Not only are violent crime rates at a modern low and going down, but only 323 homicides were committed by rifles in 2011. That includes hunting rifles, assault rifles, military style rifles, semi-automatic rifles and whatever label one comes up with, regardless of magazine or clip capacity.
In a nation of 311 million people, the odds of being killed by a rifle is about one homicide per million people, which is far less than the odds of being murdered by a blunt object. But we don’t hear the media arguing about regulating hammers and clubs. Again, when 99.7% of registered gun owners are law-abiding, gun control is not about guns, it’s about control.
Recently, the FBI released its Uniform Crime Reports statistics. The graphic below plots these violent crime rates against the growth of less-restrictive firearm carry rights over the period of 1986 through 2011.
Here is the progress in the growth of firearms carry rights from 1986 through 2011 as a percentage of the U.S. population. In 1986, 90% of the U.S. population lived in states that severely restricted carry rights or had none at all. Today, over two-thirds of Americans live in states with either shall-issue carry or constitutional carry laws. Shall-Issue Carry means the state issues conceal/carry permits; Constitutional Carry means the states constitution allows citizens to carry fire arms. For example – in the state of Virginia any citizen can carry a loaded firearm in view (such as a holster). However – to carry a concealed weapon, you must have a permit. My company has an office in downtown Richmond Virginia where a citizen recently walked in with a holstered gun on his hip. This is legal in Virginia.
The data used comes from three sources: the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, the U.S. Census, and www.gun-nuttery.com/rtc.php which tracked the changes in carry laws over time.
Violent crime is a complex issue, but national data is clear that there is no positive correlation between liberalized concealed carry laws and increased violent crime. In fact it is the opposite – the data shows a correlation between increases in issued carry permits and decreases in violent crime.
The “blood in the streets” or “Wild West” scenarios that many gun control advocates espouse are simply not playing out – period.
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