Firearm sales have been on a historic boom for the past five years.
Over that same time, violent crime and murder rates have been not only dropping, but the drop has accelerated:
Data from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation show that America has been on a firearms buying spree since the end of 2005. Meanwhile, the FBI recently released preliminary 2009 crime data indicating that violent crime has been dropping at an accelerating rate since the end of 2006.
Correlation doesn’t equal causation, as such – but it’s a piece of evidence that can lead you to a cause.
For example, the fact that the “Assault Weapon” ban sunsetted just before this drop in crime started might not be proof that “assault weapons” have next to no effect on crime rates – but it certainly indicates the sky didn’t fall when Grandma got to buy MP5Ks again.
Or the fact that Chicago, which utterly bans civilian guns, seems to be immune to the rest of the nation’s crime drop isn’t in and of itself evidence that gun bans kill people – but it’s evidence enough that you’d be dumb to rule it out as a conclusion.
Bring on McDonald!