Studies: Gun Crime Rates Drop as Ownership Rises
May 29, 2013
More than a few anti-gunners are quick to pan the notion of "more guns, less crime." Without any basis, these folks will scream that more guns will just lead to more gun-related tragedies and mass shootings, as if every gun owner is a raving lunatic.
Two new surveys released in May, however, may lend a little more credence to the so-called "nonsense."
According to Examiner.com, a new study released by Pew Research — based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey and the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports — showed violent gun crimes had decreased dramatically since peaking in the 1990s while gun ownership steadily increased. According to the study, gun homicides declined by 49 percent from 1993 to 2010. Similarly, other violent crimes such as robberies, assaults and sex crimes had decreased by 75 percent in 2011 compared to 1993.
However, the survey also shows an alarming number of Americans believe gun crime is on the rise — about 56 percent, according to the study.
Similarly, an study by the Department of Justice also showed a decrease in gun crimes — though the numbers slightly differed, down 39 percent from 1993 while non-fatal violent crimes are down 69 percent.
In addition, the DOJ study included a 2004 survey of state prison inmates indicating a majority of the firearms used in their crimes were not purchased through some "gun show loophole" — 40 percent obtained firearms through an illegal source, 37 percent from a friend or family member, and 2 percent from a gun show or flea market.
So what does all this mean? First, it pokes a gaping hole in the argument that more guns will lead to more violence; as evidenced by the top law enforcement agencies in the country, there isn't a relationship between lawful gun ownership and violent crime, even as gun sales set record numbers as they did this past holiday season.
Second, these numbers not only indicate, but flat-out prove crime rates have dropped as gun ownership has risen, despite a population growth. Whether the decreased crime is because of increased gun ownership is unclear, but that's not the issue. When some talking head tries to say crime rates — especially gun crime rates — are higher now more than ever, you can point to actual government statistics to say no, they're not.
Finally, while some criminals did indeed purchase their weapons at trade shows, the perceived "gun show loophole" is hardly the rampant societal problem politicians believe it to be. Rather, the focus should be placed on how to prevent dangerous individuals from obtaining weapons they shouldn't have in the first place.
Once that becomes the government's top priority — rather than placing restrictions on law-abiding citizens — we'll see crime rates drop even lower than they have in the last 20 years.
How else have anti-gunners been misleading the public? Check out 10 need-to-know gun control myths.