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More guns, fewer murders

Posted by Richard on December 23, 2009

The Second Amendment Foundation noted that the murder rate declined in the first half of 2009, while gun sales were at record levels:

The FBI released data Monday that shows murders dropped by 10 percent from the same period in 2008. Meanwhile, according to data released by the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) shows that during the first six months of this year, gun sales were up. January 2009 background checks rose 28.8 percent over the same month in 2008, February's NICS checks were up 23.3 percent and in March they were up 29.9 percent over March 2008. The trend continued in April, with NICS checks up 30.3 percent, while May showed a slowdown, up only 15.5 percent, and in June they were up 18.1 percent.

"What this shows," said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, "is that gun prohibitionists are all wrong when they argue that more guns result in more crime. Firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens are no threat to anyone. Perhaps violent criminals were actually discouraged by all of those gun sales earlier this year, because the media made a point of reporting the booming gun market.

"Anti-gunners," he continued, "have lost another one of their baseless arguments. Millions of Americans bought guns during the first six months of this year, many of them for the first time. Yet with all of those new guns in circulation, coupled with an increased demand for concealed carry licenses around the country, the streets have not been awash in blood, as gun banners repeatedly predict.

"Hard facts trump hot air," Gottlieb concluded. "These people are consistently wrong about our rights. Millions of people bought guns, especially semiautomatic sport-utility rifles that gun grabbers want to ban because they say people aren't safe with all of those guns in private hands. Well, the people disagree, and so does the data."

Correlation is not causation — thus one can't assume that the homicide rate will drop 10% for every 20-25% increase in gun sales. But there's a growing body of circumstantial evidence that more guns equals less crime. At the least, we have decades of data disproving the gun banners' fear-mongering about Wild West shootouts and streets awash in blood.

A century of criminological research refutes the notion that murders are committed by "previously law-abiding citizens" who just "snapped" while (or because) they happened to have a gun handy. An overwhelming majority of killers have extensive prior histories of violence and crime. Murderers are aberrant — predatory and/or insane.

Fortunately, violent predators and madmen are fairly scarce. But should you run afoul of one, a gun can protect you when seconds count and the police are minutes away.

"I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy."

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