Skip to comments.Gun Ownership at All-Time High, Nationís Murder Rate at Nearly All-Time Low
Posted on 03/19/2013 3:54:37 PM PDT by neverdem
The nations total violent crime rate hit an all-time high in 1991. Thereafter, it declined 18 of the next 20 years, 49 percent overall, to a 41-year low in 2011. That included a 52 percent decrease in the nations murder rate, to a 48-year low, nearly the lowest point in U.S. history. The FBI has preliminarily reported that in the first half of 2012, the murder rate dropped another 2.7 percent.1
Concurrently, gun ownership2 and the number of privately owned guns rose to all-time highs, the number of privately owned firearms in the U.S. rising by over 120 million, including about 55 million handguns, about 80 percent of which were semi-automatic.3 The 120 million new firearms included over 3.5 million AR-15 semi-automatic rifles and tens of millions of other firearms that gun control supporters call assault weapons,4 along with countless tens of millions of ammunition magazines that hold 11 or more rounds, which gun control supporters think are too large.5 In the three months following President Barack Obamas reelection and his announcement that gun control would be a central issue of his final term of office,6 the number of firearm-related background checks conducted through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System rose 53 percent, as compared to the same November-January period a year earlier.7
The trends stand in stark contrast to what gun control supporters have predicted over the years. Handguns are, of course, the type of firearm that gun control have always most wanted to be banned.8 In the 1970s, the Brady Campaign (then called National Council to Control Handguns) predicted: There are now 40 million handguns owned by private individuals in the United Statesabout one gun for every American family. At the present rate of proliferation, the number could build to 100 million by the year 2000 (which isnt as far off as you think). The consequences can be terrible to imagineunless something is done.9
In 1979, when Brady Campaign was known as Handgun Control, Inc., it updated its prediction, saying, Right now over 50 million HANDGUNS flood the houses and streets of our nation. . . . HANDGUN production and sales are out of control. . . . If we continue at this pace, we will have equipped ourselves with more than 100 million HANDGUNS by the turn of the century. One hundred million HANDGUNS. Will we be safer then?10 As the crime trends discussed indicate, the answer to the groups question appears to be yes.
In the late 1980s, realizing they had failed to get handguns banned, gun control supporters switched their gun-banning energies to semi-automatic rifles and other firearms they call assault weapons, using much the same rhetoric against those firearms as they had used previously against handguns.11
Less Gun Control: Over the last quarter-century, many federal, state and local gun control laws have been eliminated or made less restrictive. The federal assault weapon ban, upon which gun control supporters claimed public safety hinged, expired in 2004 and the murder rate has since dropped 10 percent. The federal handgun waiting period, for years the centerpiece of gun control supporters agenda, expired in 1998, in favor of the NRA-supported national Instant Check. Accordingly, some states have eliminated obsolete waiting periods and purchase permit requirements. There are now 41 Right-to-Carry states, an all-time high, up from 10 in 1987. All states have hunter protection laws, 48 have range protection laws, 48 prohibit local gun laws more restrictive than state law, 44 protect the right to arms in their constitutions, 33 have castle doctrine laws protecting the right to use guns in self-defense, and Congress and 33 states prohibit frivolous lawsuits against the firearm industry. Studies for Congress, the Congressional Research Service, the Library of Congress, the National Institutes of Justice, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found no evidence that gun control reduces crime.12 The FBI doesnt list gun control as one of the many factors that determine the type and level of crime from place to place.13
1. For years 1991-2010, see the FBI Uniform Crime Reports Section Data Tool. For 2011 and the first half of 2012, see FBI, Crime in the United States 2011 and preliminary 2012 reports, available on the FBIs Crime Statistics webpage. Note that the FBI reported a 1.7 percent decrease in the number of murders in the first half of 2012, as compared to the same period on 2011, implying a 2.7 percent increase in the murder per capita rate, given the approximately one percent increase in the population in the intervening year. For information on earlier murder rates, see Claude Fischer, A crime puzzle, The Public Intellectual, May 2, 2011.
2. Along with a rise n the U.S. population of roughly one percent annually, 47 percent of households reported gun ownership in 2011, the highest since 1993, Gallup, Self-Reported Gun Ownership in U.S. is Highest Since 1993.
3. See BATFE, Firearms Commerce in the United States: Annual Statistical Update 2012(PDF). One can estimate the number of manufactured and imported guns beyond 2010 by using the numbers of firearm-related background checks conducted through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), discussed above.
4. On January 24, 2013, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced Senate Bill 150, proposing to ban all detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles and all semi-automatic shotguns, based upon their having a characteristic that can function as a grip.
5. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) estimates that there were 50 million such magazines imported while the federal assault weapon and large magazine ban was imposed, between 1994-2004. (Schumer press release, Schumer Moves to Renew Federal Ban on Assault Weapons, May 8, 2003.)
6. Michael D. Shear, Obama Vows Fast Action ion New Push for Gun Control, New York Times, Dec. 19, 2012
8. In 1975, the National Council to Control Handguns (renamed Handgun Control, Inc., or HCI, in 1979 and now called the Brady Campaign) called for a ban on the manufacture, sale, and importation of all handguns and handgun ammunition. (Nelson T. Pete Shields, People Weekly, Oct. 20, 1975.) The group said Our battle is against handguns, which it called a national plague. (There is now a nationwide, full-time, professional organization to battle the gun lobby pamphlet, circa 1975.) In 1976, the groups chairman, Nelson T. Pete Shields, said, The first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunitionexcept for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectorstotally illegal. (Richard Harris, A Reporter At Large: Handguns, The New Yorker, July 26, 1976.) The group called handguns a national plague and said our battle is against handguns. (National Council to Control Handguns, There is now a nationwide, full-time, professional organization to battle the gun lobby pamphlet, circa 1975.) A few years later, the National Coalition to Ban Handguns said the primary function of a handgun is to kill a human being. . . . It is the concealable handgun that threatens and intimidates the citizens of this country. (Pamphlet, 20 Questions and Answers, circa 1981.) Then-San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein (later, U.S. Senate sponsor of the federal assault weapon ban of 1994-2004), said she was deeply committed to her proposal to ban the private possession of handguns in the city, even though she had carried a handgun for protection. (Ivan Sharpe, People With Guns, San Francisco Examiner, March 28, 1982.) In 1982, Handgun Control filed a brief in Quilici v. Morton Grove, in support of the Illinois towns handgun ban. In 2008, Brady Campaign filed a brief to the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, in support of Washington, D.C.s handgun ban.
9. NCCH, There is now a nationwide, full-time, professional organization to battle the gun lobby! pamphlet, no date, but circa 1975.
10. HCI pamphlet, By this time tomorrow, 24 Americans will be murdered, circa 1979 or 1980.
11. See www.GunBanFacts.com, history section.
12. Jeffrey A. Roth, Christopher S. Koper, Impact Evaluation of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994(PDF), Urban Institute, March 13, 1997; Reedy and Koper, Impact of handgun types of gun assault outcomes: a comparison of gun assaults involving semiautomatic pistols and revolvers, Injury Prevention, Sept. 2003; Christopher S. Koper, An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003(PDF), Report to the National Institute of Justice, June 2004; Wm. J. Krouse, Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Semiautomatic Assault Weapons Ban(PDF), 12/16/04; Library of Congress, Firearms Regulations in Various Foreign Countries, 5/98, LL98-3, 97-2010; Task Force on Community Preventive Service, First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 10/03/03; Natl. Research Council, Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review, Natl. Academies Press, 2005.
13. FBI, Crime in the United States 2011, Variables Affecting Crime.
On March 9 the NY Times ran an article spinning the idea that gun ownership was declining and had been doing so for 40 years!!!!
Maybe they had bad data? Or an agenda?
A related article was posted here on Free Republic at this link:
If some random person called you up and asked you if you had guns in the house, what would you say? That being said, look at the widespread and massive increase in the number of issued concealed carry permits across the country. Does that really look like a decline in gun ownership/interest?
I prefer to save my monthly ration of 10 free NY Times stories for viewing stories that are not obvious BS. Sometimes they really have good stories. Believe it or not.
Gun ownership = responsible citizen and safer community.
This is a simple equation proven time and time again that The left seem to have a great deal of trouble getting thou their heads.
Where the left strip lawful citizens of their right to keep and bare arms(such as schools) we predictably have massacres.
Why just look at the definition of massacre, it is where a group is killed and one side has near total control of the force. That is precisely what happens when you lock a killer into a school building with a butch of unarmed victims.
That is not even funny! That is the sickness suffered by the American left that leaves our children in this situation!
“If some random person called you up and asked you if you had guns in the house, what would you say?”
Upon reflection I think the best answer is Yes regardless of the truth.
I can just see criminals posing as pollsters to ask that question. Whereas if the government calls you can always deny it later. There is no law that forces you to tell the truth to a pollster.
My stock answer to that question is “I don’t talk about that. It would spoil the surprise.”
The poll suffers from two flaws:
1. Would any rational gun owner admit it publicly in this climate?
2. What is a household? If that changes demographically over time then you’re not comparing like to like. For instance if we have a large college age cohort moving through and they cannot have a gun on campus then that “household” would be gunless.
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