Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Do gun control laws cause crime rates to go down?

First, here’s a story from the Richmond Times-Dispatch regarding their new law relaxing restrictions on legal firearm ownership.

Excerpt:

Virginia’s bars and restaurants did not turn into shooting galleries as some had feared during the first year of a new state law that allows patrons with permits to carry concealed guns into alcohol-serving businesses, a Richmond Times-Dispatch analysis found.

The number of major crimes involving firearms at bars and restaurants statewide declined 5.2 percent from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, compared with the fiscal year before the law went into effect, according to crime data compiled by Virginia State Police at the newspaper’s request.

And overall, the crimes that occurred during the law’s first year were relatively minor, and few of the incidents appeared to involve gun owners with concealed-carry permits, the analysis found.

Columnist Don Surber adds:

So the gun crimes dropped and the gun crimes that they had were not by people with concealed gun permits but rather by outlaws.

In fact, the newspaper reported: “Only two fatal shootings occurred during the last fiscal year — one outside a Petersburg nightclub and the other at a Radford restaurant — but neither involved concealed-gun permit holders. And only two of the 18 aggravated assaults reported could be linked definitively to concealed-carry holders.”

Once again, our moral and intellectual superiors on the left are wrong.

But is that the normal outcome of relaxing gun control laws, or an anomaly? What do the government statistics show?

Even the leftist MSNBC agrees that legal gun ownership reduces crime.

Excerpt:

Americans overall are far less likely to be killed with a firearm than they were when it was much more difficult to obtain a concealed-weapons permit, according to statistics collected by the federal Centers for Disease Control. But researchers have not been able to establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

In the 1980s and ’90s, as the concealed-carry movement gained steam, Americans were killed by others with guns at the rate of about 5.66 per 100,000 population. In this decade, the rate has fallen to just over 4.07 per 100,000, a 28 percent drop. The decline follows a fivefold increase in the number of “shall-issue” and unrestricted concealed-carry states from 1986 to 2006.The highest gun homicide rate is in Washington, D.C., which has had the nation’s strictest gun-control laws for years and bans concealed carry: 20.50 deaths per 100,000 population, five times the general rate. The lowest rate, 1.12, is in Utah, which has such a liberal concealed weapons policy that most American adults can get a permit to carry a gun in Utah without even visiting the state.

The decline in gun homicides also comes as U.S. firearm sales are skyrocketing, according to federal background checks that are required for most gun sales. After holding stable at 8.5 to 9 million checks from 1999 to 2005, the FBI reported a surge to 10 million in 2006, 11 million in 2007, nearly 13 million in 2008 and more than 14 million last year, a 55 percent increase in just four years.

So even liberal MSNBC thinks that legal firearm ownership reduces crime rates.

Let’s learn about the issue from the news

ABC News explains in this short 6-minute clip:

And here is a longer 44-minute show from Fox Business: (featuring a debate between economist John Lott and the Brady Campaign spokesman)

The debate is about John Lott’s book “More Guns, Less Crime”, published by the University of Chicago Press. There are other debates in the show as well.

Now watch a 3-on-3 debate on gun control

This debate is in 13 parts, featuring the two of the best proponents of legal firearm ownership – John Lott and Gary Kleck. The real sparks fly during the Q&A, so don’t miss that. (If you can’t watch the debate, then you can read this post and this post instead).

Here’s part 1, which contains the introduction.

Here are the remaining speeches:

This is everything you need to know about whether legal ownership of firearms reduce crime.

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