Well, whattya know! Homicide rates have dropped in half over the last 20 years, while gun ownership soared. Excerpt:
The Pew Research Center reported last week that the murder rate was cut nearly in half from 7 per 100,000 in 1993 to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2013. Over the same period, overall gun deaths (including accidents and suicides) have fallen by one-third from 15.2 to 10.6 per 100,000.
In spite of this, Pew reports, the American public believes that homicides and gun deaths are increasing in the United States. Those who think violence is getting worse should probably watch less television and look around them instead. The murder rate in the US is currently similar to 1950s levels. So far this year, including the recent Oregon shooting (according to MassShootingTracker.com), 0.0000047% of Americans have been killed in mass shootings, that’s a rate of .0047 per 100,000.
Meanwhile, the number of privately owned guns (and gun commerce in general) in the United States has increased substantially in recent decades.
Now, (and once again,) it’s important to note that this is a supporting argument for Second Amendment activists. It’s useful information to counter the cries of “more guns make us less safe!” It’s also useful to counter the argument that strictly anti-gun areas like, oh, Chicago, still have high murder rates because guns move in from less restrictive areas – where, amazingly, the crime rates are lower, in spite of all those guns beaming their evil mind-altering murder rays at honor students and choir boys.
Why is this a supporting argument? Because the Second Amendment states very plainly that we have an individual right to keep and bear arms, and the Supreme Court has upheld that right, ending the discussion.
It’s also important to note that facts will slide off of hardcore hoplophobes like water off a duck’s back. But there are always people on the margin of every issue, people who can be persuaded, people who have not been exposed to the facts of a given issue.
That is where it’s useful to have information like this available; to destroy the would-be gun-grabbers arguments that the availability of guns somehow increases crime.