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Violence by the Numbers: Guns Really Do Prevent Violence

With the recent tragedy in Newtown, there is little doubt that people are scared: they’re scared that their elected officials will take away their guns in an effort to prevent further tragedies from occurring. This is evidenced by the nationwide skyrocketing of firearms sales, ammo sales, and jam-packed, filled-to-capacity weekend gun shows. And, if one believes the liberal argument that guns kill people, then they would also be ignoring two facts that every commonsense American already knows: people kill people, and guns prevent violence from occurring in the first place.

 

Liberals will spin statistics in whatever way they can to promote their anti-gun agenda however, using nothing more than honest data collected by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report system, a person can begin to realize the true impact guns have on crime. Comparing California, which has the toughest gun control laws in the nation, to Florida, which has what most conservatives would argue to be “sensible” gun control laws, one can begin to understand how firearms prevent crime:

 

California Florida
Year Population Murders (Actual) Murders (Per Capita/100k) Year Population Murders (Actual) Murders (Per Capita/100k)

1960

15,717,204

616

3.9

1960

4,951,560

527

10.6

1961

16,397,000

605

3.7

1961

5,222,000

477

9.1

1962

16,970,000

657

3.9

1962

5,459,000

420

7.7

1963

17,590,000

673

3.8

1963

5,652,000

463

8.2

1964

18,084,000

740

4.1

1964

5,705,000

489

8.6

1965

18,602,000

880

4.7

1965

5,805,000

518

8.9

1966

18,918,000

868

4.6

1966

5,941,000

612

10.3

1967

19,153,000

1,039

5.4

1967

5,995,000

630

10.5

1968

19,221,000

1,150

6

1968

6,160,000

731

11.9

1969

19,443,000

1,386

7.1

1969

6,354,000

720

11.3

1970

19,953,134

1,376

6.9

1970

6,789,443

860

12.7

1971

20,223,000

1,642

8.1

1971

7,041,000

933

13.3

1972

20,468,000

1,791

8.8

1972

7,259,000

924

12.7

1973

20,601,000

1,862

9

1973

7,678,000

1,180

15.4

1974

20,907,000

1,985

9.5

1974

8,090,000

1,191

14.7

1975

21,185,000

2,209

10.4

1975

8,357,000

1,130

13.5

1976

21,520,000

2,220

10.3

1976

8,421,000

903

10.7

1977

21,896,000

2,515

11.5

1977

8,452,000

859

10.2

1978

22,294,000

2,611

11.7

1978

8,594,000

949

11

1979

22,696,000

2,952

13

1979

8,860,000

1,084

12.2

1980

23,532,680

3,411

14.5

1980

9,567,112

1,387

14.5

1981

24,159,000

3,143

13

1981

10,166,000

1,522

15

1982

24,724,000

2,779

11.2

1982

10,416,000

1,409

13.5

1983

25,174,000

2,639

10.5

1983

10,680,000

1,199

11.2

1984

25,622,000

2,717

10.6

1984

10,976,000

1,264

11.5

1985

26,365,000

2,770

10.5

1985

11,366,000

1,296

11.4

1986

26,981,000

3,038

11.3

1986

11,675,000

1,371

11.7

1987

27,663,000

2,924

10.6

1987

12,023,000

1,371

11.4

1988

28,168,000

2,936

10.4

1988

12,377,000

1,416

11.4

1989

29,063,000

3,158

10.9

1989

12,671,000

1,405

11.1

1990

29,760,021

3,553

11.9

1990

12,937,926

1,379

10.7

1991

30,380,000

3,859

12.7

1991

13,277,000

1,248

9.4

1992

30,867,000

3,921

12.7

1992

13,488,000

1,208

9

1993

31,211,000

4,096

13.1

1993

13,679,000

1,224

8.9

1994

31,431,000

3,703

11.8

1994

13,953,000

1,165

8.3

1995

31,589,000

3,531

11.2

1995

14,166,000

1,037

7.3

1996

31878000

2916

9.1

1996

14,400,000

1,077

7.5

1997

32268000

2579

8

1997

14,654,000

1,012

6.9

1998

32667000

2171

6.6

1998

14,916,000

967

6.5

1999

33145121

2005

6

1999

15,111,244

859

5.7

2000

33145121

2079

6.1

2000

15,982,378

903

5.6

2001

34600463

2206

6.4

2001

16,373,330

874

5.3

2002

35001986

2395

6.8

2002

16,691,701

911

5.5

2003

35462712

2407

6.7

2003

16,999,181

924

5.4

2004

35842038

2392

6.7

2004

17,385,430

946

5.4

2005

36154147

2503

6.9

2005

17,768,191

883

5

2006

36457549

2485

6.8

2006

18,089,888

1,129

6.2

2007

36553213

2260

6.2

2007

18,251,243

1,201

6.6

2008

36580371

2142

5.9

2008

18,423,878

1,169

6.3

2009

36961664

1972

5.3

2009

18,537,969

1,017

5.5

2010

37,338,198

1,809

4.8

2010

18,838,613

987

5.2

2011

37,691,912

1,792

4.8

2011

19,057,542

984

5.2

 

In order to reveal the truth, one must pay special attention to the following two areas: year 1967 in California, and year 1987 in Florida.

 

In 1967, then-Governor of California Ronald Reagan signed a law outlawing the open carrying of loaded firearms, after a group of Black Panthers staged a protest within the State Capital building carrying handguns. In 1987, Florida passed a “shall issue” law, ensuring that every law-abiding American has the freedom to exercise their 2nd amendment right to bear arms.

 

Armed with that bit of history, let’s review the chart again. Putting the focus on California prior to 1967, both the actual number of murders and the per-capita murder rate remained fairly low, never going higher than 4.7%. However, after Reagan signed a bill outlawing the open carrying of loaded handguns, both those numbers skyrocketed and, to this day, have never returned to their low, pre-1967 numbers. Now, let’s switch over to Florida, pre-1987. You will notice fairly high numbers in both actual murders, as well as per-capita murders. After passing a “shall issue” law, both those numbers plummeted, and currently remain on a downward spiral.

 

Still not convinced? Here’s the data pertaining to overall violent crime. In this case, I compare California to it’s very conservative neighbor, Arizona, which has virtually no gun control laws on the books:

 

California

Arizona

Violence

Violence

Year

1960

239

207.7

1961

232.7

164.5

1962

234.8

173

1963

241.2

194.2

1964

265.6

213

1965

282.2

192.3

1966

305.1

202.2

1967

352.1

238.2

1968

422.9

263.6

1969

462.3

339.2

1970

474.8

370.3

1971

518.6

400.6

1972

540.7

448.9

1973

565.8

479.9

1974

610.6

566.7

1975

655.4

547.8

1976

669.3

455.3

1977

706

494.2

1978

742.9

552.1

1979

811.1

593

1980

893.6

650.9

1981

863

575.8

1982

814.7

517

1983

772.6

494.2

1984

763.4

516.1

1985

765.3

602.5

1986

920.5

658.3

1987

918

612.6

1988

929.8

610.1

1989

977.7

599.6

1990

1,045.20

652.4

1991

1,089.90

670.7

1992

1,119.70

670.8

1993

1,077.80

715

1994

1,013.00

703.1

1995

966

713.5

1996

862.7

631.5

1997

798.3

623.7

1998

703.7

577.9

1999

627.2

551.1

2000

621.6

531.7

2001

615.2

540.3

2002

595.4

554.5

2003

579.6

513.3

2004

527.8

504.4

2005

526.0

512.0

2006

532.5

501.4

2007

522.6

482.7

2008

506.2

481.2

2009

473.3

426.5

2010

439.6

413.6

2011

411.1

405.9

 

Arizona consistently has lower, overall violent crime rates than its liberal neighbor. And did you notice California’s pre and post-1967 numbers: overall violent crime shot through the roof once the open carrying of handguns was outlawed!

 

For all the rhetoric liberals shout about the violence caused by guns, honest data just doesn’t support the argument that the solution is to have stricter gun control laws. In fact, the data supports the exact opposite: strict gun control laws, as evidenced by California pre and post 1967, actually causes more crime than little to no gun control laws, as proven by Florida pre and post 1987, and Arizona.

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