2016: More Guns — and Less Violent Crime — Than Ever Before
Russ Chastain 12.15.16
It’s no secret, at least to those knowledgeable of facts and the real world, that guns do more good than harm, and that disarming good people will only allow them to be victims to criminals, who naturally will never give up their weapons. After all, criminals break laws for a living, so why would they obey gun laws? They won’t.
In a Crime Prevention Center paper dated July 2016, John R. Lott Jr. explores the growing number of Americans choosing to arm themselves on a daily basis–or at least obtaining the means to do so legally–and the relationship between that and violent crime.
Here’s the summary presented at the beginning of his paper:
During President Obama’s administration, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared to over 14.5 million – a 215% increase since 2007. Among the findings of our report:
– The increase in the number of concealed handgun permits last year set another record, increasing by 1.73 million. That is slightly greater than previous record of 1.69 million set the last year.
– 6.06% of the total adult population has a permit.
– In ten states, more than 10% of adults have concealed handgun permits. Indiana has the highest rate — 15%. South Dakota is close behind with 14.7%.
– Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas each have over a million residents who are active permit holders.
– In another 11 states, a permit is no longer required to carry in all or virtually all of the state. Thus the growth in permits does not provide a full picture of the overall increase in concealed carry.
– Between 2012 and 2016, in states that provide data by gender, the number of women with permits has increased twice as quickly as the number of men with permits.
– Some evidence suggests that permit-holding is increasing about 75% more quickly among minorities than among whites.
– Between 2007 and 2015, murder rates fell from 5.6 to 4.7 (preliminary estimate) per 100,000. This represents a 16% drop. Overall violent crime fell by 18 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of adults with permits has soared by 190%.
Let’s say that last part again:
Between 2007 and 2015, murder rates fell from 5.6 to 4.7 (preliminary estimate) per 100,000. This represents a 16% drop. Overall violent crime fell by 18 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of adults with permits has soared by 190%.
Another salient point is that, although we can probably say that most police officers are good and honest people (and some will add that officers are notoriously difficult to convict of a crime), folks who are licensed or permitted to carry concealed guns are apparently better and more honest:
Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding. In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at one-sixth the rate at which police officers are convicted.
Oh, and this past Black Friday was another record-setting day for NICS firearms background checks by folks buying guns. So this upwards trend in gun ownership and corresponding downward trend in violent crime is likely to continue.
This is good news for us, the good guys. And it’s bad news for crooks.
I like that.