According to a recent study by the Crime Prevention Research Center, the election of Barrack Obama may have played a significant part in reducing crime in the U.S. - but not in a way he is likely to brag about. In short, the election of Obama, a very vocal advocate of “gun control, has persuaded more and more Americans that they should keep and bear arms themselves. And that has, in turn, led to significantly lower crime rates.
Each year from 1999 to 2007, a little under a quarter of a million new permits were issued to Americans, allowing them to legally carry concealed firearms. In the four years after that, during Obama’s first term, the rate of new permits being issued more than tripled, and has continued to grow since then. In 2007, about 4.6 million Americans already had concealed-carry permits. Now that number is over 12.8 million, with more new permits being issued to women and minorities than to white males.
That’s a lot of average citizens carrying guns, and these numbers don't even include those who live in the eight states where one can legally carry a concealed firearm without a permit.
Meanwhile, gun sales have continued to rise since Obama took office. Around 14 million guns were purchased in the U.S. between 2008 and 2011 and over 20 million were purchased between 2012 and 2013 - around five million of those being sold to first-time gun buyers.
So what has been the effect on crime? Advocates of gun control have long insisted that arming average citizens would lead to bloody mayhem and chaos in the streets. However, while the number of Americans carrying firearms has soared, murder rates have fallen by a full 25%, from 5.6 down to 4.2 per 100,000 people, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center study.
As Larry Keene, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, says,
“It puts the lie to the myth promulgated by anti-gun individuals that somehow more law-abiding citizens carrying guns will lead to more crime.”
But some advocates of public disarmament remain clinging to their illogical assertion that more legally-obtained guns mean more violent gun crime. The Violence Policy Center still insists that average citizens with guns “are a threat to public safety,” and that “all too often, private citizens use their concealed handguns to take lives, not to save them.” To support that claim, they point to a total of 561 incidents in which permit holders shot and killed a total of 743 people.
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How many of those were justified acts of self-defense? The Center was not specific (shocker), but said that a “tiny fraction of these cases [were] ever ruled to be in self-defense.”
Of course, advocates of gun control such as Obama and the Violence Policy Center never advocate that agents of government be disarmed. However, maybe they should due to the fact that the recent study also shows that average citizens who possess carry permits commit crime at a far lower rate than police officers do.
According to Edward Stringham, although official statistics have historically been scant, we now know that police killed 1,100 Americans in 2014 and 476 Americans in the first five months of 2015. Given that America has roughly 765,000 sworn police officers, that means the police-against-citizen kill rate is more than 145 per 100,000.
That means that police kill more than 30 times that of the average citizen.
In Florida and Texas, for example, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies one-sixth as often as police are, despite how rarely violent police actually get prosecuted for the crimes they commit.
In the battle of ideas, the gun-grabbers are losing. Badly. In a Gallup poll in 2000, 35% of those polled thought that owning a gun made their home safer. By 2014, 63% thought so. And a Pew Research poll in 2014 confirmed that a majority of Americans believe that preserving the right of people to own guns is more important than the government trying to control gun ownership.
“The public increasingly understands that gun control is a failed social experiment, and it doesn’t work,” explains Larry Keene. “All gun control ever does is infringe upon the rights of the law-abiding citizens and does nothing to stop criminals from illegally acquiring firearms, and it doesn’t stop them from misusing them in crime.”
Ironically, what seems to increase gun sales the fastest is politicians calling for “gun control.” Furthermore, when police prove daily that they not only choose not to protect the people but actually pose a threat to the people, it’s no wonder more and more Americans are making it their personal responsibility to defend themselves, their families and their fellow citizens. As that mindset continues to spread, violent crime will continue to decrease.
In the meantime, however, we'll just sit by and watch while attempts to strip citizens of their means of protection blows up directly in the faces of the politicians trying to make that happen.