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December 13, 2012

Does the last decade add support for "more guns, less crime" claims?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this new USA Today story, which is headlined "Federal gun checks surge as violent crime ebbs."  Here is how the piece starts:

The number of federally required background checks of prospective gun purchasers has nearly doubled in the past decade — a time when violent crime has been in long decline in many places across the USA, according to FBI records.

The bureau's National Instant Check System (NICS) does not track actual firearms sales — multiple guns can be included in one purchase.  But the steady rise in background checks — from 8.5 million in 2002 to 16.8 million in 2012 — tracks other indicators that signal escalating gun sales.

Advocates on both sides of the gun-rights debate disagree over what is driving the trend. Gun-rights groups attribute the steady increase to the growing popularity of hunting and other gun-recreation uses, the impact of state laws allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns and concerns that the Obama administration will push for laws restricting weapons purchases.

Gun-control advocates, led by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, say existing gun owners are responsible for most new purchases (about 20% of gun owners possess 65% of the nation's guns, according to a 2006 Harvard study).  Brady Campaign President Dan Gross said concerns about new gun-control laws are part of a "marketing ploy" to keep firearms moving.

No gun-control legislation was passed in President Obama's first term and no major proposal was offered during the 2012 presidential election campaign.  Still, there is an "expectation" that new gun-control proposals will surface in Obama's second term, said National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.  "People expect a siege on the Second Amendment (right to bear arms).''

Larry Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said gun-related recreation — from hunting to target shooting on the range — is growing, too.  From 2006 through 2011, spending on hunting equipment grew by nearly 30%, according to a national survey published in August by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Keane said the overall firearms industry has thrived despite the sputtering economy and the decline in violent crime. "Personal safety still is a big reason people purchase firearms," Keane said.  "The economic downturn, I think, raised fears that crime would eventually go back up."

December 13, 2012 at 05:12 PM | Permalink


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Gun restrictions are in the tradition of the Nazi Party, and Stalin's KGB. Armed citizens may need their guns, and large ammunition clips with 100 rounds to defend the nation, not just their homes. The internal enemy is a far bigger threat than any criminal or criminal syndicate. It already infiltrated and controls the three branches of government.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 13, 2012 6:05:57 PM

I hope that Supremacy Claus and other NRA apologists will consider just who they mean by an "internal enemy" on this day of horrors. The irony of his comment leaves me sickened beyond measure.

Posted by: Cal Prosecutor | Dec 14, 2012 4:07:44 PM

Cal Prosecutor: I will have extensive analysis of this mass slaughter on my Facebook page, after more facts emerge. Contact Prof. Berman or Bill Otis for my real name, friend me, if interested in that analysis. They have my consent to give out my name to anyone responsible and serious, in their estimation.

Without the case specific facts, I will speculate that this tragedy is 100% the fault of the lawyer profession.

1) The Supreme Court took over psychiatry without knowing any when it ruled one must have done something dangerous, then hold a hearing employing 3 lawyers, before receiving involuntary treatment for a mental disorder. There was no clinical abuse, and plenty of remedies existed if any took place. Now, the shooter qualifies for involuntary treatment.

2) Your kind, prosecutors, owe your job to the criminal, and will never allow him to get too scared to commit crimes. You have fully deterred our warriors even in the field of battle, from protecting themselves from low life, subhuman Pashtun tribes people. You have sided with the enemy against our protectors and heroes. You have fully prosecuted and deterred anyone taking the law into their hands to kill violent criminals. 9/11 would have been impossible on the airlines of other nations. Your intimidation of the public caused 9/11. Only when they learned they had nothing to lose, then the average Americans attacked the terrorists. A national statute should arm all law abiding citizens. Any that fails to try to kill on the spot a violent criminal should be identified and issued a fine of $100, and be subjected to civil liability by crime victims or their estates. Such on the spot killing should have full criminal and civil immunity. That would end crime in our lawyer besieged nation and your job. You have an economic conflict of interest that makes you a criminal collaborator, enabler, and empowerer. There are 20 million serious crimes a year, and 2 million prosecutions. Your profession is in utter failure. It has a 90% false negative rate, and when you have a guy, 20% of time, you go after the wrong guy or someone harmless. Your specialty sucks.

3) Just above, the Supreme Court has protected a mental defective, applying Atkins yet again, even though the defective is far more dangerous to everyone than a professional mob hit man. This defective probably has more street smarts than the entire Court combined. Such mental defectives should be rushed to executions, not enabled to kill over and over again, in and out of prisons. Why? To generate government make work for lawyers.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 14, 2012 11:03:49 PM

Anyone remember the old cowboy films .... the sign outside the Sheriff's office or on the door of the saloon ..... "Leave your guns here!" or something similar?
Guns on the range was one thing; guns in normal social society something else.
Maybe you should take heed. Guns are no protection to law abiding citizens .... whatever your name.

Posted by: peter | Dec 15, 2012 6:58:04 AM

Places with Highly Restrictive Gun Control Laws

Nazi Germany
Soviet Russia

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 15, 2012 8:55:59 AM

Peter: We agree 9/11 was a major defeat. They spent $500,000 and took out $7 trillion from our economy, never mind the cost in lives and in pain for the survivors. If all the passengers were armed, the terrorists would have been blasted on the spot. Pretty awful price to pay for lawyer political correctness.

After such a defeat, it would be expected the lawyer would be fired from policy making. No one was fired. They are immune from any accountability. Then George Bush, Harvard grad, blew up government and the Federal Register, with the TSA, a welfare jobs program for uneducated minority members groping grandmas going to Disney World and strip searching buxom blondes, totally worthless to the taxpayer.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 15, 2012 9:05:57 AM

▼ Supremacy Claus ▼
Without the case specific facts, I will speculate that this tragedy is 100% the fault of the lawyer profession.

Good p.m. I am unable to agree that lawyers are the fault of society’s ills, albeit Hans Frank and Judge Roland Freisler were outrageous rascals .

I do agree that killing a terrorist BEFORE he or she can do harm is an effective method of minimizing terrorism .

Terrorists killed while attempting to seriously harm or kill others ;
Cannot repeat their crimes ;
Cannot propagate nor train others.

Docile Jim Brady Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Posted by: Any Old Mouse 10^10 | Dec 15, 2012 1:55:35 PM

The percentage of people who will ever see, let alone be in a position to pull a gun on one (a terrorist), is so infinitesimal that your observations are in the realms of the irrational. Leave that to the professionals. As for shooting a gun onboard an aircraft ... please! There are better ways of committing suicide.

Posted by: peter | Dec 15, 2012 3:45:23 PM

There are numerous people who have had to draw a gun on an assailant to protect themselves and others and even shoot some of them. It is not perfect but is as necessary to public safety as armed police.

And no, the murders of so many innocent children and adults mere miles from where I lived most of my life, a school where I spent several summers for daycare as a child, has not changed my mind.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Dec 15, 2012 8:23:10 PM

How true MikeinCT the newspapers would be full of stories of people who used a gun to stop a crime. IF they were publishied but since there is usualy No sex or violence in them. They never happened!

Posted by: rodsmith | Dec 16, 2012 11:27:54 AM

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