Gun Violence Down. Again.

A new report released this month by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) tells us what we already knew: gun control advocates are full of it.  Unfortunately, much of the population is buying what the anti-gunners are selling.  According to a recent Pew Research Center Survey, only 12% of Americans believe that gun crime is lower today than it was 20 years ago while nearly 60% believe it is higher.

Some of the highlights noted in the BJS report include:

  • Firearm-related homicides declined 39%, from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011.
  • Nonfatal firearm crimes declined 69%, from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 victimizations in 2011.
  • About 70% to 80% of firearm homicides and 90% of nonfatal firearm victimizations were committed with a handgun from 1993 to 2011.
  • From 1993 to 2010, males, blacks, and persons ages 18 to 24 had the highest rates of firearm homicide.
  • In 2007-11, less than 1% of victims in all nonfatal violent crimes reported using a firearm to defend themselves during the incident.
  • In 2004, among state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of offense, less than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show and 40% obtained their firearm from an illegal source.

These highlights seem a bit contradictory to the agendas that “mainstream” media and anti-rights zealots are foisting upon the ill-informed. Firearm-related murders are way down, yet “we need gun control now more than ever.” Victimizations involving firearms are way down, but “we need more control over who has firearms.” Most gun crimes involve handguns, but “we need to regulate ‘assault weapons.'” Nearly no firearms used in crimes come from private transfers at gun shows and flea markets, yet “we need to close the ‘gun show loophole.'”

And what about those who might tout their “look at the progress we’ve made with our gun control efforts?” Well, they might have had an effect but probably not the one they intended. They haven’t driven down gun crime by taking guns off the street; rather, they’ve caused concern over new firearms legislation that has resulted in massive surges in gun buying. NSSF adjusted historical numbers for NICS firearm purchase background checks show large increases over the last decade with significant spikes in 2008, 2011 and 2012 (11.3, 14.4 and 27.7 percent jumps over the previous year, respectively).  We’re already on track to shatter last year’s record of 13.8 million NICS background checks with 6.1 million checks through April 2013.

NSSF adjusted NICS background checks


Firearm Homicides











Note that while NICS background checks are performed when a firearm is transferred from a licensed firearm dealer, there is not a one-to-one relationship between background checks and new firearms in private hands for a number of reasons including denied or postponed background checks and multiple firearms per transaction.  While direct correlation or causality is not proven, the “more guns equals more crime” mantra of anti-gunners is hard to swallow given the raw data.

The recent defeat of several gun control measures is heartening and shows that support for gun control is tough to come by.  Hopefully it will be even tougher with a citizenry armed with information like that contained in government reports such as this and the FBI Uniform Crime Report.  While the facts, as usual, may be inconvenient for gun control proponents, don’t expect them to give up the fight to take away rights protected by the Second Amendment.  Continue to contact your representatives to oppose new gun control legislation, join pro-Second Amendment organizations, organize local grassroots action to support your rights and share information like this with your friends to create a well-informed populace.

Read the full DOJ BJS report here.



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