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Violent crime continues to plummet as gun ownership skyrockets

fbi crime report 2009No, silly. That isn’t how the Federal Bureau of Investigation would characterize the results of Crime in the United States 2009.

But they did note an across the board drop in violent crime, despite the dire economic circumstances we find ourselves in.

The common assumption held by many is that crime is motivated by economic desperation. As we are in a recession and the real unemployment rate is well over 15% once you factor in the under-employed and those who have simply stopped looking, falling crime rates come as a real shock.

And they have been significant declines.

  • Each of the violent crime categories decreased from 2008—murder (7.3 percent), robbery (8.0 percent), aggravated assault (4.2 percent), and forcible rape (2.6 percent).
  • During 2009, 43.9 percent of all property crimes in the U.S. were recorded in the South, with 22.7 percent in the West, 20.8 percent in the Midwest, and 12.6 percent in the Northeast.
  • Each of the property crime categories also dropped from 2008—motor vehicle theft (17.1 percent), larceny-theft (4.0 percent), and burglary (1.3 percent).
  • Among the 1,318,398 violent crimes were 15,241 murders; 88,097 forcible rapes; 408,217 robberies; and 806,843 aggravated assaults.
  • Among the 9,320,971 property crimes were an estimated 2,199,125 burglaries; 6,327,230 larceny-thefts; 794,616 thefts of motor vehicles; and 58,871 arsons.
  • During 2009, the South accounted for 42.5 percent of all violent crime in the nation, followed by the West (22.9 percent), the Midwest (19.6 percent), and the Northeast (15.0 percent).

This all occurred in the same year that Americans purchased 14 million firearms—more than the combined active armies of the top 21 countries in the world. We also purchased an estimated 14+ billion rounds of ammunition during that same time period. It is also worth remembering that these purchases were made during a year where gun rights were ascendant, and Americans could carry weapons in more areas as firearm owener’s rights continued to go mainstream.

It is fair to compare these two seemingly unrelated facts? You’re damn right it is.

These data explode the fallacy told by the media, anti-gun organizations, and a shrinking number of politicians that “more guns equals more crime.”

Update: Thank you to Instapundit and the National Association for Gun Rights for the links!

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24 Responses

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  1. Nick Reynolds says

    Criminals are afraid of citizens with guns . . . Imagine that.

  2. Politenessman says

    Why is it that the violent crime rate in the South is so high? What is the proportion of the nation's population subsumed under the category "the South'? Isn't the South an area of common gun ownership and right to carry?

    • Matthew says

      I think it is because of illegals in the south, they dont even normally use guns for there crimes or around here they dont

  3. Forrest says

    …but it doesn't fit the "accepted" politically correct narrative, so it must not be reported as our current nanny state says that guns are bad, just like trans-fats, salt, candy and soda. Remember, our "liberal" politicians are here to protect themselves, not you. You must be controlled for their own good.

  4. Donald Sensing says

    The South has the highest percentage of violent crime yet surely has the highest rate of gun ownership. I am as pro-gun rights as you will find, but this datum does not exactly reinforce your argument.

    Did you compare the crimes percentages of each region with it's share of the population? Is the South proportionally under- or over-represented?

  5. John Blake says

    There is an inviolable right to self-defense, regardless of the means employed. Since hand-held "projectile weapons" aka guns are most convenient and effective –"equalizers" as Sam Colt used to say– they will be the means-of-choice whereby frail widows take down charging line-backers during home invasions.

    In late Victorian and Edwardian England, particularly in London's festering slums, we note that the constabularies went unarmed but for batons while virtually every private citizen, male and female, carried a small pistol and knew how to use it. Armed robbery in those dear dead prewar days was virtually unknown; even burglars carried basically defensive implements. Only when State Officers aka police went armed with deadly force, while citizens were deprived of self-protection, did violent crime escalate over generations to common occurrences today.

    Arm the citizenry, disarm the cops: You'll be safer than ever, and every bullying thug in uniform who objects can join the Sanitation Department where he/she/it rightfully belongs.

  6. Robert says

    Bob, you can present liberals with all the facts you can, but it still won't work. They've closed their minds to the logic of our argument.

  7. H2SO4 says

    Stop spreading lies, you "bitter clinger" or we will have to re-educate you too.

  8. Andy says

    Wow please don't anyone tell me that gun ownership does not decrease crime….. I used to be in Law Enforcement . The reality is that though the code to is to serve and protect… it is more more serve and clean up the mess! So become armed, learn the safety features and liberty!

  9. Woodsman says

    Cue the leftist spin…

  10. Doug says

    The assumption that crime is economically based is incorrect. It is based on a combination of greed and the lack of a desire to work. A person who loses his job at the local GM factory is not going on a 4-state bank robbery spree.

  11. 335blues says

    Hey delaware, mike castle is anti-second amendment, pro gun control (he believes in confiscation of all privately owned firearms).

  12. Jeff P. says

    No, I don't think "more guns mean more crime" either. But I wonder about the effect of the increasing age of population. Isn't the stereotypical violent criminal a teenaged or twentysomething male? Have their numbers decreased? I don't know the answer.

  13. hutch1200 says

    Women, children, minorities safer now. Sharah Brady and Josh Sugarman hit hardest. Time to crank up the "Big Guns" rhetoric. Ammo=The new Gold Standard!

  14. T. young says

    More women out of work (recession/depression) = more moms at home to supervise boys and young men.

  15. Asst Village Idiot says

    Politenessman and Donald Sensing, those disparities extend back to colonial times, and even back into the regions of Great Britain that the various colonists came from. The crime rate in Glasgow and Belfast is still higher than East Anglia. The Maritimes, less than the rest of Canada. How violent a culture is seems to persist for a long time, and founder effect is powerful. The Scots-Irish who settled in Appalachia and settled the Southwest had higher crime rates in colonial times than those who came to more-settled New England. Where gun rights come in is in the percentage decrease or increase in crime from various policies. And more guns does seem to reduce crime, at least a bit in all regions. Certainly, it does not lead to increase. But the overall rate has a strong cultural component.

  16. Bohemond says

    And a second liberal fallacy exploded: poverty is nearing an all-time high, yet crime falls. Poverty causes crime? I think not. Try again, libs.

  17. andy says

    Really, do you have any regional comparisons? For example, in areas where gun ownership has increased, has violent crime gone down? Maybe the economy is so bad that even the criminals can't drum up enough money for ammo.

    The point is that correlation does not equal causality, and your broad generalization at the national level renders any analysis useless.

    Is it fair to compare the two facts? Yes, it is – if you have something else to support the correlation in favor of causality.

    Which, it seems, you do not.

  18. Ari Tai says

    Anyone have pointers to (validated) research that summarizes violent-crime statistics world-wide? Where validated means adjusted for differences in definition as well as normalized in some standard / disciplined way. (I'm reminded of how twisted the world-wide comparison of longetivity stats have become given the published numbers seldom factor out crime- and accident-caused deaths – deaths that have nothing to do with health-care).

  19. johnny blender says

    Hmmm… I wonder what they have more of in the South that may account for more crime, even though there are more guns there. I just can't for the life of me figure it out.

  20. John says

    I think that the added amount of people home and around towns due to not working has contributed to the lower crime rate as well. . A lot more eyes on the dirt balls who commit crimes helps to reduce the numbers. However, the amount of guns out there isn't hurting the stats either…:) God bless America and God pray for those who take without giving…

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Surprise, Surprise: Gun Ownership Reduces Crime | linked to this post on September 14, 2010

    [...] quote from The Gun Counter: The common assumption held by many is that crime is motivated by economic desperation. As we are [...]

  2. More Guns, Less Crime linked to this post on September 15, 2010

    [...] FBI’s 2009 national crime statistics are out, and big surprise, each of the violent crime categories decreased from 2008; murder (7.3 percent), robbery (8.0 [...]

  3. Random Nuclear Strikes » Who’d a thunk it? linked to this post on September 15, 2010

    [...] Violent crime continues to plummet as gun ownership skyrockets. [...]



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