(February 02, 2016)
After peaking in the 1980s and early 1990s, crime has plummeted in the United States. The rates of forcible rape, murder, violent crime, property crime, and aggravated assault are currently as low as they were in the 1960s.Some studies have suggested strongly that this reduction in crime can be directly tied to the increase in the number of states which allow concealed carry (and often "open carry" ... where firearms are NOT concealed but in open view ... predominately in holsters) by private citizens.
("Correlation does not imply causation", but the author of this article uses the word "relationship" in the discussion. Based on that synchronicity, it seems reasonable to suggest that some 'relationship' exists between the statistics on violent crime and the increased presence of 'carried' firearms.)
While these statistics demonstrate that Americans are about as safe from crime as they have been in over a half-century, there is a particularly horrendous type of crime that has been alarmingly on the uptick: public mass shootings. In places like San Bernadino, California, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Roseburg, Oregon, Charleston, South Carolina, and Newtown, Connecticut, innocents have been mercilessly gunned down in great numbers.However, other studies , such as the Texas A&M study reported here dispute that assumption:
According to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, crime, and specifically violent crime, has been decreasing nationally since 1993, with a similar decline in other Western nations. Some commentators claim the decline in the United States is attributed to the increase in concealed carry legislation. But criminologists point to a variety of factors that have lead to the drop in crime, including changes in policing, punishment, crime prevention technology and socio-economic factors.The Texas Tribune article, quoting state Rep. Garnet Coleman, a Houston Democrat who chairs the House County Affairs Committee, which tackles criminal justice issues asserts that:
It’s also unlikely that a concealed handgun license holder would be in the right place at the right time to stop a crime, Coleman said.That statement seems a little disingenuous. The purpose of undergoing a background check to acquire a concealed carry permit is specifically to catch criminals ... who don't want to apply for a license to do the illegal actions for which they need guns. ("Circular Reasoning" is a difficult concept to explain.)
As to the "unlikely" probability that a CHL holder "would 'be in the right place at the right time" is disproved daily in news reports. For example, John Lott recently described four crimes stopped by civilian handgun carriers in one week in December, 2915.
And in April of 2015, Lott (author of "More Guns, Less Crime") published an article titled:
(Please follow the links from that starting point ... there is a lot of information, including links to published articles.)
This is all background, presented to establish the statistical evidence that firearms ownership DOES have a positive effect on crime prevention, and introducing another opinion on the question whether (civilian) concealed carry provides another approach to crime prevention.
There have been studies which call this the "NRA Myth"; and this introduces the question whether the availability of guns provides more crime than it prevents; specifically in the area of:
"public mass shootings".
Here's the latest example.
New Texas study busts NRA Myths: Concealed Carry Doesn't Reduce Crime, Guns Increase Crime
While these statistics demonstrate that Americans are about as safe from crime as they have been in over a half-century, there is a particularly horrendous type of crime that has been alarmingly on the uptick: public mass shootings. In places like San Bernadino, California, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Roseburg, Oregon, Charleston, South Carolina, and Newtown, Connecticut, innocents have been mercilessly gunned down in great numbers.
Calls to reduce the availability of guns have followed in the wake of these tragic events. But yet to be determined empirically is whether or not gun ownership is even correlated to public mass shootings. Adam Lankford, an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at University of Alabama, addresses that question with forthcoming research in the journal Violence and Victims.
HISTORY of American Mass Shootings:As distasteful as the subject is, we'll cite the Gun Violence Archive on Mass Shootings for background purposes. Remember that ...
These things have been going on for YEARS, all over the country.
It has become a fad; the fad of sociopaths. Lord knows we have our share of them, and when they don't use guns they use bombs, gasoline, knives, hammers, rocks ... axes (remember "Lizzy Borden"?When guns aren't immediately available, or too difficult to acquire, then other methods will be used by the nut cases who seek fame through massacre.
BOTTOM LINE: History of International Homicides
Going back to the question of whether guns increase crime, here's a link to a list of homicides (which somewhat filters out 'death in war', although some homicides may be perpetrated by the host countries upon their citizens ... which is a subject for another analysis entirely):
You will notice that (a) the United States seems to be a fairly benign country in terms of homicides per population density, although it's a commonly accepted concept that America has a higher rate of civilian firearms ownership; per 100,000 population, America had 5 in 2011, 5 in 2012, 4 in 2013, suggesting that the homicide rate is decreasing even though the firearms ownership rate is increasing!
And (b) the nations with the highest homicide rates generally tend to be clustered in South America and the Caribbean ... all of which nations have among the most stringent gun-control laws in the world. OH, and don't overlook South Africa!
Other nations with stringent gun-control laws include Russia, China and most of Europe.
Just scroll down the list, and pause when you spot a nation which lists 10 or more homicides per 100,000 citizens. (I won't bother to list them here.) Consider their geographic location, and their socio-political situation.
ISRAEL has a relatively low homicide rate, even though their population exist in a state of undeclared war with its neighbors. They allow their citizens to carry firearms. They are frequently bombed by their neighbors in terrorist actions.
Syrian Arab Republic doesn't even report homicides.
MOST CARRIBEAN NATIONS which are a Tropical Paradise where Americans who can afford it travel for their winter vacations, reported in the double-digits, until they discontinued reporting.
CUBA ... that Socialist Paradise (where nobody is allowed to have guns) reported homicides at the same rate as America, until Cuba quit reporting.
Conclusions:In nations where civilian firearms ownership is prohibited, the homicide rates are typically equal to, or very often much greater than in America;
BONUS #1: Violent Crimes (definition) _(note UK definition different from American)
BONUS #2: Violent Crime Rates compared to America
BONUS #3: Comparing murder rates and gun ownership across countries
BONUS #4: Total Crimes by Country
Yes, American has a lot of crimes; but considering the disproportionate rate of firearms ownership between America and ANY other country, one would logically expect that America would be dramatically more crime-ridden than any other country in the world, by a factor of at least ten times more violent.
This does not seem to be the case.
Why, if we are such a violent people, doesn't the proportion of violent crime match the prevalence of privately owned firearms?
Could it be that American criminals are, somehow, less inclined to commit violence upon their fellow citizens because honest American citizens are more likely to have the legal means, and the inclination, to resist predation?
You bet your ass!