Posted in: Politics

Gun Homicides Hit 20-Year Low In The US Wait, What? [Report]

gun violence down

If you follow news media closely, you can’t really be blamed for thinking that gun violence and gun-related homicide has gone up dramatically in recent years. With shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, America’s “unhealthy” obsession with guns looks like it’s at an all-time high, but does actual data paint a different picture?

According to the BBC (which isn’t really known for making stuff up), gun homicides in the US have actually gone down in recent years. More specifically, they are at a 20-year low. But how is this possible?

Two studies, one performed the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (a non-partisan group) and the other performed by the Pew Research Center (another non-partisan group) report that gun homicides have fallen sharply since 1993.

The Bureau study said that firearms-related homicides dropped to 11,101 in 2011 from 18,253 in 1993, a reduction of 39 percent. The Pew study said that gun homicides per 100,000 people fell to 3.6 in 2010 from 7 in 1993.

These figures arrive just three weeks after the US Senate rejected stricter gun control proposals amid a new push on the issue born out of the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy. President Obama has led the charge on the issue, promising to make gun reform a top priority in his second term.

Well, that’s just great, but what about gun-related injuries? With violence increasing in US cities like Chicago, the rate of gun violence still has to be on the rise, right? Nope.

Both reports found that the rate of non-lethal gun crimes had fallen significantly over that period as well. The Bureau study found that non-fatal gun crimes dropped a whopping 69 percent, from 1.5 million to just under 500,000.

However, the raw percentage of US homicides has held steady at around 70 percent, implying that the method by which people are murdered hasn’t budged, even though killing overall has dropped.

If this all sounds crazy to you in light of recent events, you’re not alone. Some 56 percent of Americans believe that gun crime is higher, much higher, than two decades ago, with only 12 percent thinking its lower, according to Pew.

Pew’s study also shows that African Americans made up 55 percent of gun homicide victims in 2010, even though they account for 13 percent of the population. White people were 25 percent of gun homicide victims, and Hispanics were 17 percent.

Do these reports have any implications on the gun control debate in America? They don’t say. Bloomberg thinks that the reports, which are consistent with other recent studies, might actually pour cold water on the progressive side of the debate.

But look beyond the politics and the fear-mongering of the mainstream media. We’re living in a nation that is less violent, not more violent. That has to be good news to you no matter what side of the aisle you’re on.

What do you think of the latest studies on gun homicides in the US?

[Image via: Burlingham, Shutterstock]

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33 Responses to “Gun Homicides Hit 20-Year Low In The US Wait, What? [Report]”

  1. Heather Johnson

    Why is the rate down? It would be interesting to see if gun control laws have anything to do with the decrease.

  2. Dusten Carlson

    I wondered that too, but there is that note about how 70 percent of U.S. homicides were gun related in 1993 all the way through to 2011. So the statistical number of people using guns to kill people didn't budge … less people overall are being killed.

  3. Elaine Radford

    It's demographics. Most gun crimes are committed by young men in their teens and twenties. But we have an aging population. Not that I oppose gun control. In fact I support it. If nothing else, being able to track weapons and ammo can help solve crimes faster and get criminals off the street faster. But as far as I know, the fall in the murder rate over the last 20 years or so is straight-out demographics.

  4. Mark Losben

    I'd like to know how legitimate they are. And WHO did those studies and if they're would be bias from those doing the studies.

  5. Dusten Carlson

    There's probably a lot that goes into it, but in the end = less violence. Far from paradise, but good news for all.

  6. Thaddeus Hardison

    That has to be the most asinine statement I have ever read.

  7. Alan Johnson

    You can get all the criminals you want off the street as fast as you can, but our justice system fails the people by not keeping them off the streets. Most violent criminals are released from prison in less than 10 years, and some never see the inside of a prison.

  8. Kevin Vick

    Elaine, the number of firearms and gun owners has increased over the past twenty years. I understand your point about an aging demographic but it's far from the entire story.

  9. Kevin Vick

    Mark, perhaps if you actually read the story Dusten wouldn't have to tell you what it says.

  10. Kevin Vick

    Heather, gun laws have loosened up by and large over the past 20 years. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of law-abiding citizen firearm owners to carry concealed.

  11. Nehemiah E. Spencer

    The locales where gun control is the most stringent overlap with places where gun-related deaths are the highest. Case in point: Chicago.

    In less oppressive areas of the country, the increased freedom to protect one's self has provided increased deterrence to criminal activity by those who would break the law.

  12. Rose Hilliard

    Bet you won't see this reported in mainstream media on the front page! But you will see them continue to milk every story of a shooter with a gun to the max – that's planned to keep Americans edgy and afraid so we'll "trust" the government to "take care of us".

  13. Thomas Cook

    Don't call it Gun control, it's people control. Gun control=Laws, criminals are criminals why?? They do not fallow the laws. What part of "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" do you NOT UNDERSTAND??? Do you have a sign on your door that says "GUN FREE HOME" If not your a bigot, because when guns are outlaw'd only outlaws will have guns.

  14. Melissa Wickison

    In some states, to carry concealed, you have to take a fire arm safety class. It makes sure you know the laws – coaches on when you should shoot and makes sure you know how to take care of your weapon as well as shoot it.

  15. Jason Smith

    @Mark Why don't you do the research yourself? All the facts point to the truth. Try looking up the F.B.I.'s statistics. That should be proof enough for any close minded liberal to accept………………

  16. Robert Enders

    "The Pew study said that gun homicides per 100,000 people fell to 3.6 percent in 2010 from 7 percent in 1993."
    Did you mean to type "people" rather than "percent"? 3.6% homicides per 100,000 would mean 3600 people in that sample were killed.

  17. Ryan Martinez

    I can cite several specific examples where looser gun control laws/more guns means less crime. One is in Florida. Specifically Orlando, where rape was on the rise (as it was nationally) in 1966 at 36/100K (triple the 1965 statistic). To combat it, the city of Orlando offered firearms training classes. In 1967 the statistic dropped to 4/100K.
    Secondly, the first AWB took place in 1994, when crime was already decreasing. It expired in 2004. What happened in 2004, 2005, etc until now? Gun crime has continued to decrease. (Except in Washington, DC, Chicago, and California, which are, ironically, the top contenders for the Brady Campaign's highest grades.)

  18. Johnathan Gopen

    They most certainly do not. The Assault Weapons Ban was the only significant Federal piece of legislation in this time-frame, and violence was on the decrease REGARDLESS of it's presence. It has been studied, and affirmed that no significant benefit or impedance was caused by this bill. In essence, it didn't do squat.

  19. Dustin Bottomley

    Glad i'm not the only one who noticed that.

  20. Dustin Bottomley

    My simple math shows its 3.46 homicides PER 100k people

  21. Bryan Keith Roberts

    does this mean we are just stbbing each other more, or being more ceative with our kills? lol its not funny but I doubt your epic bullswank numbers are right.

  22. Scott Hawke

    Only place where gun crime may be going up is where the high and mighty nanny Demoncraps have invoked onerous excessive gun control laws. Chicago is a prime example.

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