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2011 FBI Violent Crime Stats: Gun Ownership Up/Crime Rates Drop

by James Tarr   |  June 20th, 2012 35

It was twenty or so years ago when one of the Big 3 networks (I think it was ABC) broadcast a made-for-TV movie about what would happen if it was suddenly legal for everyone to not just buy a gun but carry it.


What did they envision happening?  What do you think?  The Wild West, gunfights in the streets, any ridiculous liberal stereotype about redneck-inbred-psychotic gun owners you can think of.  Unfettered by the government, the writers of this televised excrement naturally assumed anyone who wanted to buy (much less carry) a gun was not just crazy but dangerous.  I presume the network thought this to be some sort of a morality play, and green lit the project because at the time there was a new push by gunowners for lawful concealed carry.


Wow, what a difference a few short decades make.


Currently just about every state but Illinois allows concealed carry of one form or another, and about 37 of those states have what I consider rational laws—some version or variation of “shall issue”, where the government has to give you a CCW unless there is a specific reason (criminal record, documented psychiatric problems) not to.


This hasn’t been an overnight phenomenon, but an uphill battle that has taken a long time.  During this legislative fight, gun control advocates have continually warned us that allowing citizens to carry guns would result in more “gun violence”—i.e. more shootings, murders, blah blah blah.  One of the reasons this argument has not been very (if at all) successful is that people can look at the areas of the country with the most restrictive gun laws and see that they, without exception, have the highest crime rates.  Hmmm.


Well, the FBI just put out the 2011 violent crime rates, and lo and behold, violent crime decreased 4 percent in 2011.  Considering how many guns are being sold in this country (NICS checks are at an all time high), and how many states allow concealed carry, no one who is rational could now argue that legally-owned guns or the ability to carry them concealed has anything to do with increasing the rate of violent crime.  In fact, looking at the data, it appears that guns and concealed carry might be causing the crime rate to go down….


What response do the gun-grabbers have to these statistics?  None.  They’re probably waiting for the next random shooting, the next tragedy where they can broadcast their political agenda.


The next time some anti-gunner starts ranting at you, calmly use some of the facts in the above article to shut them down.  They won’t listen to you, because their position is emotion-based, but maybe someone else within earshot, who is on the fence, will walk away a little smarter…..

  • John Hardin
    • James Tarr

      That's the one! Thanks John, I tried tracking it down through IMDB, but couldn't remember who was in it.

      • John Hardin

        The daydream sequence at 3:43 to 4:15 is a hoot.

  • LibertarianMan

    Ya know, I like my guns as much as anyone, but…

    Correlation is NOT causation. And that is a fact.

    • Texas Wizard

      OK let's talk about causes:

      Fear Factor – When you carry a gun and know how to use it, you are now in a situation where you can decide what action to take. You have it drummed into you the LEGAL alternatives for using force. You know that if you draw your gun you will likely KILL someone, there is no do over and it is a terrible thing to do, but to save life sometimes life must be taken.

      State of mind – When I carry my pistol it's kind of like glasses for my mind. My and other peoples behavior becomes very clear. If someone cuts me off in traffic I don't think about running him down in a fit of road rage, instead the thought is more like "Really hope you get where your going buddy". I don't know if its the same for everybody but it works this way for me. "An armed society is a polite society".

      Libertarian principle – I heard being a Libertarian was to take responsibility for himself and his actions and not depend on the government to do all his thinking for him. I must be wrong as your post sounds like something an ultra liberal would post.

      • John Hardin

        "…sounds like something an ultra liberal would post." I wouldn't quite say that. After all, correlation isn't causation.

        We have to be very clear, to ourselves at the least, that while the stats may not prove that increased gun ownership leads to a decrease in crime (however logical that conclusion may seem), the stats do DISprove the "gun control" advocates' common claim that increased gun ownership will lead to more violent crime and/or gun deaths.

        For a more graphical treatment of the fallacy of the "more guns = more gun deaths" claim, see this:… …highly recommended, spread it around.

    • Fred Blumer

      "Correlation is NOT causation". Psychology 101 and it's "Correlation does not imply causation". Hence it is not a fact.

      • Guest

        Just thinking that, because they keep trotting out that statistic from Freakanomics that crime went down when abortions became legal.

    • Thinker

      Thanks for thinking further :)! I have nothing against guns, but saying that concealed weapons help the crimerate down is really jumping to conclusions that aren't there.

  • DennisKsmith

    It was appearant the first year that concealed carry deterred crime. It makes the "bad guys" wonder just how many people in this 7-11 are packing.

  • Celeste Tornwall Felice

    You are forgetting one important point: that the reporting our States do- regarding crime statistics and data to the Feds for the UCR or 'Uniform Crime Reports'; is Voluntary Not mandatory! SO if a State wants to look better in the UCR for a certain period of time, they report less crimes per city/per state.most of the US population or average persons do not understand the UCR or even know of it and that it can be accessed for free!

    • Robert Willis

      While that is true, as a former law enforcement officer, I know that when you report anything but correct information in the UCR when you apply for federal grants for EQ and training, If there is no need for the federal support you will not get it! IE, most if not all report correctly! The places that do not report correctly are places like "exclusive resorts" police depts where they want all the tourist money they can get. Less crime reported, more people come to your "safe" community!

      • E. Zach Lee-Wright

        Some college campuses also have discouraged the official reporting of some crimes (especially rape) in order to make their college appear safer. Of course when an honest administrator comes along, the numbers jump and the honest person is blamed for the "increase".

  • nhra456

    I'm an Illinois resident……..our crime rates so high because when the criminal grabs the door handle he knows there's no gun on the other end………and its good he's registered all his guns and has a FOID card! It the honest citizen who doesn't stand a chance!

    • Redline

      I feel really bad for you brother / sister, especially if that "nhra" in your name means you're a drag racing fan! We'll all just keep the pressure up on the Illinois state legislature. Perhaps your constitutional rights will eventually be restored.

  • BigTex

    If you live in a country where you truly believe that you need to carry a handgun to be safe then that pita you in very select company. Some African nations currently engaged in civil war come to mind. Any right thinking person should be questioning what is fundamentally wrong with such a society. I love Americans as individuals but as a society you are to be so very pitied. It must be a burden.

  • Tango Juliet

    Nope BigTex. Being able to carry a gun is the hallmark of a free people. It's not about "need." It's about what's at stake. Violent crime is a random and unpredictable thing for most of us (those who engage in criminal activity, like dealing dope, are more likely to be involved in violence.)

    No, Americans should be envied as we enjoy the right to self-defense, a fundamental human right.

    • Big Texfff

      I guess that explains the enviable murder rate by handguns and I guess that makes the civilized world wrong in their thinking which I guess they shall just have to live with – the bad news being of course that statistically that will be an ever longer time than
      Most Americans whose life expectancy is going the wrong way

      • doliver

        ok I see it is not your fault and all those out house rats you have been living with have had dire effects on your cognitive abilities, ergo crazy as a shit house rat.

  • Hank

    Being able to own and carry a gun may give some people a sense of power, but in my way of thinking (flawed or not, it is mine), it gives me a sense of duty and responsibility, in addition to being able to respond to the possibility of defending myself, my family, my friends, my neighbors, and yes, even an unknown innocent who just happens to disagree with my right to do so. I do not buy insurance because I plan to be sick, have a fire, crash my car, etc. I buy it because the results of needing it and NOT having it are more than I am willing to accept. So it is with gun ownership. If you do not believe in it, do not own one. But if you are being mugged and a gun owner tries to intervene, please stop him/her and send them off to assist someone else; do NOT try to prevent them from helping me or mine. And to BigTex, never, ever, pity me as an American. There may be some burden in being an American, but it is in trying to share the freedoms we enjoy with the rest of the world; but it is a burdern we are willing to bear.

    • Big Texfah

      I do pity you. So much so that I weep. Such potential in your people – but so torn by misguided notions of freedom that your political parties mock you while they impoverish the many to the benefit of the few. So afraid of extending a helping hand to your fellow citizens that you render your State governments to the status of beggars – equate a few dollars in taxes that might help the needy with health care or better schools – no, believe me – you are tO be pitied and by the gods you are.

      • Redline

        This country wouldn't exist unless a few people had the "notion of freedom". Based on what I see from the rest of the world today, many could either still be whipping horses to get around or living under the "benevolent guidance" of Adolph Hitler, Sure, we as a people could be mocked by some in politics and yes there is corruption in government, but we have the *privilege* of giving them a stark reality-check every 2-6 years. Those individuals in government hungry for power my try to get more money for their pet programs, but as Americans we do our best to keep them on a short leash. We don't need government hand-outs to help others. We're called by the ONE God Almighty and our own moral imperatives to give and be generous to our neighbors– both here, and especially abroad. There are some of course who don't, but the law of reciprocity will eventually catch up to them. After all, life is a journey and a learning experience. In a "civilized" society, it is NOT the job of the government to provide resources except security, to others. It's the people who care that make the difference. While it's sometimes difficult to share the burdens of humanity such as helping in a tornado cleanup or driving a neighbor to the hospital, it reminds us of our common connection. So Big Tex, next time you're looking for someone to pity, don't look to America– look in the mirror. Someday you just might get a chance to apologize to an American soldier as he is defending your country from a tyrant or providing disaster relief from a tsunami or a famine. May God continue to bless America, even through our struggles!

      • doliver

        Tell me you cut and pasted this out of Cosmopolitan Magazine and I can laugh with you rather than at you

  • E. Zach Lee-Wright

    Take a good look at what happens when extreme gun control is implemented. Washington DC is the American city with the tightest gun control. In 2010 they had twenty seven times more murders than the larger city of El Paso, Tx. By the way, in El Paso any responsible adult citizen can carry a concealed handgun. Chicago is the second city for gun control. They had a murder rate nineteen times higher than El Paso's in the same year.

    According to the Brady Campaign Scorecard, California has the most gun control laws of any state. Their murder rate is over 400% higher than the state with the LEAST gun control.

    Folks, twenty seven times more murders is a lot in anyone's book. An awful lot. In order to ignore this amount of murdering you have to believe the facts are fudged or faked. They are not. Look up the number of homicides in El Paso, Washington DC and Chicago. Chicago is much larger than the other two so their figure is expressed as a rate (therefore population adjusted). Then look up the population of each city.
    You will find that my figures are correct. The California information comes from Brady and the FBI Crime Report. Some people go on about minorities but El Paso has as large a minority population as the other two.

    • BigTex

      Of statistics matter – and to gun junkies that is only when they can be bended in their favour – you would take your handguns and bury them if you were to compare US handgun deaths and the rest of the world …..

      • Elmo Labador

        I am not concerned with what the rest of the world thinks about America….People a lot smarter than you wrote the constitution, and I align with their logic….They wanted to be free men, you seem to want to be a subject…..There are plenty of countries that agree with your beliefs, South Africa (Where I have spent some time) kills people by burning them to death….No gun violence there, and no ability to protect yourself or your family from mob violence either….

      • doliver

        Yawn………….you have never been twenty miles from where you were born have you son?

  • Frank

    Thanks for posting the link to the movie John Hardin. I never new it existed especially in 1986 and it's very relevant to today. As Charlton Heston said (Mr. president, from my cold dead fingers!)

  • Black Bart

    Buy the book" More Guns Less Crime" if really want to see all of the statistics on this subject

  • Unarmed and Free

    DID YOU KNOW? Where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths.

    An estimated 41% of gun-related homicides and 94% of gun-related suicides would not occur under the same circumstances had no guns been present (Wiebe, p. 780).

    Higher household gun ownership correlates with higher rates of homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings (Harvard Injury Control Center).

    Keeping a firearm in the home increases the risk of suicide by a factor of 3 to 5 and increases the risk of suicide with a firearm by a factor of 17 (Kellermann, 1992, p. 467; Wiebe, p. 771).

    Keeping a firearm in the home increases the risk of homicide by a factor of 3 (Kellermann, 1993, p. 1084).

    • Ben

      Yeah and owning a dog makes you more likely to get bit by a dog.

    • Elmo Labador

      Owning a car increases your chance of being killed in a auto accident…..Having a swimming pool increases your chance of drowning….Are you for real?????

    • doliver

      yes and keeping a fire in your home increases the likelyhood of a fire by 100%
      DID YOU KNOW that most Americans at this point scoff with disdain every time Harvard is mentioned

  • Jacob Sanders

    This is why most of the gun control advocates focus more on emotional “arguments” and anecdotal evidence. There is no factual standpoint by which to base a gun control argument. But the media profits off of shocking (mass shooting) and controversial (gun prohibition) types of stories and many of the sheep in this country just go off of what makes them scared on TV.

  • usmc1063

    What gets me is when liberal mouth pieces rant and rave about controling guns the only argument they have is to rant and rave. Even when confronted with facts they have nothing but the rant and rave.

    In a 2011 gallop poll estimated that 47% of American home had atleast one firearm In 2010 the best estimate was between the were 190 to 300 million guns in private ownership. Now thats just a rough estimate the actual number and more current figures maybe closer to a half a billion guns. with the gun buying frenzy of 2011, 2012 & early 2013. Most guns stores are currently out of stock or on back order for AR’s and AK’s and most anything else. Ammo is also at a premium. But what is the real kicker is a recient FBI report on violent crime is down especially gun violence. Now tell me something who’s lieing here the responsible gun owner? Or The Gun Grabbers? Well atleast one thing Obama can claim for his job creation, the rise of the Gun industry to record high sales of over $4 billion dollars.

    Yet what really gets me is when they spout how peaceful the rest of the world is without guns. Yea right Great Britin has the highest rate of violent crime in Europe, Australlia is rapidly following suit South Africa. It’s mob rules violence they just toss a tire around you douce you in gas and burn you. Along with anyone else who gets in the way.

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