It appears that Robert Heinlein was correct: an armed society really is a polite society.

The FBI has just released their latest semi-annual crime report, covering January to June of 2013.

Nationwide, forcible rape was down 10.6 percent, burglary was down 8.1 percent, murder was down 6.9 percent, and aggravated assault was down 6.6 percent from the previous period. Arson plunged a staggering 15.6 percent.

There was slight increase (0.6-percent ) in murders in cities with a population of 25,000-49,999, and a 2 percent rise in murders in cities with a population of 50,000-99,999. The number of murders plunged the deepest in cities with a population of more than 1 million citizens, which reported a 18.5 percent drop.

Overall, violent crime dropped 5.4 percent, with the largest drop in non-metropolitan areas, which saw a 10.5 drop in overall violent crime, and a 13 percent drop in murders.

The crime rate dropped as firearm sales had a record-breaking year:

The FBI has released new statistics on NICS background checks showing 2013 gun sales hit a new record. The total number of background checks conducted for gun sales last year add up to 21,093,273, beating the previous 2012 record of 19,592,303 by 1,500,970. Texas conducted the most background checks with 1,633,278. Kentucky came is second with 1,578,331 background checks conducted.

National Shooting  Sports Foundation (NSSF) data shows that women are the fastest growing gun buying demographic. While manufacturers do not release model specific data, the majority of gun sales seem to be semi-automatic pistols and semi-automatic rifles. Ar-15-style rifles continue to be the most popular rifle sold in the nation, proving once again it is “America’s gun.”

The FBI data comes in sharp contrast to claims by gun prohibitionist groups that continually claim that gun violence is an “epidemic” and a “public health crisis,” even as it declines.