With the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy fast approaching, parents, pundits and politicians are ramping up the rhetoric and demanding ever-more draconian gun control laws.
But signs suggest the efforts are unnecessary.
While gun ownership rose sharply during a recent 15-year period, murders and other gun-related homicides plummeted, according to a government study.
After the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting, the Congressional Research Service was commissioned to determine whether there’s a correlation between gun ownership and gun violence. There was a link, all right, but probably not what the lawmakers expected.
From 1994 to 2009, legal gun ownership rose dramatically — from 192 million to 310 million, according to Breitbart News.
At the same time, non-accidental firearm- related deaths took a nosedive. Breitbart reported:
This rate rose from 2004 to 2005 and got as high as 3.9 in 2006 and 2007, but it then resumed falling in 2008, the year the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that individual firearm possession is Constitutionally protected — particularly for self-defense. This figure fell to 3.2 per 100,000 by 2011.
In other words, as the number of firearms almost doubled over a nearly 20-year period, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate was more than halved.
Although President Obama called for sweeping gun control legislation in the days after the Sandy Hook shooting, the measure debated on the U.S. Senate floor was a milquetoast background-check bill, and even that failed to muster enough votes to pass.
Speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation annual awards dinner in September, the president renewed the call for stricter gun laws, according to Fox News. Perhaps he should read the reports from his own government instead.