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Do more firearms equal more homicides?

Do more firearms equal more homicides?


Do more firearms equal more homicides?

As expected, Democrats immediately began politicizing the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Quite a few of them even blamed Trump. Like clockwork, calls for more gun control have commenced. Democrats are even trying to pressure Mitch McConnell to cancel the Senate recess so they can vote on gun control.

In contrast to the widely embraced narrative, perpetuated by liberal politicians and the mainstream media, that gun violence in America is getting worse all the time, the data reveal that the exact opposite is true. According to data retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control, there were 7 firearm-related homicides for every 100,000 Americans in 1993 (see light blue line in chart). By 2013 (most recent year available), the gun homicide rate had fallen by nearly 50% to only 3.6 homicides per 100,000 population.

In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 — a total of 11,208 firearm homicides. The number of victims of crimes involving guns that did not result in death (such as robberies) declined even more precipitously, from 725 per 100,000 people in 1993 to 175 in 2013.

Older data suggests that gun violence might have been even more widespread previously. The rate of murder and manslaughter excluding negligence reached an apex in 1980, according to the FBI. That year, there were 10.8 willful killings per 100,000 people. Although not a perfect measure of the overall rate of gun violence, the decline in the rate of murder and manslaughter is suggestive: Two in three homicides these days are committed with guns.

This decline in gun violence is part of an overall decline in violent crime. According to the FBI’s data, the national rate of violent crime has decreased 49 percent since its apex in 1991. Even as a certain type of mass shooting is apparently becoming more frequent, America has become a much less violent place.

A possible reason for the decline in gun violence is the significant increase in the number of guns in America, illustrated above by the dark blue line in the chart.

The number of privately owned firearms in US increased from about 185 million in 1993 to 357 million in 2013. Adjusted for the US population, the number of guns per American increased from 0.93 per person in 1993 to 1.45 in 2013, which is a 56% increase in the number of guns per person that occurred during the same period when gun violence decreased by 49% (see new chart above). Of course, that significant correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation, but it’s logical to believe that those two trends are related. After all, armed citizens frequently prevent crimes from happening, including gun-related homicides, see hundreds of examples here of law-abiding gun owners defending themselves and their families and homes.

What about ‘mass shootings’?

The United States’ Congressional Research Service acknowledges that there is not a broadly accepted definition, and defines a “public mass shooting” as an event where someone selects four or more people indiscriminately and kills them. Based on that definition the Dayton shooting was the 20th in the nation so for this year.

So where did the 253 – 255 ‘mass shooting’ number come from that liberals are pushing in their gun control narrative? They are basing those numbers on a “single incident where four or more are injured” with a firearm. No death, or life-threatening injury has to have occurred in order to be included in that number. Although many politicians imply that deaths were involved.

Using data from Gun Violence Archive and the definition from the US Congressional Research Service there were less than 30 ‘mass shootings’ per year for the past five years:

2018 – 26
2017 – 24
2016 – 28
2015 – 27
2014 – 20

While obviously, zero would be the ideal number, there is no need for politicians to inflate the number of ‘mass shootings’ as they are currently doing. And restricting or confiscating firearms as some Democrat candidates are claiming they will do on their “first day in office” if elected does not equate to the data that clearly shows that increasing firearm ownership does not equate to an increase in homicides.

And before someone jumps in with “but Australia….” Australia had an estimated 3.3 million weapons in 1996 before the ban on semi-automatic weapons. After the ban, they had an estimated 2.5 million firearms. And in 2017 the estimated gun ownership in Australia had climbed to 3.6 million firearms. By comparison, in 2017 the United States had an estimated 39.3 million privately owned firearms.

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Contributed by Sean Walton of The Daily Sheeple.

Sean Walton is a researcher and journalist for The Daily Sheeple. Send tips to sean.walton@thedailysheeple.com.

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Sean Walton is a researcher and journalist for The Daily Sheeple. Send tips to sean.walton@thedailysheeple.com.

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