In our last post, we reported on an ongoing investigation regarding a shooting in Phoenix that left the driver a car dead and a passenger seriously injured. That incident, combined with the news of mass shootings in Denver, Colorado, Portland, Oregon and Newtown, Connecticut may suggest that gun violence is sharply rising. This perception is fueling tensions between political parties over background checks, assault rifle bans and sentences for gun crimes.
However, a pair of studies recently released may actually show that gun violence is more about perception and political wrangling than saving lives and protection constitutional freedoms.
According to a recent NPR report, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that gun related killings fell from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011. This drop represents a 39 reduction.
Similarly, the Pew Research Center found that the rate of gun homicides dropped as well. The rate of such crimes (7 percent per 100,000 people in 1993) fell nearly 50 percent (3.6 percent per 100,000 people in 2010).
Moreover, the number of non-fatal shootings were down by 70 percent during the study period, and followed an overall decline of violent crime over the 1990's and 2000's.
With the studies released just weeks after the U.S. Senate rejected a bill to broaden federal background checks for gun purchases, some may believe that they were persuaded by this information.
Nevertheless, gun rights advocates, as well as gun control proponents, continue to add their spin to the information released. Those who support gun rights say that the information proves that society is generally safer when people are armed. At the same time, gun control supporters maintain that background checks will keep dangerous weapons away from unstable people.
Source: NPR, Reports show gun homicides down since 1990's, May 7 2013