More Guns Equals Less Crime

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.

Graphic from Pajamas Media

Graphic from Pajamas Media

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!

10 thoughts on “More Guns Equals Less Crime

  1. Can we get a consumer advocate to propose legislation for the protection of innocent people? Something like:

    Any entity that prohibits the lawful carry of concealed weapons on its property thereby assumes a duty to business invitees and guests to protect them from any harm that, but for the ban, they could have detered or defeated by the lawful use of a concealed weapon.

  2. “Correlation doesn’t equal causation, as such – but it’s a piece of evidence that can lead you to a cause.”

    Correlation is not proof of causation, but lack of correlation proves lack of causation.

    Increased gun ownership has resulted in decreased crime. That doesn’t prove that increased gun ownership causes the decrease in crime, but it pretty definitely proves that gun ownership does not cause an increase in crime.

  3. I’m trying to make sense of the clear indications that gun ownership DOES seem to correlate to reductions in crime………..and that it also seems to correlate to the highest per capita deaths by firearms (by country).

    It is a conundrum.

    As a supporter of gun carry rights, I’m looking for good arguments when this is raised.

  4. Good luck proving that.

    See John Lott, whose “More Guns, Less Crime” has now released its third edition…

  5. Mitch – are you going to go anywhere near that highest deaths per capita by firearms data?

  6. I’m trying to make sense of the clear indications that gun ownership DOES seem to correlate to reductions in crime………..and that it also seems to correlate to the highest per capita deaths by firearms (by country).

    It is a conundrum.

    Not particularly. Where guns aren’t available, men who commit suicide substitute other means, like jumping off of high places and ramming cars into stuff. Japan, for example, has a negligible gun ownership rate and more than twice the US’s suicide rate. The measurement of “gun deaths”, of course, includes suicide as well as both deliberate and unintentional homicide and that’s why the number is so fundamentally useless — it conflates both homicide and suicide by focusing on the means, not the intention.

Leave a Reply