FRIDAY FLASHBACK!: Violent Crime Rising......Or Is It?

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With everything that is going on, it is easy to miss some important and interesting articles. To make sure that you don't miss anything, we are going to repost one of our more popular articles every Friday.

This week's "Friday Flashback" is....

Violent Crime Rising......or is it?

By Tim Inwood

"Murders, gun crimes rise - A federal report confirms increases in U.S. homicides and violence with firearms." - recent headline in the LA Times.

From the story, commenting on the FBI preliminary crime report...

    "This report tells us more the serious events - robbery and gun crimes - increased and the FBI already told us homicides increased," said criminal justice professor James Alan Fox of Northeastern University...

    Professor Alfred Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon University said the rise in gun violence was particularly troubling.

    "A major police effort to confiscate guns helped bring down the surge in violent crime that occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s," Blumstein said. "But gun distribution is easier now because we have begun to back off gun control."

    Backed by the National Rifle Association, the Bush administration has been cool toward gun control measures."

According to media pundits and some rather biased academics they interview or bring on their programs, violent crime is on the rise in the USA. Never mind that these are preliminary statistics for 2005 released by the FBI (these will no doubt be revised as they are every year). This trend supposedly is especially the case in Midwestern states like Ohio. I will concede from what I have read in newspapers, that this is true of UDF stores and 5/3 banks in Ohio. Making my point are the recent robberies of a UDF in Clermont County on the 5th of September and one in Columbus, which was robbed on the 10th. The incident in Columbus even saw one of the employees being "pistol whipped." These two companies and others who have voluntarily "posted" the no CCW signs have made a terrible mistake

Click on 'Read More' for the entire commentary.

Thanks to their prohibition of carrying of guns by the law abiding CHL holder, they have become crime magnets. Cowardly criminals by their nature wish to avoid the risk of being hurt while pursuing ill gotten gains. They do this by robbing the good citizens attempting to use the services offered by those misguided companies. We have all seen an increase in stories about robberies in the various "victim zones" in this state and felt the frustration with the obtuse individuals who have created the policies. I suspect with the recent terrible ruling by the Sixth District Appeals Court that the situation may get worse as cities may expand their "victim zones" in places the State Legislature never intended. However the news media does not take "victim zones" and how they invite criminal activity into consideration when mentioning this supposed upward trend in violent crime.

According to the drive-by media this trend is partially to blame on the easy access to firearms and gun-running from states like Ohio where it is easier to buy firearms. I find that argument interesting and seriously flawed. I thought the easy access to firearms was solved by the Brady Law a few years back. After all, we all have to undergo a background check to buy a firearm in a gun shop now. The whole gun running theme also begs to have a question asked. If the presence of guns is causing crime then why is it that a state like Ohio has a per capita murder and crime rate so much lower than in a place like Washington D.C. that is about to celebrate 30 years of handgun prohibition? This line of logic does not work at all.

The whole concept that violent crime is on the rise is challenged by respected economist and academic Dr. John R. Lott. He has looked at the figures and thinks there is some exaggeration and fear mongering going on among those who would like to argue that our guns are a part of the crime problem. Here are the numbers for robberies, from the National Crime Victimization Survey.

    Robbery Rate per 1,000 in USA

    1985 5.1
    1990 5.7
    1995 5.4
    1998 4.0
    1999 3.6
    2000 3.2
    2001 2.8
    2002 2.2
    2003 2.5
    2004 2.1
    2005 2.6

Using this and this alone, if the preliminary numbers are correct, they do indicate robberies are ever so slightly up from last year. But note they are way down from those highs in the 80's and 90's. 2006 is even lower than 2000 at the end of the vaunted "safe" Clinton era of gun control and his famous ban on semiautomatic rifles and high capacity magazines. The number for 2005 is lower even than 2001.

If you look at Violent Crime as a whole (again, using NCVS numbers) you will see violent crime is not on the rise.

    Violent Crime Rate per 1,000 in the USA

    1985 45.2
    1990 44.1
    1995 46
    1998 35.9
    1999 32
    2000 27.3
    2001 24.6
    2002 22.7
    2003 22.2
    2004 21
    2005 20.9

You see, there is not a hike from 2004 to actually drops. Our devious friends at Brady Center and the left leaning news media want to create an atmosphere of panic to argue for gun control. I think they probably also want to take a swipe at President Bush and the generally pro-gun Republican majority that currently holds back Chuck Schumer, Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton on Capitol Hill. After all, it is an election year and they are trying to help their generally anti-gun Democratic friends pick up some seats in Congress.

So keep in mind when you hear that Violent Crime is way up, it is not true. Robberies do appear to be up a bit. However I think a state like Ohio can dramatically improve those numbers if the "victim zones" are eliminated. In fact I think Ohio would see those numbers drop fast. No criminal wants to get shot, so let's get rid of the places where "Bobby Bad Guy" can operate without risk. Let's also protect our gun rights and vote for the pro gun candidates on November 7th. Your rights are only safe if you do your part to protect them. While you are at it help your friends who are fighting for your rights. Send a contribution today.

Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.

Related Stories:
More Guns Means Less Crime…Again
Based upon its annual national crime victimization surveys, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported this month that in 2005 the nation’s violent crime rate fell to the lowest point in the surveys’ 32-year history, down 58% since 1993. For the survey’s purposes, “violent crime” consists of rape, robbery, and aggravated and simple assaults.

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