Brady 2004 Report Card versus crime rates

Following up on my post from last Thursday I created an Excel spread sheet with the Brady 2004 Report Card, the FBI 2003 Uniform Crime Reports, and the CDC reported suicide rates from 1990-1994.  I wish all the dates matched up better, but that was the best I could find with a modest amount of searching. The crime/suicide was expressed in terms of rates per 100K and the Brady grades were assigned a numerical value.  Then the correlation of the crime/suicide rates with the Brady Grades was computed.  The correlations I obtained were:

Violent Crime Murder Forcible Rape Robbery Assault Suicide
0.07 -0.12 -0.31 0.38 0.01 -0.63

The Violent Crime category is the total of the murders, forcible rapes, robberies, and assaults. 

Correlation is a number between 1.0 and -1.0.  A 1.0 would mean a perfect match between a good Brady Grade and the rate of crime/suicide occurring.  A 0.0 would mean there is no apparent connection, and a -1.0 would a perfect match between a good Brady Grade and the crime/suicide rate decreasing.  As you can see it appears that overall violent crime is unrelated to Brady Grades.  Robberies show a modest increase with a good Brady Grade, and rapes tend to decrease with a good Brady Grade.  Suicide rates show a fairly strong decrease with a good Brady Grade.

This is consistent with the recent National Academy of Sciences report.  From their news conference:

The literature on “right-to-carry” laws has obtained conflicting estimates of their effects on crime, despite the fact that data and methods used in these studies differ in only minor ways. Thirty-four states have enacted these laws, which allow qualified adults to carry concealed handguns. However, we found no credible evidence that such policies either decrease or increase violent crime.

And although research does show associations between gun availability and suicide with guns, that research does not show whether such associations reflect actual cause and effect.

What should I expect with three hours of research?  Nothing earth shaking here.  The Brady Campaign wants to restrict our freedoms but would be unable to promise any improvement in the violent crime rate.  On the other hand we can’t say the violent crime rate would go down if they would repeal the repressive gun laws either.

If you download the spreadsheet you might want to check my numbers.  Make sure I copied the crime rates correctly, did my calculations correctly, etc.  Let me know if you find mistakes.