More guns, less crime

Even with all the relaxed gun laws and the big gun buying spree that began in late 2008 it didn’t translate into increased crime rates. In fact it was just the opposite:

Murder and manslaughter dropped almost 4 percent last year, as reported crime overall fell around the country, according to new data released Monday by the FBI.

The 3.9 percent decline in killings reported to police was part of a nationwide drop in violent crime of 1.9 percent from 2007 to 2008. Rapes declined 1.6 percent, to the lowest national number in 20 years — about 89,000.

The statistics are based on crimes reported to police, who then forward the information to the FBI. There were 14,180 murder victims in the United States last year.

“What has been impressive has been how flat all the violent crime rates have been since 2000. To a large degree that’s still the case, but the striking change this year has been murder,” said Alfred Blumstein, a professor of criminal justice at Carnegie-Mellon University.

The figures show that crime has come way down since its peak in the early 1990’s.

This was in the presence of a huge economic downturn which usually is an indicator for increased crime rates. So either gun ownership isn’t positively correlated with crime (and in fact is negative associated with crime rates) or there is some other driving factor which observers don’t know about or want to talk about.

3 thoughts on “More guns, less crime

  1. Well, at least in terms of murder, that follows with the trend that has been going on since 1993 – why that year was the tipping point before the continual, steady drop in murders (along with a continual, steady increase in the number of firearms in America (which, granted, had started long before 1993)), I have no idea. But, as always, it is good to see another anti-rights myth be deflated, and by a three-letter-organization, at that.

  2. Well, one thing that happened at that time was the ’94 assault ban, all the attention it got, and the backlash that resulted among the gun-buying public. This is when people started buying guns like there was no tomorrow. Ask any dealer who was around at that time. And it wasn’t your great great grand pappy’s type of gun being purchased in large number– it was semi autos and larger capacity magazines. See my post from early this year; (a href=”http://blog.joehuffman.org/2009/01/26/yes-to-just-one-question/”>”Yes to Just One Question”.

    Though correlation is not causation, that is one thing that changed significantly at that time, and permanently. Americans fell in love with the EBR, and concealed carry was becoming more and more common. Before that, the NRA’s American Rifleman never showed an EBR on the cover (I remember writing them a letter complaining about that). Now the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the country, and most serious gunnies have at least tried an AK, or they own one or two. Shall Issue drives started becoming successful in state after state, starting about that time.

    So what the hell– I’ll say increased gun ownership is the reason crime is down (or it is at the least a significant factor). Prove me wrong.

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