The Left is incessantly attempting to figure out new ways to take guns from law-abiding American citizens in the name of reducing gun crime. However, the facts clearly show that gun control only exacerbates violent crime. Here are seven facts proving this.
1. Washington, D.C.’s gun ban worsened the city’s homicide rate. As The Daily Wire has previously explained:
In 1976, D.C. implemented a law that banned citizens from owning guns, as only police officers were allowed to carry firearms. Those who already owned guns were allowed to keep them only if they were disassembled or trigger-locked. Trigger locks could only be removed if the owner received permission from the D.C. police, which was rare.
According to prosecutor Jeffrey Shapiro, the results were not good. Annual homicides rose from 188 in 1976 to 364 in 1988, and then increased even further to 454 in 1993. The gun ban was struck down by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, and homicides have steadily declined since then to 88 yearly murders in 2012. While Shapiro admits that there were other factors involved with the decline in homicides, lifting the gun ban clearly did not result in a rise in murders.
D.C. still has some of the strictest gun laws in the country and consequently is one of the most dangerous places in the country to live, but the facts clearly show that homicides in D.C. rose after the ban was implemented and then subsequently declined after the Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional.
2. The gun bans in Australia and Britain also didn’t work. Australia and Britain are both hailed by the Left as evidence that gun control works. However, the facts tell a different story.
Two studies – a 2007 British Journal of Criminology study and a 2008 University of Melbourne study – concluded that Australia’s temporary gun ban had no effect on the gun homicide rate. Crime Research Prevention Center president John Lott had similar findings.
“Prior to 1996, there was already a clear downward [trend] in firearm homicides, and this pattern continued after the buyback,” wrote Lott. “It is hence difficult to link the decline to the buyback.”
“Again, as with suicides, both non-firearm and firearm homicides fell by similar amounts,” Lott continued. “In fact, the trend in non-firearms homicides shows a much larger decline between the pre- and post-buyback periods. This suggests that crime has been falling for other reasons. Note that the change in homicides doesn’t follow the change in gun ownership – there is no increase in homicides as gun ownership gradually increased.”
In Britain’s case, the Crime Research Prevention Center found that after the gun ban was implemented, there was initially a severe increase in the homicide rate, followed by a gradual decline once Britain beefed up their police force. However, there has only been one year where the homicide rate was lower than it was pre-ban:
Additionally, there was an 89 percent spike in gun crime from 1998/1999 to 2008/2009, all of which occurred after the gun ban.
A closer look at the actual facts show that the Left’s favorite examples of Britain and Australia are actually examples of how gun control doesn’t work.
3. The vast majority of mass shootings occur in gun-free zones. The Crime Research Prevention Center determined that since 1950, nearly 99 percent of mass public shootings have occurred in gun-free zones. The terror attack in Orlando, FL and the shooting that murdered singer Christina Grimmie in June also took place in gun-free zones. The reason is obvious: deranged murderers want to be in a position to murder as many as possible, so they target areas where they’re least likely to find armed resistance, which happen to be gun-free zones.
As Lott points out, there are 320 million people in America but only 628,000 police officers, so it’s impossible for the police to protect everybody. That’s why it’s prudent for citizens to arm themselves.
4. According to Lott, there is a clear correlation between higher firearm ownership and reducing police killings. The conclusion he came to was that there is a 3.6 percent decrease in police killings for every percentage point increase in those owning a firearm. Naturally, the inverse was also true: Lott found that “from 2013 to 2015, the six states (plus the District of Columbia) that banned open carry actually experienced higher rates of police death (20.2 versus 17.3 per 100,000 officers).”
No wonder a recent National Association of Chiefs of Police survey found that 86.4 percent of 20,000 police chiefs and sheriffs support concealed carry and are overwhelmingly against further gun control. In light of the recent murders of cops, it has become even more important to have an armed citizenry.
5. There is also a correlation between fewer mass public shootings and higher gun ownership. According to Lott and the University of Chicago’s Bill Landes, between 1977 and 1999 “right-to-carry laws reduced both the frequency and the severity of mass public shootings; and to the extent to which mass shootings still occurred, they took place in those tiny areas in the states where permitted concealed handguns were not allowed.”
6. As the number of guns per person has increased, gun violence has declined. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control, which found that gun ownership increased by 56 percent, and yet gun violence declined by almost 50 percent between 1993 and 2003. If the premise of gun control zealots were correct, then wouldn’t gun violence have increased during that period of time?
7. The number of defensive gun uses are higher than the number of criminal firearm uses. There was a range of 500,000 to over 3 million defensive gun uses in 2013, according to research from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council published by the CDC. That same year, there were 11,208 firearm homicides and 414,562 nonfatal illegal gun uses, according to the CDC and National Justice Institute, respectively. Even when taking the low end of the defensive gun uses, it’s clear that there are more defensive gun uses than criminal gun uses by Americans.