Let’s Remember That Violent Crime In America Has Been Trending Down Even As Gun Sales Skyrocket


“We’ve got to do something.”

That seems to be the refrain after the violent school shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut yesterday. What that “something” is isn’t often well-defined by those calling for “something” to happen. It all reminds me of this Russell Brand spoof about “doing something,” mocking this sort of pop-culture activism.

But here’s the thing: While the incident in Connecticut was terrible, statistically it’s an anecdote. It’s one incident, and the emotional response to it should hardly be the basis or even the impetus for sweeping changes in public policy.

Because here’s reality. Based on data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting statistics, violent crime has been trending down in America for a couple of decades now:


What’s even more interesting than that is the fact that, even during this decline in violent crime, gun sales have skyrocketed. In the last three years alone gun sales in America have increased 40%.

And not only have gun sales gone through the roof, but states have taken a more permissive stance toward carrying those guns. Since the 1980’s no fewer than 49 states have passed laws allowing concealed carry. While these laws vary from state to state in terms of how restrictive they are, the trend is definitely toward more gun possession:


Put simply, there are more guns out in the public, the number of people carrying guns with them has increased and violent crime has declined.

I won’t go so far as to say that violent crime is down because of these upward trends in right to carry and gun sales (though I don’t think a connection between the two should be dismissed either), but if the gun control proponents are correct we should be seeing violent crime spikes in correlation to these spiking sales and increasingly lax carry laws.

We’re not, and that’s devastating for the case of gun control. All the more so because the places where gun control is the most severe, places like Chicago and Washington DC, have some of the worst crime rates in the nation. There is also a lesson to be learned from our international friends as well. Great Britain, for instance, banned handguns outright in the mid-1990’s. Yet over the last decade, gun crimes are up 89% in that country.

Maybe it’s time to admit that gun control doesn’t reduce crime.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • WOOF

    U.S.> “in 2008,
    303,880 victims of violent crimes stated
    that they faced an offender
    with a firearm.

    Gonna take the Brits a couple of hundred years to catch up.

    • $8194357

      Simple fix for you..Move to Britain…

      • two_amber_lamps

        Ten ring!

      • mickey_moussaoui

        better yet, move to Cuba where he will fit in

    • mickey_moussaoui

      first they have to multiply their population up to 350,ooo,ooo

  • Roy_Bean

    Isn’t it odd? In North Dakota, District Judges are allowed to qualify and carry anywhere a police officer can. It’s odd that the people who issue restraining orders to protect the rest of us feel that they need a gun to protect themselves.

  • Bat One

    If the perps are actually selecting sites where there is no chance of immediate, armed response, such as schools or churches or public venues that restrict concealed-carry firearms, then they obviously aren’t too deranged or emotionally “troubled” to know that what they’re doing is wrong.

    • sbark

      wouldnt that be called premeditated

      • Bat One


  • $8194357

    I will not lay down my carnal mans weapons..

    I will also remind folks to get in their prayer closets
    and seek the Spiritual weapons needed to fight the
    good fight of Faith and run our race until the Lord Returns….


    Pray or become prey…..

    One more from Scripture…
    Walking down the road where even angles fear to tread….
    Forgetting all about the Lord, content to walk alone…..


  • WOOF

    Most of the mass killers go on their “mission”
    prepared/expecting to die.
    All are victims of the killers “logic”.

    • $8194357

      Walking down a road where even angles fear to tread, woof….


    • mickey_moussaoui

      Obama is a killer. His weapon of choice is a drone. But seriously, there’s never been one of these mass shootings at a gun show. The truth operates in the obverse: it is precisely where there are the most guns and people who know how to use them where the massacres do not occur. When defensive guns are known to be in the target area, such as schools, the massacre-minded madman will have second thoughts about his target selection. If you really want to solve the problem then spend that stimulus money making the schools safer. Hire armed officers to patrol the facility. Instead of wasting money on unions, hire guards.

      • two_amber_lamps

        He also kills Federal Agents and State department employees with his failed social experiments and refusal to admit the existence of islamo-fascism.

      • WOOF

        There’s are those who enjoy the rush.
        Rob an armored car with three armed guards rather than a hold up a bank with the supplied pen and paper.
        Gun shows are known for accidental shootings.
        People are often shot with unloaded weapons.

  • borborygmi

    So the fix is making the schools into armed camps or at least employing couple of armed security guards and yes the tax payers can pay for them.

    ON a side note “the incident in Connecticut was terrible, statistically it’s an anecdote.” I hope you kids never become an “anecdote” Rob. These anecdotes keep getting adding up.

    • sbark

      blow things out of proportion much?

      Armed security guards………hey more public union workers—whats the problem?
      Appears all of the teachers such as in Wisc. have the “mentallity” already—as portrayed by the Public union brohahs during the Scott Walker deal…..

      • borborygmi

        Yah you are probably right, this was a public school with most likely union teachers that died trying to protect the kids. Damn those Dead Union Teachers.

        Yes Security guards. I didn’t mention Union anyplace but you jumped there pretty fast. We created this society we have to live with society, security guards seems to be a way of doing it. NO guns are taken away, no ammunition or banned clips. Kids might have a fighting chance.

        Should expert Marksmen have to be a prerequisite for teaching. Is that the society you really want to create?

  • Guest

    And hopefully once we arm every kindergardener and elderly elementary school teacher there will be no more gun related deaths! Derp.

    • tony_o2

      Nobody is talking about arming the children.

      How many mass shootings have been successfully carried out at facilities that have an armed security presence? Why do they always seem to happen in “gun-free” zones?

      • HG

        I know plenty of teachers who are more than comfortable with a firearm. A few armed teachers would be a huge improvement and a likely deterent.

        • tony_o2

          I also know teachers that are proficient with firearms. What guest is trying to do is stereotype teachers as frail grandmothers that cant see past the end of their swaying barrel.

          Nobody is talking about arming children and teachers/faculty who would be unsafe with a firearm. But since people like guest are incapable of keeping up with rational discussions, they refute imaginary “solutions”.

        • mickey_moussaoui

          Teachers should be able to pass a second amendment conceal/carry class before they even get a license to teach. If they can’t uphold the constitution what good are they as teachers?

    • sbark

      I notice a long term trend here. The left never wants to proceed with something that actually has worked……ie Israels school policy.

      They instead will go headlong with the insanity of doing the same thing over and over again but expecting diff. results…….more laws, more regulations, more of simply plaugerizing Karl Marx when it gets washed down to the skin of it.

  • Guest

    Your argument that the prevalence of guns possibly correlates to a reduction in crime has been widely debunked, Mr. Political Hack. “Ultimately, there appears to be little basis for believing that concealed weapons laws have had an appreciable impact on crime.” The drop in crime in the 1990s is largely attributed to a greater police presence, increased prison sentences, and the receding crack epidemic. http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/LevittUnderstandingWhyCrime2004.pdf

    • Frank
      • sbark

        1st sentence sums it up….

        Notice that the left always claims something they dont agree with is “debunked”……..

        and yet an issue like Global warming is the gods truth no matter what the facts say…..

        • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

          Gusty’s English speaking abilities are debunked with every comment it makes.

          • Guest

            Goof’s reasoning skills are debunked with every post he makes.

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            How derivative! I guess we should expect your originality to mirror your reasoning abilities

          • Guest

            A mirror is Goof’s greatest insult.

      • Guest

        Wow, linking to a study debunked in the link! How persuasive. Derp.

  • HG

    Let’s remember that full automatic firearms are restricted and that most of these shootings the left leverages to restrict guns are committed with semi-automatic rifles and handguns. The left love to call these” assault weapons” but it has nothing to do with the action of the firearm and everything to do with the styling of the firearm.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    One thing is certain, when the world needs help they never ask for an unarmed liberal to save them

  • yy4u2

    Gun control doesn’t reduce crime but it does reduce a person that would and could help if he/she could carry to victim status.

  • $8194357

    This isn’t your daddys America now , hear?
    Those Constituional equal protection under the law days are long gone, huh..

    Liberals Call For Murder Of NRA President, Members & Repeal Of Second Amendment

    Read more:

    Isn’t that just like liberals?
    They are ticked off over a shooting that took innocent lives
    and they turn right around and want to murder innocent people
    that have done them absolutely no harm!

    But that wasn’t all.
    There were cries of those wanting to do away with
    the Second Amendment and banning the NRA.

    Read more:

  • awfulorv

    Better that some shall die than millions, which is what has transpired in every country the Communists have taken over. And these folks in charge have employed avowed Communists, Van Jones, have they not? Do you trust them enough to give up the only thing they fear, a well armed citizenry? As Stalin said, “One death is tragic, 50.000 deaths are a statistic”.

  • $8194357

    The propaganda machine owned by the international elite have the script in hand and have for quite some time, IMO. The UN wants a global citizenry un armed and have for a very long time…Barry is their boy toy puppet…Get ready folks…We are going on a rail road job…The tracks are all ready laid waiting for the spikes to tie em in place..


  • mickey_moussaoui

    Government officials told the Washington Guardian on Friday night that two Justice Department programs that had provided more than $200 million to schools for training, security equipment and police resources over the last decade weren’t renewed in 2011 and 2012, and that a separate program that provided $800 million to put police officers inside the schools was ended a few years earlier.

    Meanwhile, the administration eliminated funding in 2011-12 for a separate Education Department program that gave money to schools to prepare for mass tragedies, the officials said.

    It’s a damn good thing Obama had all that cash to throw at failed solar companies!!!!

    • awfulorv

      And lets not forget the auto charging stations in Brussels…

      • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

        The State Department also spent $4.5 Million for art in our embassies. (Link over in the Linkaround)

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Some liberal groups have increasingly voiced concerns about the increased spending on police and security at schools. For instance, the Justice Policy Institute, a think tank, wrote a report in 2011 entitled “Education Under Arrest” that concluded that “schools do not need school resource officers to be safe.”


  • mickey_moussaoui

    Caldwell is also part of San Diego County Crime Stoppers and chair of the Students Speaking Out Committee. “This sub-program is tailored to campuses and provides students an avenue to report suspicious activity at their school. This sub program has had a total of 331 cases solved since inception. We’ve removed weapons from campuses, drugs, confronted bullying behavior, solved robberies, burglaries, vandalism, and drug cases.”

    However, this program depends on the generous donations from large corporations like Target, Sempra Energy, Walmart and the San Diego Chargers.

    ahhh the evil Walmart, making generous donations to save lives

  • mickey_moussaoui

    I rest my case. It is time for you libs the STFU for good.

  • awfulorv

    I’ll bet I could take $200.000 to an inner city school and, as an experiment, with no questions asked, and no punishment to the participants, offer a generous figure, say $2.000 cash for every, on the premises gun turned in, and I’d be out of money in an hour. Which, likely, explains why these Lanza types always target schools whose students are known to be defenseless. The answer: Arm them, and instruct them how to use those weapons. The teachers could do this on some of those half days they’re so fond of.

  • Matthew Hawkins

    Strange that Harvard says that more guns means more homicides:


  • Don Quixote

    From the Harvard Injury Control Research Center: More guns equate to more homicides.

    Gun ownership has been declining and so has the violent crime rate. The number of guns has risen, but it would imply that people with guns own more of them.

    11 of the deadliest shootings in the US have happened since 2007. Mass shootings in the US are not unusual (amount to about 2 episodes a year).

    We may not be as violent as we once were, but we are still far more violent than other developed countries.

    Who cares about the mental state or premeditation of the perps when people are dead. Nothing you do to the perps, if they don’t commit suicide, will bring the dead back to life.

    2008-10-27 Connecticut boy, 8, killed in Mass gun show accident.
    2009-07-20 Man accidentally discharged a rifle at the Salem Gun Show.
    2010-03-21 Accidental shooting at a gun show in Denver.
    2011-03-02 Three people wounded by the accidental discharge of a rifle at a Bloomington, IL gun show.

    sbark….your comment about Global warming seems to indicate that you don’t believe climate change is occurring. The problem is that you think that the facts are on your side when they aren’t. Climate change is real.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Switzerland and Israel are both countries with guns in every home, because of mandatory military service and reserve duty obligation In virtually every household in those countries, there are guns. Nevertheless, the kind of gun violence we have witnessed in Connecticut, Aurora, Virginia Tech, at Columbine or other places, are unheard of there.

    Law abiding citizens owning guns are not the problem. They never have been.

    (S, C and A)

  • Sebastien DIAZ

    Guns are not the solution. Managing immigrants, education and social family should permit to reduce criminality