“Gun violence” or violence that happens to have been committed via a firearm is a hot-button debate and usually bent to serve a political motive. The problem when measuring violence committed via a firearm is that there needs to be a level of authenticity when tossing about the numbers. And context.
Well, numbers are in and both N.J. Governor Phil Murphy and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms agree on something, there’s been a drop in numbers. I don’t expect Murphy to be inviting CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb to Drumthwacket to break bread or to laud each other’s views anytime soon though. According to CCRKBA, more guns equals less crime.
Data posted at the Gun Violence Archive website shows 2023 produced fewer homicides, suicides, and gun-related injuries than in 2022, which indicates expansion of permitless carry laws, allowing more people to carry firearms for personal protection, did not result in more bloodshed as anti-gunners predicted.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms noted that GVA data traditionally drives the narrative from the gun prohibition lobby and its allies in the establishment media. The GVA is typically the first, if not only source quoted in news reports when the subject is related to violent crime.
“So far this year,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “there has been an odd silence from anti-gunners who were drowning us with ‘Chicken Little’ predictions of mass mayhem now that we’ve got more states with permitless carry. But the data from their favorite source doesn’t support those claims.”
According to the GVA data, 2023 produced fewer homicides (18,906) than in 2022 (20,396) and fewer suicides last year (24,090) than the year before (27,038). The overall numbers reflect the reductions: 42,996 people died as a result of so-called “gun violence” in 2023, down from the 47,434 victims listed by the GVA for 2022.
The call for impending blood in the streets as states marched into permitless carry came out ad nauseam. Here we’re observing a downward shift in violence committed by firearms and we’re confronted with this “more guns” dynamic. Permitless might not be the only thing to cast our eyes to, but maybe the nationwide “shall issue” law of the land when it comes to carry permits.
New Jersey has also seen a sharp drop in so-called “gun violence” numbers. According to a press event held with Governor Murphy, we’re seeing the lowest numbers in years, “Today we mark a great achievement for public safety in New Jersey, as we report the lowest number of shootings in nearly 15 years.”
According to the data, 924 people were shot in New Jersey during 2023 – a number that is down 13 percent from 2022. The prior year saw an even larger drop, with the state seeing a 25 percent reduction in shootings between 2021 and 2022.
Officials said 191 people were killed due to gun violence in New Jersey last year, a decrease of 8 percent from 2022.
Let’s return to Gottlieb’s “Chicken Little” analogy.
Back on June 24th of 2022, one day after the NYSRPA v. Bruen decision was handed down, N.J. State Police Superintendent Col. Pat Callahan said they expected more than 200,000 applicants for permits to carry in the Land of 1000 Diners. That speculated 200,000 applicants pushed Governor Murphy into signing an executive order to encourage anyone who would listen to discourage or ban the carry of firearms in spaces under their stewardship.
August 20, 2022, just under two months after NYSRPA v. Buren, I reported on the confirmed issuance of Permits to Carry in the Garden State. Those permits were from two people whom I was able to get on the record and see their permits. There were reports of people getting their permits sooner than that date, but not by anyone who was willing to go on the record with me.
According to the numbers we were provided, 2022 saw a 25% drop in shootings from 2021. Is that a coincidence? For just under half of 2022 people were able to get permits to carry and legally carry their firearms and we saw such a drop? And 2023 saw a drop of 13% from 2022. 2023 was the first full year on record that New Jersey residents were some-what repatriated with their Second Amendment right to carry a firearm outside the home since the late 1960’s or early 1970’s.
Callahan and Murphy were so busy freaking out over the possibilities that they had to surrender some of their control over the people that they did not pause to think of the intended consequence of an armed populace – a drop in crime! This is proving that an armed society is indeed a polite society.
The data from the GVA and spouted out by Murphy make fine bedfellows.
“Lo-and-behold,” Gottlieb observed, “the numbers don’t support the narrative. You can bet if they did, the gun ban crowd would be crowing, but instead it appears they may be eating crow. Just last week, a study by the Ohio Attorney General’s office shows how gun-related crime actually declined in six cities during the year following enactment of a permitless carry law in the Buckeye State.
“Tens of millions of honest citizens, exercising their constitutional right to keep and bear arms, have not been running amok, whether they live in permitless carry states or where a carry license is still required,” Gottlieb added. “If the data shows us anything at all, it proves anti-gunners have been wrong about licensed concealed carry and constitutional carry. Maybe we should ask what else are they wrong about?”
I doubt Governor Phil Murphy will ever publicly connect the dots on what freedom loving patriots can clearly observe. There are now permit to carry holders in New Jersey and there was a drop in gun violence. The GVA observed a national trend in the drop of gun violence, but ignores the leap in the number of permitless carry states and the fact that all the remaining “may-issue” states are now shall issue. I understand this is a very inconvenient truth, much like how it was the Democratic party standing at the doorway of the school house, but maybe it’s time to lay down the scepter and admit that more guns equals less crime.