Gun crimes plunge as media play up tragedies

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.

The fear of crime is far more dangerous than crime itself

fear1It is tough to watch the evening news, read the papers, browse virtually any news-related web site or listen to career politicians these days and come away with any other impression than crime is on the increase.  The more consistent the story, the more likely the people are to believe it.

And naturally, when people fear crime, they are more apt to submit to government-mandated controls over the liberties and freedoms of the American people to combat the presumed violence.  It is true, the majority of people today believe that crime is on the increase.  According to a Gallop poll, 68% of those questioned believe that crime is worse today than a year ago.

It is not.  In fact, crime has steadily decreased since the mid 1990s.

It is not secret data.  The FBI routinely publishes crime numbers, and crime throughout the country is on the decrease.  In 2010, the FBI announced that crime nationally had dipped to a 40-year low.  In fact, not only has violent crime in general fallen, but violent crime in schools has decreased as well.  According to the government’s own numbers, crime has fallen a whopping 65% since 1993.

But, the wall-to-wall coverage of crime from our nation’s media and career politicians would certainly have you believe otherwise.  Gun control is hot, and politicians are taking advantage of highly publicized crimes to build the necessary fear among the population to encourage people to swallow increasing breaches of freedom.  If kids are afraid to go to school or walk the streets, government must do something.  Violence must stop, and according to President Obama, the government needs to act now.

Gallop PollBut according to its own numbers, it doesn’t.

“The fear of crime is ever-present, even when crime isn’t,” wrote Radley Balko in a Huffington Post report published last year.  “I’m sure the cable news obsession with sensational crime stories and the emergence of tragedy vultures like Nancy Grace have a lot to do with it. Long-developing trends like the crime drop by definition aren’t daily news. Crime is, even when it’s down.”

People’s fear of crime is a threat to their own liberty – nay, to all of our liberties as American citizens.  When people willingly give up freedoms under the guise of security, we quickly begin to tip the scales of freedom in favor of the state.  Public perception is a powerful tool and, when used carefully by authorities, can produce seriously threatening results for freedom-lovers of our great nation.

Staying vigilant and questioning the “official story” is the key to resisting the state’s clever ploy to remove more and more freedom from the American people.  The numbers are public.  The facts are known.  All the people have to do is look.  Stop believing everything that you are told.

The government and media know that emotions are what drive people, not their minds.  Bad news sells, and they know it.  Watch 10 minutes of the Sandy Hook massacre and your heart sinks straight out of your chest.  Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Gabriel Giffords shooting – all of these incidents are tragic.  Americans naturally get effected by them.  Any sane person would.

The problem is our political class is well aware of this, and these images are being used to pull once again at the emotions of the American people, and those same powerful emotions quickly subsume the human psyche.  It is the perfect mechanism to influence public opinion.  History clearly shows this, and unfortunately for freedom-loving people, when governments toy with the emotions of the people, rarely do the people benefit. The government, instead, benefits.

They always do.