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Guns & safety: The facts

Friday - December 27, 2013

By Tribune-Review

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

For all the attempts by liberals to infringe on citizens' Second Amendment rights, gun ownership soared from 192 million firearms to 310 million between 1994 and 2009 while the murder rate among Americans decreased by nearly half.

And those statistics are not from the National Rifle Association. They're from the government's own Congressional Research Service.

The "firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide rate" dropped from 6.6 per 100,000 Americans in 1993 to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000, according to the CRS findings. Apart from a slight increase in 2006-07, the rate dropped again in 2008 - when the Supreme Court reaffirmed that firearm possession by individuals is constitutionally protected.

By 2011, the firearm-related murder rate was down to 3.2 per 100,000 citizens.

The leading category for firearm sales from 1994 to 2009 was handguns.

Is it coincidental that the overall murder rate declined as well, from 9 per 100,000 in 1994 to 4.7 per 100,000 in 2011? Not likely.

Not only did the gun-murder rate decline amid increased sales, the increase in Americans' gun ownership - in large measure, concealable guns - corresponds to a reduction in crime.

Nevertheless, gun-grabbers will insist on attempting to regulate the types of guns, magazines and ammunition that Americans can buy. Yet for all their fact-fractured histrionics, they're not protecting the well-being of anyone.