The FBI released its annual Crime in the United States report on Monday revealing that the country in 2013 saw the violent crime rate fall another 5.1 percent from the previous year, so it is now at its lowest since 1978. Delving a little deeper, the murder and manslaughter rate fell 4.4 percent to the lowest level since 1968.
This is very good news, and while it is being reported here and there, it will not get a small fraction of the air time that crime stories will get on local news affiliates around the country on any given night. So, sadly, we do not expect to see a perceptible move on the proverbial needle of current public perception that crime is increasing, not decreasing.
But from a public policy perspective, this is very important data that should help inform decision making and we urge you to point to it the next time you hear someone advocating the latest “common sense” proposal for more gun control laws.
While the crime rate has been dropping steadily for more than the last 20 years, the number of firearms in the hands of law-abiding Americans has beenrising dramatically. In June, we put together an NSSF video
that illustrates this relationship and other useful points in a short, but impactful presentation. Now, we have another year of data that furthers the case.
In that realm of public perception, we are encouraged by the results of a new Gallup survey
released last week that found 63 percent of Americans believe that having a gun in the house makes it a safer place, a doubling of that number since 2000. This result flies in the face of what anti-gun organizations have been trying to convince the public for many years now.
Public opinion can be fickle, of course, and survey results are best viewed as a snapshot in time. Still, that more than six out of ten Americans have reached this conclusion speaks volumes about the fact that millions of our fellow Americans do appreciate that they have the right to exercise their Second Amendment rights in defense of their families. Spread the news.