The Washington Post reports that gun crime has been on the decline for about 20 years, except for high-profile shootings in gun-free zones.
AWR Hawkins reports: On December 3, The Washington Post reported that gun crime has been on the decline for about 20 years, except for high-profile shootings in gun-free zones; WaPo claims those shootings are on the increase.
According to WaPo, “In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans. … By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 [per 100,000].”
Breitbart News previously pointed to this decline and explained it correlated with a massive increase in privately owned firearms over the same period of time. For example, Congressional Research Service showed that the number of privately owned firearms increased from 192 million in 1994 to 310 million in 2009. And record background checks under Obama make it easy to see how tens of millions more privately owned guns have found their way into Americans’ hands since 2009. Read the rest of this entry »
— Martin O’Malley (@MartinOMalley) December 2, 2015
A Gallup poll released on October 20 shows that a majority of Americans believe more concealed carry equals less crime.
AWR Hawkins reports: According to Gallup, 56 percent of Americans answered in the affirmative when asked if the U.S. would be safer if “more Americans were allowed to carry concealed weapons if they passed a criminal background check and training course.” 41 percent of respondents said more concealed carry would make the country less safe.
In a pattern that has become very familiar, support for more concealed carry was driven by Republicans and independents. Eighty-two percent of Republicans believe more concealed carry would make the U.S. safer and 56 percent of independents agree. But the majority of Democrats—67 percent—believe more concealed carry would make the U.S. less safe.
On October 21, Breitbart News reported a very similar breakdown by party in a CNN/ORC that looked at Americans’ overarching position on gun control. In that poll, 52 percent of Americans opposed more gun control, while 46 percent support the passage of more gun laws….(read more)
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sheriff John Hanlin informed the vice president he didn’t plan to enforce any laws he found unconstitutional. His deputies wouldn’t either.
Marisa Gerbe writes: “I think that’s the worst thing in the world that can happen,” said Kellim, 86, who runs KC’s Exchange gun shop out of her home.
The words “2nd Amendment” are pasted in a decal onto her front door and there’s a Rifle Range Street nearby. In Roseburg, deer antlers line people’s driveways and locals hardly notice the pop-pop-pop of gunfire from nearby shooting ranges.
“What I fear most, is that we’re going to create criminals … out of some of our most ordinary, normal, law-abiding citizens.”
“This is hunting territory,” Kellim said, smiling proudly. Her views about guns — and who should be able to buy them — didn’t change, she said, when a gunman shot and killed nine people and wounded at least nine others at Umpqua Community College not far from her home.
“Watch, listen, and keep an open mind.”
In Connecticut, state leaders called for stricter firearm laws after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
People in Tucson rallied behind then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who became a loud supporter of gun reform after surviving a 2011 shooting at a grocery store.
And when a 22-year-old man stabbed and shot several students in Santa Barbara County last year, one of the victims’ fathers, who grew up hunting, went on every national TV station that invited him and begged for stricter gun laws.
The tone in Roseburg is different.
An ex-girlfriend of a surviving victim scoffed at the idea of tightening gun laws, and Kendra Godon, an elementary education student who hid from the shooting in a nearby classroom, said she hoped her community’s tragedy wouldn’t get spun into the national debate about firearms.
“That’s not the issue,” she said.
John Hanlin, Douglas County’s sheriff and the public face of the community since the shooting, is also an outspoken critic of increasing gun control.
On his work biography, the broad-shouldered lawman who once attended Umpqua Community College lists three interests: fishing, riding his Harley and hunting.
When Vice President Joe Biden asked for stricter gun laws after the Newtown killings, Hanlin decided to speak up.
He wrote Biden a letter. Read the rest of this entry »
Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew.
Chapter 1: Overview
National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000.
Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.
Nearly all the decline in the firearm homicide rate took place in the 1990s; the downward trend stopped in 2001 and resumed slowly in 2007. The victimization rate for other gun crimes plunged in the 1990s, then declined more slowly from 2000 to 2008. The rate appears to be higher in 2011 compared with 2008, but the increase is not statistically significant. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall also dropped in the 1990s before declining more slowly from 2000 to 2010, then ticked up in 2011.
Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.
Looking back 50 years, the U.S. gun homicide rate began rising in the 1960s, surged in the 1970s, and hit peaks in 1980 and the early 1990s. (The number of homicides peaked in the early 1990s.) The plunge in homicides after that meant that firearm homicide rates inthe late 2000s were equal to those not seen since the early 1960s.The sharp decline in the U.S. gun homicide rate, combined with a slower decrease in the gun suicide
rate, means that gun suicides now account for six-in-ten firearms deaths, the highest share since at least 1981.
Trends for robberies followed a similar long-term trajectory as homicides (National Research Council, 2004), hitting a peak in the early 1990s before declining.
This report examines trends in firearm homicide, non-fatal violent gun crime victimization and non-fatal violent crime victimization overall since 1993. Its findings on firearm crime are based mainly on analysis of data from two federal agencies. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using information from death certificates, are the source of rates, counts and trends for all firearm deaths, homicide and suicide, unless otherwise specified. The Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, a household survey conducted by the Census Bureau, supplies annual estimates of non-fatal crime victimization, including those where firearms are used, regardless of whether the crimes were reported to police. Where relevant, this report also quotes from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (see text box at the end of this chapter and the Methodology appendix for more discussion about data sources).
Researchers have studied the decline in firearm crime and violent crime for many years, and though there are theories to explain the decline, there is no consensus among those who study the issue as to why it happened.
There also is debate about the extent of gun ownership in the U.S., although no disagreement that the U.S. has more civilian firearms, both total and per capita, than other nations. Compared with other developed nations, the U.S. has a higher homicide rate and higher rates of gun ownership, but not higher rates for all other crimes. (See Chapter 5 for more details.)
In the months since the mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school in December, the public is paying close attention to the topic of firearms; according to a recent Pew Research Center survey (Pew Research Center, April 2013) no story received more public attention from mid-March to early April than the debate over gun control. Reducing crime has moved up as a priority for the public in polling this year.
- Two Years After Newton, More Americans Support Gun Rights Over Gun Control (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- The White House Lies About Gun Violence . . . Again (nationalreview.com)
- New government report undercuts Obama antigun agenda (dailycaller.com)
- NO LONGER A SHOCK: As Americans Bought 170 Million Guns, Violent Crime Fell 51% (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
Mass shootings are a matter of great public interest and concern. They also are a relatively small share of shootings overall. According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics review, homicides that claimed at least three lives accounted for less than 1% of all homicide deaths from 1980 to 2008. These homicides, most of which are shootings, increased as a share of all homicides from 0.5% in 1980 to 0.8% in 2008, according to the bureau’s data. A Congressional Research Service report, using a definition of four deaths or more, counted 547 deaths from mass shootings in the U.S. from 1983 to 2012.
Looking at the larger topic of firearm deaths, there were 31,672 deaths from guns in the U.S. in 2010. Most (19,392) were suicides; the gun suicide rate has been higher than the gun homicide rate since at least 1981, and the gap is wider than it was in 1981.
Knowledge About Crime
Despite the attention to gun violence in recent months, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is markedly lower than it was two decades ago. A new Pew Research Center survey (March 14-17) found that 56% of Americans believe the number of crimes involving a gun is higher than it was 20 years ago; only 12% say it is lower and 26% say it stayed the same. (An additional 6% did not know or did not answer.)
Men (46%) are less likely than women (65%) to say long-term gun crime is up. Young adults, ages 18 to 29, are markedly less likely than other adults to say long-term crime is up—44% do, compared with more than half of other adults. Minority adults are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to say that long-term gun crime is up, 62% compared with 53%.
Asked about trends in the number of gun crimes “in recent years,” a plurality of 45% believe the number has gone up, 39% say it is about the same and 10% say it has gone down. (An additional 5% did not know or did not answer.) As with long-term crime, women (57%) are more likely than men (32%) to say that gun crime has increased in recent years. So are non-white adults (54%) compared with whites (41%). Adults ages 50 and older (51%) are more likely than those ages 18-49 (42%) to believe gun crime is up.
What is Behind the Crime Decline?
Researchers continue to debate the key factors behind changing crime rates, which is part of a larger discussion about the predictors of crime. There is consensus that demographics played some role: The outsized post-World War II baby boom, which produced a large number of people in the high-crime ages of 15 to 20 in the 1960s and 1970s, helped drive crime up in those years.
A review by the National Academy of Sciences of factors driving recent crime trends (Blumstein and Rosenfeld, 2008) cited a decline in rates in the early 1980s as the young boomers got older, then a flare-up by mid-decade in conjunction with a rising street market for crack cocaine, especially in big cities. It noted recruitment of a younger cohort of drug seller with greater willingness to use guns. By the early 1990s, crack markets withered in part because of lessened demand, and the vibrant national economy made it easier for even low-skilled young people to find jobs rather than get involved in crime.
At the same time, a rising number of people ages 30 and older were incarcerated, due in part to stricter laws, which helped restrain violence among this age group. It is less clear, researchers say, that innovative policing strategies and police crackdowns on use of guns by younger adults played a significant role in reducing crime.
Some researchers have proposed additional explanations as to why crime levels plunged so suddenly, including increased access to abortion and lessened exposure to lead. According to one hypothesis, legalization of abortion after the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision resulted in fewer unwanted births, and unwanted children have an increased risk of growing up to become criminals. Another theory links reduced crime to 1970s-era reductions in lead in gasoline; children’s exposure to lead causes brain damage that could be associated with violent behavior. The National Academy of Sciences review said it was unlikely that either played a major role, but researchers continue to explore both factors.
The plateau in national violent crime rates has raised interest in the topic of how local differences might influence crime levels and trends. Crime reductions took place across the country in the 1990s, but since 2000, patterns have varied more by metropolitan area or city.
One focus of interest is that gun ownership varies widely by region and locality. The National Academy of Sciences review of possible influences on crime trends said there is good evidence of a link between firearm ownership and firearm homicide at the local level; “the causal direction of this relationship remains in dispute, however, with some researchers maintaining that firearm violence elevates rates of gun ownership, but not the reverse.” Read the rest of this entry »
Bring It Back
LIFE Magazine, 1956
…The intended message, presumably, is: “We need to keep guns out of the hands of violent men with restraining orders.”
Does this ad succeed in conveying that message? Charles C. W. Cooke doesn’t think so.
“What the video ends up doing instead is demonstrating a) that people who are willing to abduct children and shoot women in the face are not likely to follow the laws (the victim already has a restraining order out against her assailant, which frankly doesn’t seem to be doing much); b) that the victim would have been better off with a gun in her hand than with a phone connected to the police department; and c) that, firearms being a great equalizer between men and women, any rules that make it difficult for potential victims to get hold of guns (and make no mistake: Everytown supports them all) put vulnerable people in danger…”
“There’s a reason I’m admitting to all of this. It’s a kind of public service.”
I received fair warning that this would happen. Even before we were married, my husband announced his general intention to own a gun. A year or so back he started researching the topic more earnestly, and then one afternoon there was a gun sitting on my kitchen table. It was unloaded, of course.
“The thing is, I don’t come from a gun-happy culture. Apart from my husband, I doubt any of my near relations have experience with firearms.”
We had extensive conversations about trigger locks and all the other safety measures. I know that the kids can’t get it, and are in fact far more likely to be injured by stairs or cleaning solutions or sporting equipment. Intuitively it still feels like a menace.
“Gun violence is not some mysterious malady that simply befalls us against our will, like a cancer or a natural disaster.”
The thing is, I don’t come from a gun-happy culture. Apart from my husband, I doubt any of my near relations have experience with firearms. Mind you, I was raised by conservatives, but Mormons trend towards a communitarian, good-government brand of conservatism. They’re rarely drawn to the more suspicious and individualistic culture of the N.R.A. If my parents had any gun-owning friends when I was growing up, I wasn’t aware.
Althouse: Did You Know Theres a “Corporate Consumption Complex” Conspiring to Make Us Think We Have a “Right” to Do Dangerous Things?Posted: February 27, 2014
That’s what Nicholas Freudenberg says in “Lethal But Legal: Corporations, Consumption, and Protecting Public Health,” and Mark Bittman is writing about it in the NYT today:
It sounds creepy; it is creepy. But it’s also plain to see. Yes, it’s unlikely there’s a cabal that sits down and asks, “How can we kill more kids tomorrow?” But Freudenberg details how six industries — food and beverage, tobacco, alcohol, firearms, pharmaceutical and automotive — use pretty much the same playbook to defend the sales of health-threatening products….
There is no “playbook.” It’s just as if there were a playbook, because the 6 industries are all doing the same thing, which is simply the obvious thing: They don’t put their promotional resources into reminding you
how their products could cause harm. Except to the extent that they do. I’ve seen liquor ads that tell you not to drink too much, and liquor ads don’t show people overindulging or even seeming tipsy. Ads for foods and drinks show slim models, which subliminally urges us to keep slim. Gun ads don’t scare us with the not-unknown news that these things could kill you, but gun companies promote gun safety — maybe not the gun safety policy some NYT readers prefer (i.e., no guns) — but safety features on guns and safe gun use. Car companies build safety features into their products and call attention to them in their ads.
But I notice the care Bittman took in the phrase “to defend the sales of health-threatening products.” The companies still want to sell their products, and if anyone threatens their sales, they go to an argument about the consumers’ role in choosing which products to buy, and that argument takes the form of “rights” talk:
All of these industries work hard to defend our “right” — to smoke, feed our children junk, carry handguns and so on — as matters of choice, freedom and responsibility. Their unified line is that anything that restricts those “rights” is un-American.
And that is the way we talk in America. We think we have rights, and we get stirred up when anyone seems to mobilize to take them away. It’s not surprising that successful marketers know what pitch works on us. There doesn’t need to be a playbook, but if you want to imagine an American playbook, that playbook is about freedom from constraints; it’s about personal autonomy over the choices that affect our lives and, especially, our bodies.
We reported on this last October, in an item from Doug Aamoth: This Is Probably the Best-Looking, Most High-Tech Gun Safe You’ll See, but it’s so cool, it’s worth another look…
The Daily Caller‘s Giuseppe Macri reports:
The Gun Box is quit possibly the safest way to store your gun while also being the fastest way to get it when the need arises.
At $279, the Gun Box is pretty moderately priced for what you get — a 4-millimeter thick aircraft-strength aluminum alloy casing that opens the lid on hydraulics after scanning a fingerprint, or radio frequency identification bracelet or ring…
Raquel Okyay writes: Women seeking to arm themselves and their daughters are figuring out that guns are not ‘taboo’ but a powerful means of protection.
The Second Amendment will stand or fall depending on the way women vote, he said. “Women make-up about 52% of the population and they vote with a mind of their own.”
Women and particularly women with children have been raised with an idea that guns are dangerous. Yet once women get over their initial fear of the firearm, they feel empowered by it, he said. “Women want to be armed and capable.”
It has been his experience that women who receive instruction quickly become comfortable with using firearms, he said. “They come into my class afraid of the gun, but 4 or 5 hours later they are on the line like a kid in a candy shop, blazing away, having a ball.”
If women are not encouraged to support firearms and instead rely on the stigma that guns are bad, they will vote against the Second Amendment and they will not be protected, said Coryell who is the owner and president of White Feather Press.
Colion Noir writes: Somewhere between screaming for gun control and then being called out for actually wanting gun confiscation, the anti-gunners decided to change the phrase “gun control” to “gun safety.” I wonder why they would do that. I mean, whether you call it 2G, 4G, or 9G, you’re still screwing me with the same slow ass Internet speeds, the same way anti-gunners are trying to force feed us the “gun safety” placebo.
All trained gun users learn that there are four rules of gun safety that will prevent any and all unintentional death, injury, or damage caused by improper possession, storage, or handling of firearms. They are:
One: Treat all guns as if they are always loaded.
Two: Never let point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy.
Three: Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target.
And finally, four: Know your target, and know what’s beyond it.
So, now that we’ve gone through the four Founding Fathers of gun safety, someone please tell me how a universal background check, assault weapons ban, or high capacity magazine ban has anything to do with the rules of gun safety?
Susan Breslin writes: Last Wednesday, I drove out to GAT Guns in East Dundee, Illinois, about an hour northwest of Chicago. Located down the street from Santa’s Village Azoosment Park (the day I drove by, beyond the over-sized candy cane-framed entrance, the park was still and silent) and next door to Club Premier (the flashing digital sign in front of which offered the rental space to those with upcoming banquets, quinceañeras, sweet sixteens, birthdays, and weddings), this is not your average gun store. The massive building, which used to house a restaurant with a speakeasy theme, contains a sprawling, 65,000-square-foot firearms superstore, making it one of the country’s biggest. GAT — an acronym for guns, ammo, training — draws customers with 20,000 square feet of retail space devoted to all things gun-related and 63 shooting ranges. This spring, GAT completed an $8 million renovation and expansion. And why not? Business is booming.
I’d come to learn how to shoot a gun. Inside, my teacher, TD Roe, greeted me, and we headed upstairs. Roe, 48, is a champion competitive shooter and firearms instructor. At 13, Roe and her sister, then 18, were attacked by a stranger. The man hit her sister, and Roe, a self-described tomboy, picked up a tree branch and struck the attacker. When her sister fled, the attacker turned to Roe. A homeowner came out with a shotgun, and the man fled. Seven years ago, she started shooting in competition and winning. Today, she co-runs Excel Training Group with business partner Bill Zeller, 61. The recession had negatively impacted her income as a high-end caterer and his income as a remodeling contractor. They thought teaching people how to use guns would be a sideline business, providing supplementary income. Now, Roe says, “It’s my full-time job.” Read the rest of this entry »
A Hayward, Calif., elementary school principal is making an afternoon game of cops-and-robbers considerably more difficult:
An elementary school will hold a toy gun exchange Saturday, offering students a book and a chance to win a bicycle if they turn in their play weapons.
Strobridge Elementary Principal Charles Hill maintains that children who play with toy guns may not take real guns seriously.
“Playing with toy guns, saying ‘I’m going to shoot you,’ desensitizes them, so as they get older, it’s easier for them to use a real gun,” Hill said.
If Hill’s implicit conviction that a child cannot learn to distinguish between a real gun and, say, this, is true, then we have a lot bigger problems than some after-school cowboys-versus-Indians.