Fox News: No correlation between gun ownership, murder rates

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

For ages now, we’ve been told that high gun ownership correlates to a higher homicide rate. In fact, most in the media and on the anti-Second Amendment side of the debate take this as gospel truth and never bother to question it.

But is there any reality to it?

Well, Fox News took a look at it and found the answer was “no.”

Calls have rung out across the nation demanding gun control laws in a bid to curb violent crimes such as the recent series of mass shootings. Data, however, show that in states with higher percentages of households with at least one gun, crimes are not higher than in states with strict gun laws.

“Gun ownership is higher in states with fewer restrictions, and homicide rates in these states are lower. People can protect themselves,” George Mason University Professor Emerita Joyce Lee Malcolm told Fox News Digital of what she’s found through her research. Malcolm pointed to a study on burglars from 1986 that found 34% of burglars interviewed reported “to having been scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim.”

Fox News Digital compiled FBI data from 2019 detailing murders and gun murders per 100,000 population for most states, as well as assembled Rand Corporation data released in 2020 showing the percentage of households with at least one firearm in 2016. The data does not reflect the skyrocketing violent crimes of 2020 and likely undercounts the current percentages of homes with at least one firearm as it does not reflect the influx of Americans who rushed to arm themselves in 2020.

The data show that many states with higher percentages of gun ownership had lower or similar murder and gun murder rates to states with strict gun control. Montana and Wyoming came in the top spots for states with the highest percentages of gun ownership, with more than 66% of households with at least one firearm. However, the states also saw murder and gun murder rates similar to states with strict gun laws.

Pretty interesting, don’t you think?

See, the truth of the matter is that even where a correlation exists, the question must be asked as to why such a correlation exists. Is the murder rate the result of so many guns? Or are so many guns the result of the murder rate?

And that correlation isn’t close to universal. Looking at a list of states by rates of gun ownership–an imprecise list, to be sure, but work with me here–then comparing it to a list of states by murder rates and you will see some similarities, sure, but you’ll also note some very profound differences.

That tells you that there’s something else going on.

However, there appear to be too many “researchers” who really just use the title in an attempt to hide their partisanship. They won’t take a deeper look at what’s going on here because it’s easier and more politically convenient to claim this correlation is real and significant.

Well, it’s not.

I’d say, though, that at least we now have information to refute it, but we all know anti-gunners will dismiss this because it’s Fox News, which is a shame.

It doesn’t change the truth, though.