About this time last year, we commented on the annual release of the FBI’s violent crime statistics, showing a continued significant decline in violent crime of all type. At the same time, other FBI statistics showed a steady increase in the number of guns sold each month.
Is this a coincidence, we wondered? Or do increased gun sales actually lead to a decrease in violent crime – quite the opposite of what the gun control crowd would have us believe.
Well, we now have another year of statistics, both for violent crime rates and for gun sales. And, guess what. The FBI reports that violent crimes are down another 4% in 2011 compared to 2010.
Interestingly, the biggest decreases in violent crime were in the areas where a stronger offender preys on a weaker victim – types of crime where a firearm can be most helpful to restoring a balance between attacker and attackee.
For example, rape, down 9% in non-metropolitan areas (probably also the areas with highest gun ownership), down 6.8% in metropolitan counties, and down in all other categories except one – large cities with populations of 500,000 – 999,999, which showed a slight increase (0.5%). Interestingly, these types of large cities are also the types of cities most likely to have the greatest restrictions on gun ownership.
At the same time that violent crime continues to decrease (and the decreases are even more significant when you consider that the population as a whole has increased), gun sales have continued their steady growth. As this table clearly shows, total pre-sale ‘NICS’ checks were 15% up in 2011 compared to 2010, and continue to be up so far in 2012 as well.
A 15% increase in gun sales, and a reduction in violent crime. And not just in 2011. But in the last almost 20 years, consistently, almost every year in a row. Violent crime rates are now down to the lowest point since 1970 – 41 years back.
Kinda makes you feel good, doesn’t it!