Between 1993 and 2013, gun ownership soared, but gun violence declined

This story is from CNS News. I think it’s important because this is one of those things that everyone thinks they know, yet the facts are completely different from what they think.

It says:

According to data retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control, there were 7 firearm-related homicides for every 100,000 Americans in 1993 (see light blue line in chart). By 2013 (most recent year available), the gun homicide rate had fallen by nearly 50 percent to only 3.6 homicides per 100,000 population.

Here’s the chart:

Gun ownership up, gun violence down
Gun ownership up, gun violence down

More: (links removed)

Based on data from a 2012 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report… the number of privately owned firearms in U.S. increased from about 185 million in 1993 to 357 million in 2013. Adjusted for the U.S. population, the number of guns per American increased from 0.93 per person in 1993 to 1.45 in 2013, which is a 56 percent increase in the number of guns per person that occurred during the same period when gun violence decreased by 49 percent (see new chart below). Of course, that significant correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation, but it’s logical to believe that those two trends are related. After all, armed citizens frequently prevent crimes from happening, including gun-related homicides, see hundreds of examples here of law-abiding gun owners defending themselves and their families and homes.

It turns out that criminals are rational – if they think that their victims are armed, then they won’t try anything. The only places left where they can go on a shooting spree are gun-free-zones.

Makes you wonder why the Obama administration is so interested in taking the guns of law-abiding people, doesn’t it? Well, when crime goes down, the government can’t meddle as much in our lives, with security cameras, searches, etc. They can only justify taking our freedom away when there is lots of crime. That’s one reason why we should be detering crime ourselves, and vote to keep that right of self-defense.

Learn about the issue

To find the about guns and self-defense, look in the academic literature. Here are two books I really like for that.

Both of those books make the case that permitting law-abiding citizens to own firearms for self-defense reduces rates of gun violence.

9 thoughts on “Between 1993 and 2013, gun ownership soared, but gun violence declined”

  1. What of the argument which states that untrained, unprepared armed citizens are more dangerous than helpful, making heavier regulations or a ban necessary? How do we, as people valuing and defending the second amendment, take into consideration the need for proper training? I can’t see it working as a government regulatory thing because that impinges upon the citizens’ right to defend itself from the government, should it become tyrannical. Thoughts, anyone, Wintery Knight?

    1. My first though for those arguing that untrained armed citizens are more dangerous than helpful is to ask how they know that. What evidence do they have that such is the case? Before we “solve” that problem, let’s make sure it’s a problem first.

      I think it’s obvious that trained armed citizens are more useful than untrained armed citizens. But it’s not immediately clear that untrained armed citizens is a worse situation than unarmed citizens. If anything, the evidence seems to suggest the opposite. Thus, the “problem” of untrained armed citizens appears to be largely imaginary – a creation of the left who wish to infringe upon the right to bear arms.

      Because it is certainly better for armed citizens to be trained than not, it may be useful for government to encourage firearms training through voucher programs or tax breaks. Government cannot mandate such training without placing an undue burden on the right to bear arms. But mere encouragement would not violate anyone’s rights.

      1. Thank you. I’ve been learning to let others shoulder their share of the burden of proof (Koukl, Turek, et al.), so your response jumps out at me as though saying, “why didn’t you think of this in the first place?” I appreciate your insights. One issue I can see is me not having the ability to shoulder my own burden of proof when it comes down to claims such as “Armed citizens lower violent crime.” Of course, this is left to my own research (much of which, it seems, can be done on this site).

        Thanks again!

        1. Yes, this site is very useful for finding evidence to back up any apologetics or conservative political issue you happen to be discussing. I use it all the time when debating various issues.

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