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#162032 - 12/21/01 03:51 AM Gun Ownership at All-Time High
Onefoot Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 385
Loc: South East Arizona by the mex ...
Gun Ownership at All-Time High/Violent Crime at 22-Year Low

If anti-gun activists and anti-gun politicians share a common trait, it is their unwavering belief that gun ownership, and nothing else, automatically leads to crime. Cultural, economic, environmental, and policing factors--the things that sociologists, criminologists, and law enforcement professionals universally agree determine crime levels--are irrelevant, as far as anti-gunners are concerned.

The flaw in anti-gun thinking is starkly demonstrated by a confluence of two trends. Simply stated, while guns have been going "up," crime has been going "down."

The number of privately owned guns rises several million every year and is now at an all-time high. There are more of every kind of firearm today--big handguns, small handguns, semi-automatic handguns, semi-automatic rifles, and all the other kinds of guns that anti-gun groups and politicians single out in their various smear campaigns. There are more of every other kind of gun too. And there are more gun owners than ever before. First-time gun buyers, including people who used to support "gun control," are contributing to a significant increase in gun purchases following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The number of states that have Right to Carry laws is also at an all-time high--33, up from 10 states only 15 years ago. Today, 54% of the U.S. population, including 64% of handgun owners, live in Right-to-Carry states.

According to anti-gun thinking, crime should be rising by leaps and bounds. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The nation's violent crime rate (the number of crimes per 100,000 population) has declined every year since 1991 and is now at a 22-year low. And murder is at a 35-year low. (FBI, The trends include the following highlights:

Since 1991, the nation's violent crime rates have all decreased substantially. Total violent crime (the aggregate of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault), has decreased 33.2%; murder and non-negligent manslaughter has decreased 43.7%; rape has decreased 24.2%; robbery has decreased 46.9%; and aggravated assault has decreased 25.3%.

National violent crime rates in 2000 were the lowest in years. Total violent crime, the lowest since 1978; murder, the lowest since 1965; rape, the lowest since 1978; robbery, the lowest since 1968; and aggravated assault, the lowest since 1985.

Further demonstrating the irrelevance of "gun control" to crime rates, between 1991 (when violent crime started declining nationally) and 2000, states that had the greatest decreases in violent crime generally, and in murder in particular, included both those that have some of the nation's least restrictive gun laws (such as Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, and West Virginia) and those that have some of the most restrictive (such as California, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut).

In 2000, as in previous years, firearms were used in less than one-fourth of violent crimes. Most violent crimes were committed with hands and feet (32%), blunt objects and other weapons (28%), and knives (15%).

In 2000, states that had Right-to-Carry laws had lower violent crime rates on average, compared to the rest of the country. Their total violent crime rate was 21.9% lower, murder was 28.4% lower, robbery was 37.7% lower, and aggravated assault was 16.5% lower. (Rape, the violent crime least likely to involve firearms, was 0.8% higher.)

The only states that experienced increases in their murder rates between 1991 (when violent crime began declining) and 2000 were Rhode Island (16%), Nebraska (12%), Kansas (3%), and Minnesota (3%), all of which still do not have Right-to-Carry laws.
Throughout the 1990s, NRA strongly supported successful initiatives in a variety of states to increase prison sentences for violent offenders and reduce parole, and during the last several years encouraged Project Exile-type programs which throw the book at felons who illegally possess firearms. Several law enforcement related factors are cited by the FBI, in its 2000 annual crime report, as among the numerous factors "known to affect the volume and type of crime."

Though "gun control" is absent from the FBI's (and most everyone else's) list of reasons crime has decreased, it is at the top of anti-gun groups' list. In particular, the anti-gunners claim that crime is down because of the Brady Act and the federal "assault weapons" law. Reasons to reject that notion abound:

The Brady Act and "assault weapons" law were not imposed until 1994, three years after violent crime began decreasing nationally.

A study by sympathetic researchers found the Brady Act to have had no effect on homicide and suicide rates. (Jens Ludwig and Philip J. Cook, "Homicide and suicide rates associated with implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act," Journal of the American Medical Association, 8/2/00.) The Brady Act provision which has been in effect since Nov. 1998 is the "Instant Check," which anti-gun groups oppose. It is disingenuous for the groups to claim crime-fighting benefits for a law that they lobbied against when it was under consideration in Congress, and which they have called inadequate since its adoption.

A congressionally-mandated study for the National of Institute of Justice determined that the "assault weapons" law had no effect on crime because those firearms were never used in much crime in the first place (Urban Institute, "Impact Evaluation of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994," 3/13/97, overview at
The "assault weapons" law did not reduce the number of so-called "assault weapons" privately owned. It merely required that, after the law took effect, certain attachments be left off any such firearms subsequently manufactured. The differences between pre-law and post-law versions of affected firearms are of no consequence where the commission of a crime would be concerned. The number of both pre-law and post law rifles is greater today than ever before. Fortunately, this useless law, derived from anti-gun groups' opposition to ownership of firearms for defensive purposes and their need for a hot political "issue" to keep "gun control" on people's minds, expires on Sept. 13, 2004.

Posted: 12/20/2001

Kevin Bowler
Support NRA Vote Freedom First

#162033 - 12/21/01 08:37 AM Re: Gun Ownership at All-Time High
Tackdriver Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 2043
Loc: Tucson, AZ
All I can say about Nebraska is that we are just plagued by Kalifornia Cornhuskers. These are folks that failed to earn enough in California to live in a cardboard box, so they come here, where they can live like Kings on a quarter of what they made out there, and act, as if they have found a new religious movement, teaching us poor, ignorant, gun-totin, trap-settin, fun-loving simpletons how to live, rather than being grateful that our state's finacial and business base is such that they can live their dream.

I would like to see concealed carry here in Nebraska. I saw it work in Arizona when I was there. And while I was skeptical before, I am convinced now, after meeting the Arizona people and talking with them.
But I doubt that it will pass, as we have Omaha, to a much smaller extent Lincoln, VS. the rest.

Safety,Ethics, Accuracy, Velocity, Energy

#162034 - 12/21/01 11:36 AM Re: Gun Ownership at All-Time High
NASA Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 9179
Loc: 40.02N/105.25W
Tack, I feel your pain about those "Kalifornia Cornhuskers". We had to deal with them when they first came across the river pullin' a U-Haul about 2-3 years ago. That's about all the longer most of them newcomers last out here. When they finally decided they couldn't pull their own weight, they headed back, U-Haul in tow. It seems they stopped in for a visit with y'all, huh? I guess you folks get to entertain them for a while, now. CA used to be called the "welfare State". But with the huge influx of "visitors" from South of the border, there's nothing left in the pot for American citizens. And with the population of "non-contributors" nearing the halfway mark, there's nothing going back into the pot, either. NE must still have a healthy welfare program if they're coming to roost on YOUR porch, now. Good luck, buddy. Just don't send 'em back, OK?

[This message has been edited by NASA (edited 12-21-2001).]


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