Guns and Crime: The Tale of Two Countries


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One of the liberal narratives, that guns cause crime, is taking a shellacking via reality.  Of course, what you are about to read will NEVER appear in the MSM (unless they want to give Obama credit for it).  Let’s take a look at two countries, and their attitude towards guns.

First up, the US.  As we all know, Americans are purchasing firearms in record numbers.  While it peaked after Obama’s election, the numbers had been rising steadily since 2005.  It would seem that Firearms are the only private industry that Obama has actually stimulated.  Pajamas Media has looked into the matter, and published a pretty comprehensive report.

Between November 2005 and October 2009, nearly every month’s requests were higher than the year before. (For example, there were 12.4% more NICS requests in September 2009 than in September 2008.) The sole exception was December 2007, which saw 1.9% fewer requests than December 2006. On an annual basis, each year’s total saw double-digit growth over the previous year beginning in 2006.

NICS data mirror the estimated sales data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which also show double-digit growth beginning in 2006. (Not all background checks result in one gun being purchased.)

The chart below shows that after gun sales attained record growth in 2006, violent crime rates began to fall in 2007. As gun sales continued to register records each following year, violent crime rates decreased at an accelerating rate.

Consider this; the decreases in crime have continued since the recession/depression started.  This kicks another liberal narrative in the teeth; that crime increases in bad economic times.

In reality, this has been studied many times, I wrote college papers about it in the 80’s.  The consensus is this, more guns=less crime.

Now, let’s take a look at the second country, the UK.  The British have been subjected to increasingly restrictive gun laws since after WW I.  I’ll be quoting an excellent article by Thomas Sowell, written in 2002.

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Nor was gun control in England a response to any firearms murder crisis. Over a period of three years near the end of the 19th century, “there were only 59 fatalities from handguns in a population of nearly 30 million people,” according to Professor Malcolm. “Of these, 19 were accidents, 35 were suicides and only three were homicides — an average of one a year.”

The rise of the interventionist state in early 20th century England included efforts to restrict ownership of guns. After the First World War, gun control laws began restricting the possession of firearms. Then, after the Second World War, these restrictions grew more severe, eventually disarming the civilian population of England — or at least the law-abiding part of it.

It was during this period of severe restrictions on owning firearms that crime rates in general, and the murder rate in particular, began to rise in England. “As the number of legal firearms have dwindled, the numbers of armed crimes have risen,” Professor Malcolm points out.

In 1954, there were only a dozen armed robberies in London but, by the 1990s, there were more than a hundred times as many. In England, as in the United States, drastic crackdowns on gun ownership by law-abiding citizens were accompanied by ever greater leniency to criminals. In both countries, this turned out to be a formula for disaster.

While England has not yet reached the American level of murders, it has already surpassed the United States in rates of robbery and burglary. Moreover, in recent years the murder rate in England has been going up under still more severe gun control laws, while the murder rate in the United States has been going down as more and more states have allowed private citizens to carry concealed weapons — and have begun locking up more criminals.

In both countries, facts have no effect whatever on the dogmas of gun control zealots. The fact that most guns used to murder people in England were not legally purchased has no effect on their faith in gun control laws there, any more than faith in such laws here is affected by the fact that the gun used by the recent Beltway snipers was not purchased legally either.

I think Sowell’s last paragraph sums it up best.  Facts have absolutely nothing to do with the left’s position on gun control.  To show the actual intent,  I think a quote by Thomas Jefferson has the answer:

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

As a government grows more powerful, it is natural that said government would infringe upon the rights of its citizens.  An armed populace complicates and thwarts that acquisition of power.  Therefore, there government will seek to disarm the populace, rendering them impotent to fight the government’s theft of their freedoms.

We need the government to fear us.  If they do not fear us, they will take whatever they can, until they are stopped.  With history as our guide, we know this to be true.


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  • MK

    Good post.

    “Facts have absolutely nothing to do with the left’s position on gun control.”

    You can add just about any topic to that and that’s the left for you, facts have zero bearing on their positions on anything.

    • Very true MK. Liberalism is based on fantasy.

  • As is almost always the case, the liberal argument for gun control is not rooted in logic, but is rooted in emotion. This is a great post Matt. The 2nd is what gives the constitution teeth. The day we lose it, is the day we have lost everything.

    • I can’t remember the specifics at the moment, but I do know that there were some at the Constitutional Convention that suggested that the Second should be the First. Their logic was that without the right to defend oneself against the government, all other rights would be irrelevant.

  • Good article, Matt. I am acquainted with several people from other countries through a pigeon forum (I keep homing pigeons) and it is amazing at their attitude towards guns and the control thereof. They openly state that they believe guns are bad and more control is needed. They claim we Americans have a “love affair” with our guns. No amount of explaining the 2nd Amendment seems to do any good and the facts that you have just published are ignored.

    • Facts are anathema to the left. They do not compute. They usually ignore the facts, or attack the messenger.

  • Great article.

    Even Barney Frank has stated just how much of a losing position the leftist gun control arguments are during election season.

    • Frank should have expanded that to state that all liberal issues are trash in this election cycle.

  • I have to second what MK said, I don’t think the liberals care about the facts on any issue. They go with what “feels right.” They feel as if guns are bad, so they feel that they must be banned, it makes them feel safer. But they ignore the fact that as gun restrictions get tougher and law abiding citizens find it harder and harder to protect themselves, the crime rate goes up.

    • I’ve been quoting this a lot lately…

      “Liberalism always generates the exact opposite of its stated intent.”

      Jim Quinn

  • excellent Matt! Facts have absolutely nothing to do with the left’s position on gun control. always…………………

    • Thanks Angel. Given that their beliefs are based in fantasy, they have to promote nonsense.

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  • I really can’t handle guns … it’s hard enough for an oil spill to type, but I know from experience, if a liberal tells you one thing he always means something else.

    • Well, the libs are saying that they want to “plug” you, but they don’t seem to be doing very much to actually follow through.

  • Great post Matt! The truth is that Australia is going through the same thing as UK after it enacted strict control laws. The left does not want to hear the facts because they usually work against a flawed political ideology. This is why they always pull the emotion card.

    • Going on emotion is their only tool. If they go on facts, they lose.

  • Mike F.

    Isn’t it true that gun ownership has been fairly steady in the US since the late 1980s and that violent crime, murders and gun violence have been on a sharp and steady decline since the mid 1990s? I’m not taking the liberal view here but I do think the statistics you’ve used to support your case are misleading. Just because the chart shows a certain relationship doesn’t mean there is an actual cause and effect at work.

    • Actually, not so. Gun sales have spiked significantly since Obama won the election. Ammo is still hard to come by, and is rather expensive as well.

      One part that I did not discuss are the increases in open carry, and concealed carry laws.

      When two events occur in close proximity, and have been thoroughly researched, you can bet that the two are related.

      • Mike F.

        Sorry Matt but I don’t think the point is made. Gun sales were pretty steady right up until Obama’s election when indeed they did surge. But gun violence has been in enormous decline since the mid 1990s. Clearly there are other factors at work here. Gun ownership may be one of them but I don’t think the case is made that it’s anywhere near a very significant one.