General facts about guns and the Second Amendment, and the things the left and media get wrong about both.
The Numbers: Gun Crime Rates
- Gun Crime rates have fallen 50% in the past 20 years.
- Gun homicides, specifically, are off nearly 40% in that same time.
- Gun Crime has fallen the most – generally – in places with the most liberal gun laws.
- Gun Deaths including suicide are higher per capita in the sparsely-populated rural West – but murder is much higher in America’s cities.
- Although some one the left claim that gun violence (and violence in general) is higher in states that vote Republican, that’s misleading; crime, like politics, rarely breaks down neatly by states. Illinois, Michigan and Missouri are low-crime states that include exceptionally high-crime cities.
- If you leave out the crime rates of America’s 50 highest-crime cities, the nation’s crime rate drops by 40%.
- If you leave out the cities and the Deep South – where there is a cultural tradition of tolerance of violence pretty unique in the US – the US homicide and gun homicide rates are about equal to Minnesota, which currently has a crime rate about 1/3 the national average.
- According to a study in Milwaukee, the vast majority of murder victims have some sort of criminal record or another.
Fake But Inaccurate: Common Chanting Points
- “40% of guns are purchased without background checks” – No, they are not:
- “FactCheck.org”, no friend to shooters, says it’s between 1-4%
- “The Gun Show background check will deter criminals” – according to the Department of Justice, nearly 3/4 of criminals get their guns from friends, straw buyers, fellow criminals or family.
- A study in “Preventive Medicine” magazine had the same conclusion.
- “There’s an avalanche of crime with ‘assault weapons'” – Long arms of all types are used in about 5% of homicides per year; half of them are common shotguns. Nobody keeps track of how many “ugly black rifles” are used in crimes, but it’s a vanishingly tiny percentage of a minority of homicides.
- “Criminals can buy guns via the internet, same as ordering a video game” – No, they can’t. The rules are the same as buying from any gun store.
- “Most mass shootings don’t occur in gun free zones” – False. There have been a tiny number of mass shootings – three in the past decade – in places where citizens have a right to carry firearms.
Although it’s something of a historical artifact, there’s little reason to believe things have changed since David Kopel compiled this list of articles and studieson media bias on the gun issue.
- 41 states are “shall issue” (and Connecticut and Delaware, while legally “may issue”, are in practice “shall issue” states as well).
- Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, and Vermont are “Consitutional Carry” states; they have no restrictions on open or concealed carry for law-abiding citizens. Wyoming requires non-residents to have a valid permit in their home state.
- Arkansas,Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Oklahoma have fairly limited restrictions on concealed or open carry.
- Montana, Utah, South Carolina, and New Hampshire
- 12 states and the District of Columbia are “may issue” (note CT and DE, above). DC, New Jersey, Maryland and Hawaii, while legally “may issue”, are in practice “no issue”.
- Most US overseas possessions – Samoa, the Marianas, the Virgin Islands – are “no issue”, as are most US military bases.