
2
Columbia County has 268

Columbia County has 268 aggravated assaults in 2010 all on their own- how many of those with guns??? The problem is not Just criminals, there is an awful lot of domestic disputes that end in gun fire.

Little Lamb
43990
Points
Little Lamb 08/20/12 - 07:51 am
2
5
The payoff paragraph needs to be put in context

From the story:

The FBI’s 2010 Uniform Crime Report showed that 56 percent of aggravated assaults in Richmond County ended in someone being shot. The national average is 18 percent; in Georgia, 25 percent.

The population density of Richmond County is higher than the population density of Georgia. Also, the population density of Georgia is higher than the population density of the United States.

It is entirely reasonable that the assault rate is higher where the population density is higher.

These statistics are within normal ranges; hence no corrective actions need be applied.

nocnoc
38708
Points
nocnoc 08/20/12 - 08:22 am
3
1
2007 vs. 2010

Looking at the data, I see the numbers of AGGRAVATED ASSAULTS rising as the economy was still tanking and declining as the economy was just starting to balance out.
2007 - 72%
2008 - 73%

2009 ?????

2010 - 56%
Sure wished they'd break down the numbers deeper... location, time, related crimes (drugs). But just use the AC Crime Map database and that is resolved quickly.

It is also nice to note that the 3 undercover operations where managed by Capt. Peebles, that helped reduce the number of STOLEN firearms on the streets.

itsanotherday1
40467
Points
itsanotherday1 08/20/12 - 08:26 am
1
0
LL, unless your tongue is in cheek....

Nevermind, you are too good with numbers so it has to be.

soapy_725
43555
Points
soapy_725 08/20/12 - 08:29 am
0
0
Gun violence or criminal violence with guns?
Unpublished

Guns do not commit crime or take the lives of humans. Evil minded humans with knives, swords, baseball bats, sticks, stones and their hands commit crime and kill humans.

pittypat21
165
Points
pittypat21 08/20/12 - 08:29 am
3
1
Perfectly Safe?

@Riverman1

"Come on you know Richmond County is perfectly safe. They only kill each other. Nothing for people to worry about at First Friday or anywhere downtown. Y'all know that..right?"

Perfectly safe? Seriously? Tell that to the lady who was robbed last thursday while her attacker had a gun directly to her head. Tell that to the guy in the wheel chair that was also attacked and robbed last thursday. And tell that to the 6 people that were shot from stray bullets at the First Friday in July. I could keep going. This place is anything but safe, and anybody can become a victim.

itsanotherday1
40467
Points
itsanotherday1 08/20/12 - 08:30 am
2
0
I repeat; make it a federal

I repeat; make it a federal offense to commit a crime with, or involving a gun, and make that sentence run consecutively with the crime committed. At some point, the pain isn't worth the gain. When I say involving, I mean illegal sale, theft, trafficking, etc.

revckd
8
Points
revckd 08/20/12 - 08:38 am
3
0
Really... there's a problem.

Really... there's a problem. Maybe if they would check to see how many of these also involved drugs or alcohol or both and then start connecting some dots...

I agree we need the Problem taken care of. But lets first identify the problem not put bandaids on symptoms.

Guns don't kill, People Do! Especially Drunk on Drugs.

M2CW

JRC2024
8082
Points
JRC2024 08/20/12 - 08:58 am
2
0
I agree with oldfella and

I agree with oldfella and Cobalt entirely. Got slapped yesterday so I will be milktoast from now on. Revckd also has a good idea to make it a federal crime to use a gun. When convicted they don't get out early.

seenitB4
81877
Points
seenitB4 08/20/12 - 08:59 am
4
2
pittypat

He didn't mean it....he knows there is a problem...honest..

zippy
234
Points
zippy 08/20/12 - 09:01 am
1
3
Are these statistics really

Are these statistics really accurate? The article compares aggravated assaults with and without guns with the conclusion that Richmond County has a higher percentage of someone actually getting shot. Some of this high rate is likely due to the way the crime is prosecuted by law enforcement. If my neighbor pulls a gun on me to tell me to stop parking my car on the street, this is aggravated assault. Conversely, if my neighbor comes over and punches me with his fist and breaks my cheek bone this is also an aggravated assault. Some law enforcement would likely treat these two situations very differently with neither being documented as a actual shooting. If some jurisdictions do not generate the aggravated assault warrants for cases without a gunshot injury, the stats will be skewed. That is my guess as to what is happening here. That guess is based in large part by the improbability of 153 actual shootings with only 37 official murders in 2010. That’s a lot of violent gunshot injuries that did not cause death. It is more likely that we generate the aggravated assault more often when there is a physical weapon (gun or otherwise) and actual injury and less often when it is just a fight, even though both could be an aggravated assault. That would give you a higher ratio of gunshot victims in a skewed accounting of overall aggravated assaults. Just my opinion

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 08/20/12 - 09:01 am
1
0
Guns off the Street

Chew's statement of getting all the illegal guns off the street will never happen.

I don't know what tide he is talking about turning, unless he is referring to the motorcycle gang bust they were talking about in the paper that was running drugs and guns. But it always seems to be someone there to pick up and take their place.

Too much money involved in all this.

pittypat21
165
Points
pittypat21 08/20/12 - 10:05 am
2
0
Shooting vs. Not a shooting

@Zippy, if no shot is fired, then of course its not going to be treated as an actual shooting. Because there was no actual shooting. Also, a shooting just means that a firearm was discharged. Not necessarily that anyone was hit - such as with the case of the woman that was attacked last thursday. Her attacker fired two shots into the air, and then robbed her at gun point. That would be an aggravated assault and a shooting. Not to mention that it is completely possible for someone to get shot without being killed. Look at First Friday in July. 6 people were shot, none of them killed.

And one last thing, and probably what the author of this article seems to be confused on, is that this table is showing the amount of aggravated assaults involving a firearm. It does not say "shootings". An aggravated assault with a firearm can be anything from the display, threat to use, or actual use of a firearm. So of the 153 aggravated assaults with a gun in 2010, not every one of those will necessarily have been a shooting.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/20/12 - 10:39 am
3
0
Comparing Uniform Crime
Unpublished

Comparing Uniform Crime Report data across jurisdictions is fraught with problems. It's often argued that it is a measure of what law enforcement is doing rather than what perpetrators are doing.
The numbers reflect what law enforcement responds to and how it classifies the offense for the UCR report which is not necessarily consistent with how an arrestee will charged by a prosecutor. And, finally, no entity polices the police on whether or not the numbers they submit are accurate or follow the operational definitions of the UCR. There are motivations to either inflate and deflate the numbers.

Riverman1
79697
Points
Riverman1 08/20/12 - 09:40 am
1
0
Scottie Peebles

"It is also nice to note that the 3 undercover operations where managed by Capt. Peebles, that helped reduce the number of STOLEN firearms on the streets."

I don't think if I were Scottie Peebles I'd want my name mentioned with this article.

dichotomy
30755
Points
dichotomy 08/20/12 - 09:49 am
3
0
Come on folks. Quit talking

Come on folks. Quit talking around the facts. If it was the "culture of the south" then the rate would be 56% for the entire state of GA, not just RC.

The fact is that the very high 56% rate of crime involving guns tracks squarely with RC demographics. And the GA statewide 25% figure tracks closely with the state demographic.

The problem may be "culture" related but it's a might more narrow than the "culture of the south".

seenitB4
81877
Points
seenitB4 08/20/12 - 10:01 am
2
1
Other counties

other counties in Ga with majority black population..
Georgia
Baker County (50.4%)
Burke County (51.0%)
Calhoun County (60.6%)
Clay County (60.5%)
Clayton County (51.6%)
DeKalb County (54.2%)
Dougherty County (60.1%)
Hancock County (77.8%)
Jefferson County (56.3%)
Macon County (59.5%)
Randolph County (59.5%)
Stewart County (61.5%)
Talbot County (61.6%)
Taliaferro County (60.3%)
Terrell County (60.7%)
Warren County (59.5%)
Washington County (53.2%)

macHT
14
Points
macHT 08/20/12 - 10:27 am
4
0
Gun violence more likely in Richmond County than in Georgia

This is what you get when you ignore the obvious! Ignore = afraid to confront/admit/describe

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3099
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/20/12 - 10:35 am
1
1
Let's send our law

Let's send our law enforcement officers out there and "community police" in the neighborhoods where all of these gun toting people who would rather shoot someone live ... that is EXACTLY what we need to do. I sure hope the "already set" budget for next year includes state of the art bullet proof vests for RCSO.

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 08/20/12 - 10:39 am
1
1
seenitb4.....you aren't

seenitb4.....you aren't allowed to post uncomfortable facts. People will call you a racist.

Riverman1
79697
Points
Riverman1 08/20/12 - 10:42 am
2
0
SeenIt, did you count the

SeenIt, did you count the Hispanics as white people?

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