Déjà Vu, All Over Again: “More Guns, Less Crime”

Paul Helmke and Dennis Henigan — spokesmen for the beleaguered Brady Campaign these days — are old enough to know what a phonograph record is, so for their benefit we’ll put it this way:  At the risk of sounding like a “broken record,” gun ownership has risen to an all-time high, and violent crime has fallen to a 35-year low.  Coinciding with a surge in gun purchases that began shortly before the 2008 elections, violent crime decreased six percent between 2008 and 2009, according to the FBI. This included an eight percent decrease in murder and a nine percent decrease in robbery.

Since 1991, when total violent crime peaked, it has decreased 43 percent to a 35-year low. The murder rate, less than half what it was in 1980, is now at a 45-year low. Throughout, the number of guns that Americans own has risen by about four million a year, including record numbers of the two types of firearms that the Brady folks would most like to see banned — handguns and the various firearms they call “assault weapons.”

Predictions that increasing the number of guns would cause crime to increase have been proven profoundly lacking in clairvoyance. One of our favorite gems comes from the Brady outfit, when it was known as the National Council to Control Handguns: “There are now 40 million handguns. . . . the number could build to 100 million. . . . the consequences can be terrible to imagine,” the group warned in the mid-1970s.

“Terrible consequences” indeed, for gun control supporters. The number of handguns has reached almost 100 million; waiting periods, purchase permits, and prohibitions on carrying firearms for protection have been dismantled in state after state; gun ownership has soared; and violent crime has plummeted.


Related, same source;

Speaking of Brady Campaign’s Paul Helmke and Dennis Henigan, we wouldn’t want them losing their grip and falling off the far left edge of the planet.  An electronic search reveals that the two of them have submitted over 200 essays to the leftist www.HuffingtonPost.com website since January of 2006.

“It is time for progressives to stand up to the radical right,” Henigan proclaims in a recent item.   “It is time for progressives to stand up to the right’s misappropriation of our Constitution and to claim for themselves the label of ‘constitutionalists.’  After all, proponents of a stronger federal government were the winners of the Founding-era debate.  The radical right of the modern era can trace its lineage only to the losers.”

Henigan may be confused about American history, since no one of his political orientation traces his lineage back to anyone associated with the founding of this country.  But when it comes to losers, Henigan ought to know better than most.  In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court put his two theories about the Second Amendment–that it protected a right of a state to have a militia, or that it protected a right of a person to be armed in a state militia–in the “recycling bin” and clicked on “empty.”

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15 Responses to “Déjà Vu, All Over Again: “More Guns, Less Crime””

  1. jonolan Says:

    The actual numbers don’t back up this assertion or the counter-assertion by the gun grabbers. Restrictive firearm laws do not seem to have any significant overall, long-term impact on violent crime statistics.

    See here for the numbers in question.

    In truly bad areas there might be an acute, short-term benefit to increased firearm ownership though, which is where I think the statistics you’ve posted come from. It doesn’t seem to last though.


  2. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Sorry Jonolan, but that format on your blog is basically impossible for me to read. (The black background verses my old eyes.)

    The statistics noted are from the FBI. The resulting conclusions may be argued but the numbers are difficult to challenge. There are probably quite a few factors involved in the decline in crime other than gun ownership. However, it also can be argued that gun ownership is, in fact, one of those factors, and that it may well be the lynch pin that brought them all together.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


  3. TexasFred Says:

    “More Guns, Less Crime”

    Who’d a thunk it? 😈


  4. Deja  Vu, All Over Again: “More Guns, Less Crime” « Freedom Is Just Another Word… Says:

    […] Déjà Vu, All Over Again: “More Guns, Less Crime” Conservative Libertarian Outpost. […]


  5. mainenowandthen Says:

    If one is looking for trends, how about comparing crime rates in the states and cities (and D.C.) who have the most restrictive firearms laws with the crime rates in the cities or states that do not?

    Oops, I forget. Statistics are so “subjective” – unless they “prove” YOUR point.


  6. jonolan Says:

    As I pointed out in the link within my 1st comment, mainenowandthen, there’s no proven correlative connection between firearm restrictions and violent crime in the longer run.

    I do, however, think that there’s likely a short-term drop in violent crime in the worst areas if suddenly more people become legally armed.


  7. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Just what do you call “long term” Jonolan? These trends, have been occurring for quite some time now. Since GCA 1968 was passed crime went way up. That is an undeniable fact. Since many states loosened firearms laws crime has declined. That is also a fact.

    So, we had what might be considered minimal crime before then. Then a huge increase after? It’s a fairly easy conclusion to come to that when things were restored to a more Constitutional approach there have been fewer problems.

    Again, I am willing to bet that there are other factors involved, but to deny that people having their ability to properly and effectively defend themselves has to be counted among those factors.


  8. Chuck Says:

    Arguments aside, as an individual gun owner, I am less concerned with crime rate statistics than I am the safety and security of my family and property.

    If someone breaks into my home at 3am to do me and my family bodily harm, I am not going to quote crime statistics to him. I am going to pull out my .357 magnum loaded with hollow points, and blow him right into the afterlife (hopefully not on the carpet).

    By killing the sub-human piece of trash, I have accomplished two things. I have fulfilled my responsibility, as a man, to protect my loved ones and property, and I have saved some anti-gun numb skull from the bastard. If that lowers the crime rate, I will proudly consider it a public service. If not, I will reload and sleep well.


  9. Alfie Says:

    All good comments. I think there is something to be said that in the real world outside of sterile stats criminals have a clue where,when and who to go against. I’m thinking if you’re in an area where there are a known or perceived number of legal gun owners,a couple of cops living there etc. you pick the next block to score your “free” TV.


  10. jonolan Says:


    “Since GCA 1968 was passed crime went way up. That is an undeniable fact. Since many states loosened firearms laws crime has declined. That is also a fact.”

    That is certainly what I always thought, but the numbers don’t add up according to the FBI.

    The ten states with the least violent crime per capita have Brady Scores ranging from 4 – 54(!). The ten states with the most violent crime per capita from 4 – 53.

    I think I’ll stick with Chuck’s argument instead.


  11. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Per capita? Brady..? Oh come now Jonalon… In any case, I did exactly what Chuck described, and haven’t lost much sleep over it, and that was more than forty years ago.

    On the other hand, statistics can be twisted to “prove” what you want according to the Professor where I took the course.

    Then there is indeed, as Chuck noted, the human side. Which is what I myself have always argued. So we appear to all be on the same side here.

    Perhaps we are just fussing over which end of the toothpaste we are squeezing from?



  12. jonolan Says:

    Yeah, we’re on the same side of the underlying issue. I just get nervous about using arguments that don’t have good objective numbers to back them up, that’s all.


  13. Chuck Says:

    God I love violent agreement!!!



  14. Patrick Sperry Says:

    *ROARS LAUGHING* @ Chuck!


  15. Jeffrey Denner Says:

    I’ve read a few entries from your site and I’d like to say thank you. I enjoyed your form and I subscribed to your rss feed. You do update your rss right?


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