By Greg Campbell
Gun control is a less-discussed issue these days compared to the mid-‘90’s. It was around this time that gun control hysteria swept the nation as it served as an electable quality for all leftist leaders to crusade against those evil man-killers. As they created further restrictions and instituted a federal assault weapons ban, we were all told that it was for our own good. After all, guns kill people and lead to increased crime rates.
It turns out that not only is that not true, but the exact opposite seems to be true. A recent study in Virginia has shown what lovers of the Second Amendment have known all along to be true: more guns in the hands of responsible citizens means less crime.
According to a recent study, courtesy of The Richmond Times- Dispatch, the total number of firearms purchased in Virginia increased 73 percent from 2006 to 2011. When state population increases are factored in, gun purchases per 100,000 Virginians rose 63 percent.
But the total number of gun-related violent crimes fell 24 percent over that period, and when adjusted for population, gun-related offenses dropped more than 27 percent, from 79 crimes per 100,000 in 2006 to 57 crimes in 2011.
The numbers appear to contradict a long-running popular narrative that more guns cause more violent crime, said Virginia Commonwealth University professor Thomas R. Baker, who compared Virginia crime data for those years with gun-dealer sales estimates obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
‘While there is a wealth of academic literature attempting to demonstrate the relationship between guns and crime, a very simple and intuitive demonstration of the numbers seems to point away from the premise that more guns leads to more crime, at least in Virginia,’ said Baker, who specializes in research methods and criminology theory and has an interest in gun issues.”
It makes sense. Guns are tools- nothing more, nothing less. Like a knife, a bat or any other lethal object, in the wrong hands, a gun is a life-taking tool. In the right hands, a gun is a life-preserving tool. A well-armed population gives the casual intruder or mugger pause to consider the victim’s ability to fight back.
While this makes sense to those that are not immune to logic, some disagree that there exists a correlation between a well-armed population and low crime stats.
“’I’m not surprised that it would appear that more guns is going along with less crime, because there’s been a downward trend in violent crime anyway,’ said Andrew Goddard, president of the Virginia Center for Public Safety.”
23 million Americans are out of work and police department budgets are stretched incredibly thin. Crime rates are trending downwards, but I certainly don’t believe that in these desperate times, they are trending downward due to any natural societal trend to abstain from lawlessness. It is far more likely that the would-be perpetrators of crimes are more afraid of being shot for their deeds.
Baker’s study isolated as many variables as possible. Because handguns are the weapons most often used in crimes, Baker, presuming that shotgun and rifle sales were artificially inflating the sales numbers when compared to crime numbers, also examined the relationship between handgun purchases and handgun-related crime. He found a similar trend.
The ‘90’s are over and the gun control hysteria has, largely, receded. We were told that without these harsh measures, the streets would run red with the blood of the innocent. However, many states have loosened their gun control measures, the assault weapons ban expired 8 years ago and manufacturers are selling more guns than ever before; and crime is down.
While we celebrate this win for logic today, prepare for the gun-grabbers’ return; perhaps sooner rather than later.