April 29, 2020
By Mark Chesnut
Gun-ban proponents claim that more guns lead to more crime. In fact, that fallacy is the very reason most gun-control laws are pushed by anti-gun legislators and gun-ban groups.
If that is true, however, why did Miami just go seven weeks without a murder for the first time in more than six decades at the very same time gun and ammunition sales were setting near all-time records?
Koco.com recently reported that Miami went seven weeks—Feb. 17 to April 12—without a single murder for the first time since 1957. According to the police chief, while “stay at home” orders played a role, the trend started in mid-February before social distancing was put in place.
Of particular interest to gun owners and other Second Amendment advocates is the fact that during those seven weeks when nobody was murdering anyone else in Miami, more guns were being sold to law-abiding citizens than nearly ever before. In fact, during the month of March—which falls within Miami’s seven-week period—the FBI ran 2.7 million background checks for new gun sales, making it the second highest month in history for gun purchases!
While anecdotal, the Miami situation would seem to directly dispute the contention that more guns lead to more crime. In fact, even the anti-gun Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admits that Americans use their firearms for self-defense quite often.
In a 2013 study titled “Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence,” the National Academies Press reported:
“Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”
It’s likely many haven’t heard about that study, as the CDC did nothing to publicize the self-defense aspect of the results. In fact, comparing 500,000 to 3 million defensive uses to 300,000 violent crimes as “at least as common” seems to be a feeble attempt to hide the fact that a little simple math shows gun usage to be nearly two to 10 times more frequent in favor of defensive use.
In contrast to the situation in Miami, New York, where restrictive gun-control laws result in few concealed carry permits and a very low number of firearm retailers, murders have jumped greatly the past few weeks.
According to the Daily News, the NYPD reported 10 homicides last week, compared to five in the same week in 2019. There were also 11 murders the week before that, compared to four in the same time period last year.
Not surprisingly, this surge in murders comes in a city where it’s very difficult for citizens to acquire firearms for defense of themselves and their families, and where laws pertaining to those who do own guns make it very difficult for them to have a firearm on hand when violent crimes occur.
Fact is, researcher John Lott was right when he named his famous book on gun control, More Guns, Less Crime. At the very least, the recent drop in murder in Miami during record gun sales makes no argument for anti-gun advocates’ contentions to the contrary.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.