Assault Weapons More Popular Than Ever, Crime Still Going Down

So-called assault weapons are being demonized with every op-ed the anti-gunners can manage. They’re described as weapons used to hunt humans. People claim they serve no purpose except for murder. Folks with no self-defense background routinely claim that such weapons are useless for self-defense.

However, it seems that not only are the guns even more popular than before, but crime is also still going down.

The FBI has released its crime data for 2018 and the news is good. Violent crime dropped 3.3 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. According to the report, a decrease was seen across nearly every type of violent crime.

Looking at a 10-year trend, the numbers of violent crimes were down a full 9 percent from 2009 through 2018. The rate shows a more dramatic drop: “There were an estimated 368.9 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2018, a rate that fell 3.9 percent when compared with the 2017 estimated violent crime rate and dropped 14.6 percent from the 2009 estimate.”

Homicides with firearms were down 7 percent from 2017. And in stark contrast to the theatrics of last week’s House Judiciary Committee on banning modern sporting rifles, rifles were again only used in 2 percent of homicides, far less than the share committed with knives (11 percent) or hands and feet (5 percent).

I’m not going to link in the graph from the original link because, well, I don’t have permission to do so. I can assure you that the graph shows that the increase in modern sporting rifles–the industry and proper name for so-called assault rifles–correlate to a drop in violent crime.

Now, look, I’m not going to try and say that the relationship is a causal relationship. It’s probably not. It’s just a corollary.  Correlation does not equal causation and all of that jazz.

However, on the same token, if such rifles were the bugaboo the anti-gun crowd claims, one would expect to see the opposite correlation. You’d expect to see more violence as the number of such rifles increased. If they’re used so often for nefarious purposes, why wouldn’t you see an increase?

Maybe, just maybe…hear me out here…the problem isn’t guns or even a particular type of gun. Maybe the problem has nothing to do with guns but, instead, is something completely different and we’re somehow doing something right on accident? Well, probably not on accident since I’m sure we were trying to accomplish it, but maybe the decrease in violence is a secondary effect rather than what we were going for in the first place.

In which case, gun bans are completely and totally pointless and always will be. We’d do better to look at what we got right and try to figure out just how we can get it “more right” in a manner of speaking. Then we could further reduce violent crime without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens for a change.

I know, I know, it’s too radical. The anti-gunners would never allow that to happen. They have to ban guns because they don’t understand much of anything else on the topic, but a guy can dream, can’t he?