After the horrific massacre in a Connecticut school, we heard over and over again about how violent crime is on the rise in the United States.
Such claims are false. In fact, murders are the lowest they have been in decades.
And in case our liberal lurkers think I am taking this information from some right-wing gun nut site, I would refer them to the source, which is, ahem, a left-wing site:
To quote from those gun-crazy left-wingers:
While the 50-year low for murder per 100,000 was in 1962 and 1963 with 4.6 per 100,000, those years were actually down a bit from the rest of the 1960s which ranged from 4.8 to 7.3. What was the 2010 number? – 4.8 per 100,000 – That’s a tie with 1961. Yes, you read that correctly. The murder rate, indexed to population was at a near 50-year low in 2010. Compare that to the worst year, 1980, when the rate was 10.2 per 100,000.
The source of this information is the FBI. In fact, the trend in violent crime continued in 2011.
How could this be? Don’t we all know that our “crazy gun culture” is making us less and less safe?
Well, in fact, there are more and more guns in the U.S. but less and less crime. In fact, the evidence shows that crime is lower when there are more guns:
John Lott: “Every place in the world that we have crime data, both before and after a gun ban has gone into effect, every single place has seen an increase in murders after the ban has been put in place. And many times it’s been a several-fold or more increase. And there’s a simple reason for that, and that is, when you ban guns, it’s basically the most-law-abiding citizens who turn in their guns, not the criminals. And rather than making it more difficult for criminals to commit crime, you actually make it easier.” http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/13946-china-school-knife-massacre-why-no-media-coverage
Please note: I am not saying the increase in guns is the only reason crime is down. The jury is still out on that issue. I am saying that the increase in guns has to be considered as one of the reasons that crime is down overall.
I am not against all weapons control. Current law makes it extremely difficult to get an automatic weapon, and I am OK with that. I don’t want people to own bazookas or RPGs.
I think a semi-automatic weapon on “assault weapons ban” would do absolutely no good. There is very little that could be done to overcome the existence of literally tens of million of semi-automatics in the U.S. Law-abiding people would follow the law, and criminals would not. People will still be able to kill with whatever guns are still legal, and crazy people would still find ways to get guns.
In fact, I am skeptical that new laws would do much at all to change the situation. We have been carrying out an expensive war on drugs for four decades now and drugs are even more prevalent than they were in 1972. I don’t think a “war on guns” would do much at all — except make politicians feel good because they “are doing something.” I would like to note that violent crime was at its peak during the periods of stronger guns laws in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. As those laws have been repealed, violent crime has gone down (again, cause and effect are problematic, but you cannot ignore the trend).
So, cheer up, everybody, the United States is getting safer, not more dangerous. You cannot ignore the evidence.