The Patriot Post® · Democrats Falsely Claim 'Epidemic of Gun Violence'
During last week’s Democratic National Convention, party leaders decried the “epidemic of gun violence” to justify their calls for ever more draconian gun control. While this surely makes a compelling sound bite, the facts expose it as nothing more than Democrat fearmongering.
Homicides with guns in the U.S. hit a historic high of 17,075 in 1993 before falling to 7,803 in 2014, a drop of 54%. They rose again from 2015 to 2017, and fell in 2018, at that point still 40% below 1993 totals. The gun homicide rate (deaths per 100,000) fell even more precipitously, to 3.1 — half the 1993 rate.
An astute historian might note that these homicide rates peaked the year before the Democrats’ 1994 “assault weapons” ban and argue the rate fell as a result of the ban. But there is a flaw in that logic; namely, the data doesn’t support it.
The so-called “assault weapons” ban ended in 2004, and despite rising levels of gun ownership following its expiration, the number of homicides committed with guns continued to plummet for another decade, including a more than 30% decline between 2005 and 2011 alone. It’s also worth noting that more people are murdered by hands and feet each year than by rifles of any type.
With the expiration of the “assault weapons” ban in 2004, and the Supreme Court’s decisions in Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010), which established the Second Amendment’s true meaning, the accessibility of firearms for private citizens increased. If the Democrats’ claims were correct, we should have seen an explosion in deaths by firearm.
Instead, gun homicide totals have stayed relatively constant (between 8,000 and 11,000 per year) as gun sales have drastically increased over the last decade and a half. Nearly 27 million firearms have been sold in the last 18 months alone, placing the total number of privately held firearms in the U.S. at well over 400 million.
So why, with gun sales skyrocketing but gun deaths constant, would Democrats falsely claim there is an epidemic of “gun violence”?
Because it sells. Because Democrats despise the idea of private citizens being able to protect themselves from criminals and tyrants. And because they know many people will believe their lies.
Last year, a Marist poll found that 59% of Americans believed “the per capita gun murder rate in the U.S.” was higher than it was 25 years earlier, while only 12% correctly knew the rate had fallen significantly. This outcome is similar to a recent poll that found that, on average, Americans believe 20% of the U.S. population has contracted COVID-19 and 9% (equal to three million people) had died from it. In reality, just 1% have been infected, and just 0.04% have died from/with it.
Barack Obama’s chief of staff and former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel famously told Democrats they should never let a crisis go to waste, and in their efforts to expand the size, scope, and power of government, and to restrict individual liberty, facts are a nuisance to leftist Democrats.
So instead, Democrats and the media (but we repeat ourselves) sensationalize every mass shooting and every shooting of a black man by a white cop. Never mind that mass shootings account for less than 1% of all gun homicides, or that the number of “unarmed” black men killed by police in America in a year is less than the number of black men killed by other black men in Chicago on your average weekend.
No, if Democrats wanted to have an honest conversation about “gun violence,” they would ask themselves why every major U.S. city plagued by violence (places like St. Louis, Detroit, DC, Memphis, Baltimore, and New Orleans) have been run by Democrats for decades and have some of the most draconian gun-control laws in the nation.
They might also look at the rioting, looting, murder, and mayhem that has plagued their cities this year, with local officials doing little to stop it (and often praising the rioters), and draw a correlation between the unchecked violence and anarchy and a jump in gun sales by law-abiding citizens, even in liberal strongholds like California, where gun shops are seeing more than a 100% increase in sales over last year.
It’s unlikely that gun sales will drop so long as the Democrat Party and its leaders refuse to even acknowledge the murder and anarchy that has engulfed their cities, much less take steps to stop it. In Chicago, murders are up 50%, and in New York, they’re up 30%. There has been rioting in Portland for nearly 90 straight days.
In a way, freedom-loving Americans owe the Democrats a debt of gratitude. When things are relatively peaceful, the siren song of security may entice people to give up individual liberties in the name of security and social cohesion.
But when violent leftists are invading neighborhoods and threatening to kill residents and burn their homes down, when dozens of 9-1-1 calls go unanswered by local police during a riot, and when a state’s attorney general tells citizens that police should no longer respond to rape calls, even the most gun-averse American starts to think twice about leaving their family’s safety and security to politicians and bureaucrats who practice protection for me but not for thee.
If we want to restore peace, safety, and security in America, getting rid of guns is not the answer.
We need to get rid of Democrats.