Skip to comments.Charts of the day: Gun violence in America declining over last 20 years
Posted on 12/26/2012 10:38:07 AM PST by SeekAndFind
I'll apologize in advance for not recalling who sent me the links to the National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics, both official government sites for crime-related data. Both have information which should be considered in the rush to legislate after the horrific mass murder in Newtown. The NIJ, using data from the BJS, charts the use of various weapons types in homicides over a 30-year period --- and clearly, the use of guns had a peak, but it dissipated almost 20 years ago:
Homicides committed with firearms peaked in 1993 at 17,075, after which the figure steadily fell, leveling off in 1999 at 10,117. Gun-related homicides have increased slightly each year since 2002.
Firearms play a significant role in homicides by circumstance, but the circumstances involved show that it’s rare for otherwise law-abiding citizens to be involved in a gun-related homicide. More than 90% of all gang-related homicides involve gun use, for instance, while the rate of felony homicides involving guns have risen to nearly 80%. The rate of firearm use in homicides from personal arguments has declined slightly over the last thirty years, even as gun sales have increased, showing that there is no causation or even correlation to support the idea that guns escalate arguments.
This chart, though, shows a dramatic change innonfatal firearm-related violent crime over the last 20 years — but in a surprising direction, given all the fury in the current debate:
Over the last 20 years, the firearm crime rate has dropped, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 6 victims per 1,000 residents in 1994 to 1.4 victims per 1,000 residents in 2009. The 1.4/1000 is the same rate as in 2004, the last year in which the “assault weapons” ban was in place. Part of this is from an overall decline in violent crime over the same period, but that doesn’t account for all of the improvement. Firearm crimes accounted for 11% of all violent crime in 1993 and 1994, but was 8% of all such crime in 2009.
This decline took place in an era where gun sales increased and carry permit laws were liberalized. It may assume too much to claim that that increased gun ownership and carrying caused the decline, but it’s clear that the correlation runs in that direction and not the opposite. So what, other than the grief over the senseless massacre of children in Newtown, drives the current push for gun confiscation and control? Glenn Reynolds has a thought about that:
2. Is Hate A Liberal Value? A 20-year-old lunatic stole some guns and killed people. Who’s to blame? According to a lot of our supposedly rational and tolerant opinion leaders, it’s . . . the NRA, a civil-rights organization whose only crime was to oppose laws banning guns. (Ironically, it wasn’t even successful in Connecticut, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.)
The hatred was intense. One Rhode Island professor issued a call — later deleted — for NRA head Wayne LaPierre’s “head on a stick.” People like author Joyce Carol Oates and actress Marg Helgenberger wished for NRA members to be shot. So did Texas Democratic Party official John Cobarruvias, who also called the NRA a “terrorist organization,” and Texas Republican congressman Louis Gohmert a “terror baby.”
Nor were reporters, who are supposed to be neutral, much better. As The Atlantic’sJeffrey Goldberg commented, “Reporters on my Twitter feed seem to hate the NRA more than anything else, ever. ”
Calling people murderers and wishing them to be shot sits oddly with claims to be against violence. The NRA — like the ACLU, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers or Planned Parenthood — exists to advocate policies its members want. It’s free speech. The group-hate directed at the NRA is ugly and says ugly things about those consumed by it.
This has unleashed a lot of ugliness, and most of it self-righteous and ignorant ugliness. Before we set off to infringe on the rights of tens of millions of Americans in an effort to prevent the unpreventable and demonize those who oppose that push, perhaps we should take a look at the data to see if it supports the assumption that we’re in the middle of an ever-increasing bloodbath. If not — and the data seems pretty clear about that — then perhaps the solution to preventing a few mentally/emotionally/spiritually twisted individuals from wreaking mass murder lies somewhere else than disarming everyone who abides by the law.
Violent crime down, firearm ownership and concealed carry expanded greatly. So liberals and socialist want more gun control and many firearms made illegal. I’ll never believe they are that stupid, they are trying to take advantage of any crisis to remove firearms, I believe the connection is the democrats and socialist who idolize the likes of chairman mao, stalin, castro , chavez and che. At least they don’t openly praise hitler although some of their islamic associates do. I wonder how many of them hope to see the day arrive when they too can emulate che and shoot someone, who’s hands are wired behind their backs, in the head?
More guns = more crime.
I agree that the impetus behind these laws is mostly political. Gun owners tend not to be friends of Democrats. And liberal and leftist folks are scared to death of armed citizens.
That day is closer than you think. 21 children were burned to death at Waco by the government. Yet only Newtown is considered horrific mass murder.
Ill never believe they are that stupid, they are trying to take advantage of any crisis to remove firearms...
Some self-proclaimed "liberals" actually are that stupid, but they, too, are carrion feeders who strive long and hard to turn horrific crimes into golden opportunities to enact so-called "gun control" laws.
Do they really hate guns that much? I'm sure not, or they'd advocate disarming the police, too. They hate the Second Amendment; even more, they hate all of us uppity commoners who dare assert the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Their motivations are anti-realistic beliefs, a pathological compulsion to control other people, fear, a craving to avenge themselves against normal people, and most powerful of all, blind hatred for America and ordinary Americans.
“Their motivations are anti-realistic beliefs, a pathological compulsion to control other people, fear, a craving to avenge themselves against normal people, and most powerful of all, blind hatred for America and ordinary Americans.”
Yes, I believe many of those who are trying to take away our Second Amendment rights are suffering from the same mental illnesses that the mass murderers have. I believe they want to eventually compete with stalin, hitler, chairman mao, etc. for the title of Mass Murderer of the Millenia. It’s about complete control.