While discussing firearms statistics and crime trends in the United States in a recent twitter exchange, I was amazed to find out how little most people know about crime in the United States and the related statistics.
You would think if someone is going to discuss, or argue, their side of the gun violence fallacy that they would research a little bit before making themselves look foolish. However, I have found that is not the case.
It is a given fact that in the United States gun purchases and gun ownership have been going up steadily since around 1998, when the national background records checks began and record keeping of those numbers was started. Only since the election in January of this year have background checks not exceeded the previous year. That may be attributed to the fact that many people buy firearms in a reactionary way, sometimes based on political outcomes. But let’s safely say that firearms ownership and firearms purchases have steadily increased over the years to record numbers of citizens lawfully owning and carrying firearms. See FBI documents “NICS Firearm Checks: Month/Year”
Now at the same time let’s look at violent crime in the United States and its trend has been on a steady downward slope since the 1993 record keeping began. In fact, The Pew Research Center, FactTank came out with a report in February of this year showing several different trends all of which were downward for violent crime United States. In addition, it is a given fact reported by the Department of Justice and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting that the murder rate or homicide rate in the United States has been on a steady decline over the last 20 years also. See;“5 facts about crime in the U.S.”
Now, to be clear, there has been no correlation made between the rising gun ownership or rise in number of firearms owned by lawful citizens and the decline of violent crime or the decline of homicide rate in the United States, but one does have to wonder is there some kind of a correlation between the two or is one a factor of the other?
I would love to see someone with more education and intelligence than I research and try to find if there is some type of correlation between these things. Does the fact that more Americans than ever before own firearms and are carrying firearms lawfully attribute to the decline in violent crime and/or the murder rate in the United States? One can only hope so and think that maybe while not the sole cause of the decline, it could at least be partially responsible for it.
As I have always said, it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.