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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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DMPerryJr
1698
Points
DMPerryJr 08/20/12 - 09:48 am
3
0
Book

Read "Culture of Honor". Interesting take on the white Southerner's propensity for extreme violence.

LLArms
470
Points
LLArms 08/20/12 - 09:51 am
2
0
I love the term "illegal

I love the term "illegal guns".

The only type of "illegal guns" are machine guns manufactured after 1981 (?) and or suppressors and SBRs without a "tax stamp".

"Illegal Guns" is like calling spoons "Fat Generating Devices".

I seriously doubt the guys down on the south side have any idea how/where to get a suppressor, what SBR stands for. It is possible that they have knowledge how to convert a semi-auto to a full auto as the sheep would crap a brick if they knew how easy it was.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/20/12 - 09:54 am
3
1
African Americans are
Unpublished

African Americans are disproportionately represented in crime statistics, both as victims and perpetrators. There's nothing racist or politically incorect about stating that fact. Black folks are also over-represented in poverty and unemployment statistics which, when controlling for socio-economic status, the effect of race on criminal offending virtually disappears. The causal link, however, is much more elusive.

Riverman1
90581
Points
Riverman1 08/20/12 - 09:56 am
2
0
Black folks had a tough time.

Black folks had a tough time. It wasn't that long ago when they were flat out discriminated against in every way from employment, education, government, socially and even with worship. It's going to take awhile to overcome all that.

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 08/20/12 - 09:58 am
2
0
palmetto....the problem is

palmetto....the problem is that MANY make the baseless claim that the reason for the statistics that you mention (plain facts) is that they are racially discriminated against.

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 08/20/12 - 09:59 am
2
1
You are right, riverman. It

You are right, riverman. It takes quite a while to get over things that didn't actually happen to you, personally.....or to anyone you know.....

Riverman1
90581
Points
Riverman1 08/20/12 - 10:11 am
2
0
AngieH, but if your parents

AngieH, but if your parents were poor and uneducated, you are affected.

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 08/20/12 - 10:17 am
4
0
Affected, but still no

Affected, but still no excuse. Far too many people have overcome that to accept that rationalization. People are still claiming that they have a disadvantage because their ancestors were slaves. How long does it have to be? Can the Jews demand retribution from Egypt? It's time for everyone to accept personal responsibility, and stop blaming everything on someone else.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/20/12 - 10:18 am
1
1
Angie: Yes, that is
Unpublished

Angie: Yes, that is certainly one explanation or a part of the explanation. Riverman is correct...the effects of intentional and blatant racism still linger today. And, today, it more in the form of "institutionalized racism," the type that is unintentional and not ususally defined as such....nonetheless, the effects are the same.

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 08/20/12 - 10:24 am
4
0
"institutionalized racism"?

"institutionalized racism"? You mean like affirmative action? Even though in the area I live, I am a racial minority, African Americans get preferential hiring and promotions due to the way the affirmative action policy is written.

Riverman1
90581
Points
Riverman1 08/20/12 - 10:24 am
6
0
This is one of those subjects

This is one of those subjects where I tick everyone off. Blacks still experience the effects of past discrimination and that's part of the reason for the high crime and so on. I'm not justifying it by any means and Angie is right to an extent that you have to take responsibility for your own life and behavior. The facts are blacks commit more crime and utilize government aid more. But I also realize how all this came about. Just accept the facts about our problems without blaming either race and move on to improve places like Richmond County is my admittedly rose colored glasses view.

seenitB4
93695
Points
seenitB4 08/20/12 - 10:33 am
3
1
Hmmmm

You can be poor & flat out broke....but taking a gun to rob is not an excuse for poverty.....yes jobs are needed in the black neighborhoods ...no ifs about that... but MANY on this board came from poor homes.....did they rob-steal-kill......no..
Rose colored glasses are nice sometimes.....countyman has them too....did yall get them at the same shop?? :)

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/20/12 - 10:33 am
1
1
angie....institutionalized
Unpublished

angie....institutionalized racism and affirmative action are certainly not the same thing. Funny thing about affirmative action, if there was one black female applicant and 100 white male applicants for a job and the black female got the job, all 99 of the white men would be claiming they weren't the right skin color and sex...regardless of the fact that 98 of them wouldn't have gotten the job no matter who was hired.

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 08/20/12 - 10:37 am
2
0
Explain how affirmative

Explain how affirmative action is NOT institutionalized racism if you are using someone's race as one of your determining factors for promotions and hiring? Let's not use hypothetical made up situations like the one you sited with 100 white men and one black female. Stick to verifiable facts.

seenitB4
93695
Points
seenitB4 08/20/12 - 10:38 am
3
1
angie

I have been called many things on here......:)

harley_52
25116
Points
harley_52 08/20/12 - 11:28 am
1
1
The Article Is...

...misleading and the comments by both Calvin Chew and William Reese are either naive, or agenda driven. The raw statistics are essentially meaningless without the presentation of additional data. Little Lamb and Dichotomy are both correct in their skepticism.

It makes for interesting discussion, but really proves nothing and could lead those who draw conclusions from sketchy data to form opinions and make statements that are based much more on emotions, than on facts.

One conclusion one might draw is that Richmond County's law enforcement infrastructure is worse than those of Georgia as a whole and worse than those of the United States in general.

Three cheers for Ronnie Strength.

countyman
21299
Points
countyman 08/20/12 - 12:09 pm
1
2
Seenitb4.... Can you explain

Seenitb4.... Can you explain how I have rose colored glasses?? I find it hilarious you think people who live off Riverwatch pkwy for example are now scared... This is a huge county with several different areas in terms of demographics..

The same few people can make all the sarcastic remarks they want, but it won't change the facts... The overall violent crime rate in Richmond County is still lower than the majority of it's peers...

The article is only saying the percentage of aggravated assaults were the highest in terms of guns. Compared to hitting somebody with an bat, stabbings, etc..

seenitB4
93695
Points
seenitB4 08/20/12 - 11:53 am
2
1
My answer countyman

rose-colored glasses

•metaphorical glasses which give one an overly optimistic perspective.

I will also add sometimes it comes in handy.....we actually need to be optimistic sometimes.......so I might want to borrow them at times...:)

I doubt I can wear RMs glasses...he has such a biiig head yaknow...haha.......(I hope he is laughing too)

countyman
21299
Points
countyman 08/20/12 - 12:00 pm
1
1
How is stating the facts

How is stating the facts considered overly optimistic? There's bad neighborhoods in RC, but the entire county statements are downright laughable...

Who is worrying about crime around Jimmie Dyess, Riverwatch Pkwy, etc??

cnoelg
21
Points
cnoelg 08/20/12 - 12:02 pm
2
1
Gun Violence in Richmond County

I have always said Augusta is a racist town. Looking at these comments just solidified it for me. Some of you should really be ashamed of yourselves...

Little Lamb
47965
Points
Little Lamb 08/20/12 - 12:06 pm
1
1
Riverwatch?

Countyman, can you explain just who lives off Riverwatch Parkway?

harley_52
25116
Points
harley_52 08/20/12 - 12:15 pm
4
0
"I have always said Augusta is a racist town."

I haven't "always said" it, but I reluctantly admit that I agree. In fact, I'm convinced the USA is a racist nation, though in neither case do I think the "racism" I see conforms to the Politically Correct version of "racism" you hear and read about.

countyman
21299
Points
countyman 08/20/12 - 12:17 pm
1
1
Little Lamb.. Alexander rd,

Little Lamb.. Alexander rd, Stevens Creek, and Furys Ferry are located off Riverwatch Pkwy.. Some of those residential areas run alongside Riverwatch Pkwy.....

I always find it interesting how the Augusta Chronicle simply refuses to print the stats on the surrounding counties.. But loves to print the articles on new restaurants, student population growth, retail(basically any positive stories)....

Another thing is the article doesn't separate pistol whippings from actually shootings.. It simply tell us the entire percentage of aggravated assaults including guns...

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 08/20/12 - 12:29 pm
1
1
Don't you just love how you

Don't you just love how you explain how affirmative action is a racist practice, and people just say "you are wrong", but can never explain why?

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 08/20/12 - 01:17 pm
4
0
I like Angie's comments. Life

I like Angie's comments. Life isn't fair and everyone doesn't come from the same beginnings, but we still have choices. No other place offers more opportunities to those who choose to work at improving their life than our country.

pittypat21
165
Points
pittypat21 08/20/12 - 01:21 pm
2
2
What??

My question is: How did race get into this discussion at all? This article doesn't mention race a single time, doesn't hint at it, or even suggest it. So why was it brought up?

As for Riverman1's comment: "Blacks still experience the effects of past discrimination and that's part of the reason for the high crime and so on.", I call bull. The only reason for high crime is because people think they can take what they want, when they want it, and believe that if they get into an argument they are justified in killing someone just because they disagree. Violence and crime aren't the product of racial discrimination, or anything else. If you look at homicide statistics from the 70s to the 2000s, you will find that the majority of homicides committed by black people were against other black people, and the majority of homicides committed by white people were against other white people.

Why does everyone always have to bring up race when race was never even part of the equation in the first place? The table ONLY lists figures for assaults and assaults with a gun. Not assaults by white people, assaults by black people, assaults by hispanics, or anything else.

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 08/20/12 - 01:34 pm
2
1
Pittypat....it was brought up

Pittypat....it was brought up because of how closely the crime rate mirrors racial demographics.

pittypat21
165
Points
pittypat21 08/20/12 - 01:39 pm
0
3
Mirroring?

Trying to take two completely different figures (percent of black people vs. white and aggravated assaults with/without a gun) is absurd. If they "mirror" each other, then does this mean that all the aggravated assaults with a gun were committed by black people, but white people didn't use a gun? Because that's what you are suggesting by stating that they "mirror" each other. Do you realize how ridiculous that argument is?

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 08/20/12 - 01:44 pm
3
1
So the fact that in areas

So the fact that in areas where there is a higher African American population, the gun violence is higher is meaningless? I'm simply telling you why the point was brought up.....the numbers match......it is up to you to draw a conclusion, but don't let PC think hinder you.

Riverman1
90581
Points
Riverman1 08/20/12 - 01:58 pm
3
1
Let's All Be Honest

To ignore the effects of legalize apartheid that we had in the South for a couple hundred years is myopic. Blacks were not hired for even factory jobs. They were under educated and discriminated against in many ways. This ended about 1970 officially although subtle segregation lasted much longer. Realize the effect of the parents as they were raised by parents who had gone through this same discrimination of the segregation era.

So where does that leave us? We have poorer blacks, with attitudes, under educated and likely to commit crimes. That's why the racial demographics of a city are so important. That's why I and many whites move to Columbia County. The fact is blacks commit the majority of the crime and why places like Richmond County that are predominantly black have so much crime. Both these major points are absolutely valid and it's not making excuses, simply reminding everyone of the history.

Can some blacks break the mold and take advantages of this country of fantastic opportunity as Willow says...Yes. But generally speaking blacks will be less educated and commit more crime because of the history of their people as a whole.

Do I have a solution? I like to throw out little things now and then such as mentoring programs and tech schools, but I really don't have a magic answer. It's going to take decades to erase the hundreds of years of discrimination.

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