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A few interesting facts about guns. Did you know?
Since 1991, the number of
privately owned firearms in the U.S. has increased by about 50
million, the number of right-to-carry states has increased from 15 to
37, and violent crime has decreased every year.
adopted nondiscretionary concealed-handgun laws saw murders decreased
by at least 8%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robberies
by 3%. The murder rates of women permit-holders fell by as much as
five times the drop of their male counterparts.
Each year in the
United States guns are used three to five times as often for defensive
purposes as for criminal purposes.
The first gold medal awarded at the Summer Olympics
goes to the winner of a shooting competition.
Hunters write the big check for wildlife
conservation in America, having contributed more than two billion
dollars in tax dollars to the Pittman-Robertson Fund since 1937.
Eight U.S. Presidents have been NRA members. They
are Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Dwight
D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and
According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph
Story: "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly
been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic;
since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary
power of the rulers."
Forty-four states have guarantees of the Right to
Keep and Bear Arms in their constitutions.
Three out of four violent crimes committed in the
United States each year do not in any way involve firearms.
The crime rate in London is now higher than the
crime rate in New York. Crimes with firearms have risen dramatically
since the ban on handgun ownership was passed by Parliament.
Every one of the 50 states has passed hunter
protection legislation that protects sportsmen from the interference
of "animal rights" extremists.
The congressionally-mandated study of the federal
"assault weapon" law found that: "At best, the assault weapons ban can
have only a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned
weapons were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun
Despite their modern, military appearance, firearms
that have been labeled as "assault weapons" operate like other
semi-automatic firearms, use the same ammunition as other firearms,
and possess no feature or characteristic not available on other
Crime rates and crime trends in states where
"waiting periods" have been imposed have been worse than in other
People who carry firearms as provided for by state
right-to-carry laws are statistically more law-abiding than the public
as a whole.
Right-to-carry states have lower violent crime
rates, on average—24% lower total violent crime, 22% lower homicide,
37% lower robbery, and 20% lower aggravated assault—compared to other
states and D.C.
Two of every three defensive uses of firearms are
carried out with handguns. Private citizens benefit from handguns for
the same reason that the police do: handguns are easy to carry and
they are effective defensive tools.
People who use firearms for protection are
statistically less likely to be injured in a criminal attack than
people who use other means of protection or no protection at all.
Virtually all scholars who have studied the issue
have concluded that the Framers of the Constitution and the Bill of
Rights considered the right to arms to be an individual right.
The U.S. Supreme Court said in Cruikshank v. U.S.
that the Second Amendment protects a right which existed even before
the Constitution was written. The right to arms "is not a right
granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent
upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment declares
that it shall not be infringed."
In Haynes v U.S. (1968), the U.S. Supreme Court
ruled that felons do not have to register illegally possessed guns,
because the Fifth Amendment protects them against self-incrimination.
Without gun registration and gun owner licensing,
the nation's violent crime rate has decreased every year since 1991
and is now at a 27-year low. Also, deaths due to firearm accidents
have been decreasing substantially without gun registration and gun
owner licensing, while those due to motor vehicle accidents have not
decreased, despite vehicle registration and driver licensing.
The FBI, criminologists, and sociologists credit
many factors for the decrease in crime, including improvements in the
criminal justice system, law enforcement policies, and the economy, a
reduction in the "crack" cocaine trade, and the aging of gang members.
Only the anti-gun lobby and its supporters pretend that restrictions
on firearms have had any contributory effect.
There are more than 20,000 gun laws at the federal,
state, and local levels.
Firearm "traces" conducted by the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms—do not, as claimed by anti-gun
advocates, "prove" the need for more gun control laws? The
Congressional Research Service has reported that the tracing system
has many inherent limitations and flaws and should not be used to make
determinations about the kinds of guns used in crimes.
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70 MILLION MORE GUNS…38% LESS VIOLENT
Data released by the FBI on Monday showed that in 2005, the nation’s
total violent crime rate was 38% lower than in 1991, when violent
crime hit an all-time high. Rates of the individual categories of
violent crime were also much lower in 2005 than in 1991. Murder was
43% lower, rape 25% lower, robbery 48% lower, and aggravated assault
33% lower. The FBI’s report came on the heels of a Bureau of Justice
Statistics crime survey that found that violent crime was lower in
2005 than anytime in the survey’s 32-year history.
Defying the anti-gunners’ claim that more guns means more crime, from
1991-2005 the number of privately owned guns increased by more than 70
The news media often characterize violent crime as a primarily
gun-oriented problem, but the FBI’s report showed that only one in
every four violent crimes in 2005 was committed with a gun. In 2005,
as in previous years, most violent crimes were robberies and
aggravated assaults, most of which were committed with knives or bare
Recently, anti-gun politicians and activists have intensified their
rhetoric over the “lack” of bans on handguns, so-called “assault
weapons”, and .50-caliber rifles; gun registration, gun owner
licensing, and mandatory background checks on sales of guns between
friends and family members; and limits on the frequency of gun
purchases, all of which they say are necessary to reduce the nation’s
murder rate. But for the last seven years, the murder rate has been
steady¾in the 5.5-5.7 per 100,000 population range¾at all times lower
than anytime since the mid-1960s. In 2005, for example, the murder
rate was 5.6.
Naturally, anti-gunners will downplay the downward trend in violent
crime since 1991, and focus on the fact that the FBI’s report showed a
1% increase in total violent crime, and a 2% increase in murder in
2005, compared to 2004. But those changes are miniscule, compared to
the huge decrease in crime over the last 14 years.
The FBI’s report once again confirmed that violent crime rates are
lower in states with Right-to-Carry (RTC) laws. In 2005, RTC states
had, on average, 22% lower total violent crime, 30% less murder, 46%
lower robbery, and 12% lower aggravated assault rates, compared to the
rest of the country.
As usual, Washington, D.C., which leads the nation in anti-gun laws,
led the nation in murder, with a rate six times higher than the rest
of the country. Neighboring Maryland, where gun control advocates have
been particularly active recently, once again had the highest robbery
rate among the states, but also tied for the unenviable distinction of
“first place” in murder among the states. However, despite Maryland’s
high crime counts, Cease Fire Maryland, the local Brady Campaign
affiliate that recently released a paper demanding an “assault weapon”
ban, was unable to point to any crimes in the state involving such a
The FBI’s report must have displeased New York City mayor Michael
Bloomberg (R). Despite the mayor’s recent posturing on the gun issue,
and his self-laudatory comments about fighting crime, the Big Apple’s
murder rate was more than double that of the rest of the state.
Similarly, in Philadelphia, where anti-gun politicians are calling for
a statewide one-gun-a-month law, the murder rate was more than seven
times higher than the rest of Pennsylvania.
Adding to the reasons why voters should “Dump Doyle” in Wisconsin’s
upcoming gubernatorial election, their state had the greatest total
violent crime rate increase (15.1%) between 2004-2005. Murder was up
25.2%; robbery up 11.2%; and aggravated assault up 20.2%. Wisconsin is
one of only two states that prohibits Right-to-Carry entirely, but in
2005, 11 of the 12 states that had the greatest decreases in total
violent crime, and 12 of the 14 states with the greatest decreases in
murder were Right-to-Carry states. The seven states with the lowest
total violent crime rates in 2005, and 11 of the 12 states that had
the lowest murder rates, were Right-to-Carry states.
Last, but not least, is good news from Florida, the state that during
the last 20 years has been most often attacked by anti-gunners, for
(among other reasons) setting the Right-to-Carry and “Castle Doctrine”
movements in motion. In 2005, Florida recorded a murder rate 13% lower
than the rate for the rest of the country (4.96 per 100,000, vs. 5.67
for the rest of the country). For the record, Florida’s 2005 murder
rate was 58% lower than it was in 1986, the last year before the
state’s landmark Right-to-Carry law took effect.
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