Firearms

Congressional Data on Declining Gun Homicide Rates in America

According to a Congressional Research Service report released on Nov. 14, 2012, the gun homicide rate in the United States dropped from 6.6 per 100,000 to 3.2 per 100,000 from 1993 to 2011. The number of accidental gun deaths dropped from 1,521 in 1993 to 554 in 2009. The number of firearms related homicides for juveniles dropped from 1,975 in 1993 to 887 in 2009. The number of accidental gun deaths for juveniles dropped from 392 in 1993 to 83 in 2009.

All this happening at the same time that the number of guns has increased, and the number of individuals licensed to carry concealed firearms has increased.

Of course, this does not mean the increase in guns and concealed weapons permits CAUSES a decline in the gun homicide rate. But those increases certainly do not seem to cause any increase in gun homicide rates. More guns do not equal more gun crime.

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2 thoughts on “Congressional Data on Declining Gun Homicide Rates in America

  1. Your ending statement is really not correct. While I agree it shows it’s likely, saying it’s certain is false. You can’t directly correlate cause with effect by looking at overall numbers. There can be many causes why the rates go down or up and to say it proves your starting premise is just completely false.

    It’s truly amazing the way gun fanatics will constantly cite stats then draw conclusions from them that simply are not supported by the facts.

    It’s also hard to explain to stupid people how to be rational and stop skewing things in their minds to support their own personal beliefs.

    How is this?

    For example, say we clean up a massive amount of crime ridden neighborhoods and get rid of 75% of the gun related deaths. Then, our crime rate massively drops because of this. To make bold claims that because it dropped, it proves that gun ownership didn’t cause more deaths is just completely ridiculous. I doubt you’re even intelligent enough to understand, though.

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  2. Josh – So much hostility in your post! Why? I am making a serious attempt to bring some factual data into the debate and you respond by questioning my intelligence?

    I tried to phrase the conclusion I drew from the data very carefully. I wrote: “Of course, this does not mean the increase in guns and concealed weapons permits CAUSES a decline in the gun homicide rate.” This acknowledges your point that there can be (and likely are) reasons for the decline in the gun homicide rate OTHER THAN the expanding number of guns and concealed carry permits in America.

    I also wrote, “But those increases [in the number of guns and concealed carry permits] certainly do not seem to cause any increase in gun homicide rates.” I think this is a fair statement and not “just completely ridiculous.” I see how the example you give relates to my first point. I don’t see how it relates to my second point. Obviously gun ownership (and here I would include people who legally and illegally possess firearms) is a prerequisite of a gun homicide. But the overwhelming majority of gun owners do not use their firearms to kill people. So, I don’t see the causal connection as being the number of guns in circulation. The causal connection is the possession of guns by people with the intent to kill other people. That seems to me to be a different problem than guns, per se, though.

    The reason I posted this particular data is because so many people seem to want to ban guns, per se, as a way of reducing the gun homicide rate. But this is not politically or legally likely, so we all do well to better understand the relationships between gun ownership, concealed carry rates, and gun homicides so we can figure out the best ways to address the problem. If you have better data that speaks to this issues, please bring it forward. I am all ears.

    Last, I’m sure you are intelligent enough to know that ad hominem attacks are weak forms of argumentation. If you would like to discuss this more civilly, you are welcome here.

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