Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The yeomanry of the country possess the lands, the weight of property, possess arms, and are too strong a body of men to be openly offended - and, therefore, it is urged, they will take care of themselves, that men who shall govern will not dare pay any disrespect to their opinions.”     Richard Henry Lee

April 26, 2007

More Guns Equals Less Crime

by Doug Mataconis

Robert Levy, a Cato Institute Senior Fellow who is co-lead counsel in Parker v. District of Columbia has a great piece in The American Spectator on the relationship between the availability of guns to law-abiding citizens and crime:

Here are the numbers, as summarized by legal scholar Don B. Kates: Over the 30-year period from 1974 to 2003, guns in circulation doubled, but murder rates declined by a third. On a state-by-state basis, a 1 percent increase in gun ownership correlates with a 4.1 percent lower rate of violent crime. Each year, approximately 460,000 gun crimes are committed in the United States. But guns are also used to ward off gun criminals. Estimates of defensive gun use range from 1.3 million to 2.5 million times per year — and usually the weapons are merely brandished, not fired. That means defensive uses occur about 3-to-5 times as often as violent gun crimes. Just as important, armed victims who resist gun criminals get injured less frequently than unarmed victims who submit. In more than 8 out of 10 cases where the victim pulls a gun, the criminal turns and flees, even if he’s armed. “So much for the quasi-religious faith that more guns mean more murder.”

Finally, two federal government agencies recently examined gun control laws and found no statistically significant evidence to support their effectiveness. In 2004, the National Academy of Sciences reviewed 253 journal articles, 99 books, and 43 government publications evaluating 80 gun-control measures. The researchers could not identify a single gun-control regulation that reduced violent crime, suicide, or accidents. A year earlier, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on an independent evaluation of firearms and ammunition bans, restrictions on acquisition, waiting periods, registration, licensing, child access prevention laws, and zero tolerance laws. Conclusion: none of the laws had a meaningful impact on gun violence.

An armed citizenry does not make for a more dangerous world, it makes for a safer one. It’s been used as a slogan for so long that it sounds trite, but it’s true……when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns.

What do you think would happen to the crime rate then ?

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