Free Markets, Free People

The danger of guns. Dangerous, dangerous guns. Assault guns, even.

So, the Bureau of Justice Statistics has released their new report (PDF) on crimey, violency things. The key takeaway on homicide, is that it’s declined sharply over the last 20 years.

There were 11,101 firearm homicides in 2011, down by 39% from a high of 18,253 in 1993.


This actually understates the drop, however, because if you jump back to 1991, the FBI reports that there were 24,703 homicides that year. So, while homicides have declined by 39% from 1992, they’ve declined by 55% from 1991.

It’s not just homicide. In general gun crime is just…less.

Nonfatal firearm-related violent victimizations against persons age 12 or older declined 70%, from 1.5 million in 1993 to 456,500 in 2004. The number then fluctuated between about 400,000 to 600,000 through 2011.


So, despite the fact that we have more guns in private hands than at any other time in living memory, we simply aren’t using them against each other anywhere near as much as we were just 20 years ago.

Maybe part of that is the profusion of concealed carry laws. Maybe part is because of things like 3 strikes laws, where we just lock people up for a really long time, and we have really a lot of people in prison. But what is clear is that violent gun crime has dropped precipitously since 1991.

Dale Franks
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8 Responses to The danger of guns. Dangerous, dangerous guns. Assault guns, even.

  • Maybe we need a plot of the number of times that members of our government ignore the Cconstitution that they have sworn to preserve, protect and defend.
    I suspect the trend is in the opposite direction.

  • I saw a blurb somewhere this week indicating there were a million guns on back-order.
    There was a 6000% increase in background checks in Connecticut since Newtown, according to Bing News.
    And Gallup shows that Americans don’t really care much about gun laws OR “comprehensive immigration reform”.  Those are just important to people in DC…who are out of touch on many, many levels.

  • Huh, I don’t get it.  Why would the Cathedral foment a fear of guns?  Why would they lie to us?  What would they have to gain?


  • Crime is a factor of culture.

    Back in the ’70s and ’80s the gun banners argued that the difference between American and UK homicide rates were due to gun control. Anyone looking deep into the data knew it was cultural.

    I recall the homicide rates from the early to mid 80s based upon ethnicity: whites was 6/100k, hispanics 26/100k, blacks 34/100k and Japanese in America actually had a slightly lower rate then Japan. The English rate was about 4/100k IIRC.

    The UK experience since then has shown a steep rise in crime despite a total ban on handguns and semiauto rifles. Why? I think it is due to two factors: the decay of British culture due to socialism, coupled with the import of third world immigrants who fail to assimilate in part due to socialism.

    • Hey, you can go to jail for bopping down the street with your Rachel Ray santoku slicer.  You don’t need no steeenkin’ gun.

      • Not a problem, we’re putting in the knife ban with the pressure cooker background check law.

        • AND a provision suggested by the Font Union Local 374 to prevent people from creating their own fonts.  That could cause untold harm to internet webbing if they’re not proportional, 90% of the population is against people creating their own fonts.