In the wake of the gun control push that began after Sandy Hook, Americans purchased more firearms and ammunition in 2013 than in any given year in history. The super-majority of these firearms were semi-automatic pistols, followed by modern sporting rifles such as the AR-15 and AKs.

According to citizen control advocates that like to falsely equate more guns with more violence, this year should have been a bloodbath for everyone, including law enforcement officers.

Instead, police are on pace for the lowest officer death rate in a over century.

With only a couple weeks to go, 2013 is shaping up to be the safest year for police officers since the 1950s.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 97 police officers have died on the job so far this year. That’s down 15 percent from this time last year. And last year, 120 cops died, the lowest raw number since 1959. If you look at the rate of fatalities — cops who died as a percentage of cops on duty — we’re looking at the safest era for cops in over a century.

Even these figures include non-homicide deaths like heart attacks or car accidents. Actual violence against police officers is dropping even more dramatically. This year, for example, firearms-related officer fatalities are down 38 percent from last year, and last year was already among the lowest in decades.

This year is part of a trend of officer deaths going down even as law-abiding citizens tool up. We shouldn’t assume that correlation equals causation, but I’m happy with the correlating trends and hope they continue for a long time to come.