One certainly would not know it by watching 24-hour news cycles and listening to our political elite hammering gun control down our collective throats, but gun crime has dropped significantly in the past decade, down to nearly half of what it was back in the 1990s – according to research conducted by the Pew Research Center.
“National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime,” wrote the final Pew report. “Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew.”
The important point in all this, however, is that the majority of Americans are unaware of the drop in gun crime due to our media cycle that thrives on large, well-publicized tragedies. “Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence,” the report said, “most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago.” In fact, another Pew research poll found that 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher now than it was 20 years ago.
Certainly news of a drop in gun crime is devastating to the civilian disarmament push making its way through Congress and in several states around the Union. Many states, including Colorado, Connecticut and New York, have put in place new controls on guns that re-define “assault weapons” and limit magazine capacities, merely to establish a set of talking points politicians can use to make their constituents believe their election into Congress was in some way meaningful.
The facts be damned. When it comes to gun control, it’s not about facts. It’s about politics.