With two significant court victories in the last four years in the Supreme Court, the Second Amendment has received renewed interest as fundmental civil liberty. Though the Obama Administration and some Democrats in Congress still want to curtail this basic right to appeal to core constituencies, new FBI statistics show that, even though gun ownership is on the rise, crime is down:
Gun-control advocates are noticeably silent when crime rates decline. Their multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts are designed to manufacture mass anxiety that every gun owner is a potential killer. The statistics show otherwise.
Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that violent crime decreased 4 percent in 2011. The number of murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults all went down, continuing a pattern.
“This is not a one-year anomaly, but a steady decline in the FBI’s violent-crime rates,” said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. “It would be disingenuous for anyone to not credit increased self-defense laws to account for this decline.”
Mr. Arulanandam pointed out that only a handful of states had concealed-carry programs 25 years ago, when the violent-crime rate peaked. Today, 41 states either allow carrying without a permit or have “shall issue” laws that make it easy for just about any noncriminal to get a permit. Illinois and Washington, D.C., are the only places that refuse to recognize the right to bear arms. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence did not respond to requests for comment.
If the gun grabbers were right, we’d be in the middle of a crime wave, considering how many guns are on the streets. “Firearms sales have increased substantially since right after the 2008 election,” said Bill Brassard, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents the $4 billion firearms and ammunition industry. “There was a leveling off in 2010, but now we’re seeing a surge again.”
The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) serves as one of the best indicators of gun sales because it counts each time someone buys a gun. Checks hit an all-time high of 16.5 million last year. In the first five months of this year, the numbers have gone up 10 percent over the same period last year as Americans rush to the gun store in case President Obama decides to exercise “more flexibility” in restricting guns in a second term.
Look at the District of Columbia, for example. After years of a high murder rate in a city that had essentially banned gun ownership, there was fear that District of Columbia v. Heller would lead to more violent crime. Not only has that not happened, but the number of murders is actually down.
Good luck getting Obama, Michael Bloomberg or any other anti-gun crusader to admit that more guns means less crime.