More Guns, Less Crime: 2009 FBI Crime Data continues to refute gun ban extremists' rhetoric
by Gerard Valentino
The Dayton Daily News is reporting that preliminary FBI statistics show violent crime has decreased in Ohio for the third straight year. Yes, that's right - crime decreased in spite of predictions by the establishment media, politically-motivated law enforcement groups and anti-gun extremists, who claimed that permissive self-defense laws would lead to the end of civilization as we know it.
Preliminary data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report shows that the violent crime rate went down 5.5 percent in 2009, compared to statistics from 2008. This covers all four categories of violent crime: murder, robbery, aggravated assault and forcible rape. Violent crime went down 4 percent in metropolitan counties and 3 percent elsewhere, according to the FBI.
At the same time, the agency's National Instant Check System reports continued increases in the number of background check requests and the National Shooting Sports Foundation has reported increased federal firearms excise tax allocations to state wildlife agencies, an indication that more guns and ammunition are being purchased.
Less than two weeks ago, both the DDN and Cleveland Plain Dealer editorialized against current proposed concealed carry reform legislation, with predictions to the effect that if restaurant carry becomes law, it will mean "gunageddon" for Ohio.
Yet, here we are with a decrease in violent crime despite more guns on the streets than ever before. The question, once again, is will the establishment media outlets that promised more guns would equal more crime finally admit they are wrong on guns, and have been for years?
Unfortunately, the answer is likely no – they haven't learned from being wrong, yet again. After all, they've been wrong every time before and that hasn't changed their tune on the gun issue.
Politically-motivated law enforcement organizations like the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police fall into the same category. All three groups have, for years, told Ohio citizens that law enforcement officers are at grave risk if commoners are allowed to carry "hidden" guns.
The fact is, predicting the outcome of gun-related crime isn't impossible, and if the issue is properly researched, can be done quite accurately. For example, Buckeye Firearms Foundation Attorney Ken Hanson did so nearly flawlessly in a brief filed as part of the lawsuit to overturn Chicago's longtime gun ban.
In the brief filed by BFF and the United States Concealed Carry Association, Hanson made predictions about what the year 2009 ATF trace data would reveal for the State of Illinois. Copied below is the relevant paragraph. The numbers inside brackets are the actual ATF trace data results for 2009. The numbers outside brackets are the predictions made in the BFF/USCCA brief in November of 2009. The only place the predictions made in the brief were off to any significant degree was in the number of guns that Chicago would request traced and the total number of trace guns. On these two, the predictions were off 3-6%. For the others the predictions were less than 1% off.
...It would be expected that 2009 will show approximately 13,100 [12,554] firearms recovered and traced in Illinois, with approximately 9,825 [9,762] being handguns and with Chicago accounting for approximately 7,500 [7,040] of the firearms traced. Source states will be identified in approximately 7,232 [7,198] traces, with Illinois being the source state for approximately 3,698 [3,555] firearms. The average gun will have last been involved in a legal transaction approximately 12 [12.69] years ago.
So it is clear that solid research and an open mind led to an accurate prediction, offering stark contrast to what the anti-gun extremist coalition in Ohio is doing, particularly the establishment media, who are supposed to research issues instead of crying wolf.
The good news is people are learning. After the original concealed carry bill became law, the anti-gun coalitions were exposed as liars, and when the successive reforms passed, even more lies were exposed. Now, six years into the Ohio concealed carry era, the anti-gun coalitions are grasping at straws and looking for anything possible to stay relevant.
Maybe if they opened their mind and realized what everyone else already knows, it would help. At the end of the day, however, they made the choice to throw integrity under the bus to push gun control despite all the evidence that proves it is a failed social experiment. When that renders them completely irrelevant, they only have themselves to blame.
Gerard Valentino is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and his first book, "The Valentino Chronicles – Observations of a Middle Class Conservative," is available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store..
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