As Uncle Joe and all his supporters and managers scream more and more about violent crime, lets step back and look for a moment.
Back in September of 2020, a year ago, the FBI’s annual report confirmed what the Washington Examiner and even USA Today had verified earlier in the year: even as gun sales SOARED in the midst of the Pandemic Panic, crime rates have been dropping for decades in the US – and especially in the last few years. That report included data through 2019, but other sources showed that crime had dropped in the first months of the COVID-19 crisis.
In a few days, the FBI is scheduled to release 2020 data on crime. We already know (based on the assumption that the NICS data accurately shows gun purchases) data on gun sales right up through last month. (See the table from 1998 to August 2021 here.) In 2020, gun sales skyrocketed from just over 28 million in 2019 to just under 40 million. And already, we are just a half-million guns short of total sales in 2019, and monthly purchases of guns in 2021 were well over 2020 sales until just the last two months.
Does this mean that the anti-violence efforts of our wonderful Uncle Joe and his beloved minions are finally starting to work, after 8 months of untiring efforts to combat crime, lock up criminals, and prevent gun sales?
Please, don’t make me laugh. In fact, crime rates in the first six months of 2021 are significantly higher (according to the BBC) than they were in 2020. Even though far under the crime rates “enjoyed” in the Fifty States even as recently as the early 1990s.
Back in 2020, these were some key points:
- A record 423 million firearms were reported in civilian possession from 1986 to 2018, according to data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
- During the same period, 8.1 billion rounds of ammunition were said to have been possessed by American citizens.
- At the same time, the violent crime rate has dipped by 48.6%. Specifically, firearms-related accidents have gone down by 68%.
So, what about now?
According to some doom-mongers, crime is skyrocketing. And “we’re all gonna die.”
The various “progressives” and “liberals” and their ilk blame Trump, the vast increase in readily available guns (those 440-450 million I now estimate), and the insurrectionists and their backers (most of the GOP, every Libertarian, and probably 99% of “conservative Christians”) for this.
The “conservative” and “quasi-libertarian” talking heads (especially Glen Beck and Sean Hannity and Limbaugh’s replacements) blame Uncle Joe, the increasing lack of law enforcement (like California’s $1000 or less stolen = do nothing act), and the great uptick in border jumpers for this.
Frankly, I suspect that both groups are wrong. Increased violent crime is often a symptom of fear and a response to perceived collapse of society and its institutions. No one specific act (of Trump, Biden, Trumpistas, Never-Trumpers, etc.) can be identified as a cause. People do stupid, irrational things, in bad times. Fear and panic are always with us – something the Greeks recognized in their pagan deities (Phobos and Deimos: the gods of fear and panic).
Without more and more ordinary Americans being armed and more and more trained to protect themselves, their families, homes, businesses, and communities, I am certain that the rates of violent crime would be climbing even more.
AND – perhaps even more important – without the very healthy fear of armed citizens and billions of rounds of ammo available to us deplorables that politicians have? Even regressive “Democrat” and too many “RINO” politicians and their thugs? We would be seeing our freedoms vanish even more quickly.
I think that is a strong answer. YES, increased gun ownership DOES keep crime down. And will continue to do so.
I paraphrase: “A safe society is one in which the criminal and police do not know who is armed”..
Safe AND generally polite. On the part of both cops and the other criminal types.