Opponents of gun control are fond of pointing to federal crime statistics which show violent crime, including crimes committed by guns, declining in the United States over the last couple of decades despite states liberalizing gun control policies and Americans buying more guns.
But a new Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics has a report out which not only shows that crimes committed with guns has declined sharply over the last two decades, but also that the gun control schemes recently defeated in the Senate would have done little to address gun crime.
The report is devastating for the advocates of gun control.
First, the decline in crime:
Overall, the Justice Department report said, firearm-related homicides dropped from 18,253 homicides in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011, while nonfatal firearm crimes declined from 1.5 million in 1993 to 467,300 in 2011. The drop extended to schools: Homicides at schools declined from an average of 29 per year in the 1990s to an average of 20 per year in the 2000s.
That’s on-par with what we’ve seen from statistics gathered from the states by the federal government. But more intriguing still is just how little the gun control policies pushed for by the Obama administration and Democrats would have done to address gun crime:
Less than 1 percent of state prison inmates who possessed a gun when they committed their offense obtained the firearm at a gun show, the report said. Gun shows were central to the measure recently rejected in the Senate: It would have extended the current background-check requirement for firearms purchases from covering only sales at licensed dealerships to any sale that takes place at a gun show or was advertised in print or online.
About 40 percent of state prison inmates obtained their firearms from illegal sources such as theft or through a drug deal, the report said, while 37 percent got their guns from a family member or friend. Those findings are based on data from 2004.
The pro-gun control narrative goes something like this: We have more crime, and more violence, because we have more guns in our society. And yet, as state laws regulating concealed carry have been eased and as Americans have gone on a gun-buying binge what we’re seeing is decline in gun crimes.
The facts don’t match the narrative.