State by State, More Guns Does Not Equal More Crime
States with a higher percentage of legal gun ownership do not experience higher crime rates, reports Fox News.
Using a compilation of FBI data from 2019 and Rand Corporation data from 2016, Fox News Digital produced a series of charts to demonstrate a lack of causality between the percentage of gun owners and crime rate.
The report is a riposte to Democrats’ claims that record-breaking gun sales during the pandemic led to increased crime.
“Gun ownership is higher in states with fewer restrictions, and homicide rates in these states are lower [because] people can protect themselves,” explains George Mason University Professor Emerita Joyce Lee Malcolm, adding that a significant portion of would-be burglars are “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim.”
John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, shared a similar opinion after reviewing the data compiled by Fox News Digital.
“The explanation is simple,” says Lott, “while you might take some guns away from criminals, if you primarily have law-abiding people obeying the ban, you mainly disarm law-abiding people and make it easier for criminals to commit crime.” In addition, murder and homicide rates are almost guaranteed to increase when a jurisdiction implements a gun ban.
Unfortunately, these are not concepts the Biden Administration seems able to grasp.
“I respect the culture and the tradition and the concerns of lawful gun owners, [but] at the same time, the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute,” said President Joe Biden in May following the school shooting in Uvalde, TX.
“This isn’t about taking away anyone’s rights…It’s about protecting children. It’s about protecting families. It’s about protecting whole communities. It’s about protecting our freedoms to go to school, to a grocery store, to a church without being shot and killed.”
Ironic that Biden speaks of protecting “freedoms” while pushing for laws that would remove the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from people who do not obey the law.
Montana has the highest percentage of gun ownership in the nation, with roughly 66% of households owning at least one firearm. Massachusetts has the lowest percentage of gun ownership at just 14.7%.
In 2019, Montana reported 1.5 gun murders per 100,000 residents and Massachusetts reported 1.25.
Delaware, which has a gun ownership rate of 34%, reported nearly 4 gun murders per 100,000 residents in 2019 and California, which often touts its strict gun control policies, reported nearly 3 gun murders per 100,000 in 2019.
“The short answer is that there is absolutely no statistical evidence to that effect showing some casual relationship” between gun sales and violent crime, argues Heritage Foundation Legal Fellow Amy Swearer.
Though the report does not include data from 2020, there is no reason to believe that the increase in gun buying during the pandemic caused the increase in violent crime that we saw in 2020. In fact, the increase in crime may have driven an increase in gun sales as Americans felt a need to better protect themselves and their families.
Violent crime in the United States has decreased steadily over the past three decades until recently, when a combination of economic, humanitarian, political, and racial crises created never-before-seen tensions among American citizens, explains Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow Cully Stimson. “That and that alone rebuts the argument that increased legal gun ownership has contributed to this spike in crime. What, they didn’t do it for 30 years? Even though they bought tens of millions of guns between 92 and now.”