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Pew: Homicide Rates Cut in Half Over Past 20 Years (While New Gun Ownership Soared)

October 27, 2015 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

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Pew: Homicide Rates Cut in Half Over Past 20 Years (While New Gun Ownership Soared)

October 27, 2015

Source: Firearms Commerce in the US, Annual Statistical Update.(From BATF)

According to the World Bank, here are the homicide rates in the US since 1995:

Here's the homicide rate graphed against total new firearms (manufactured plus imported) in US (indexed with 1995 =100):

Meanwhile, in Mexico, where the US Consulate counsels Americans to not even carry pocket knives in the face of “Mexico’s strict weapons laws.” There is exactly one gun store in Mexico. In short, the Mexican experience is a perfect example of the effect of prohibition. A lack of legal access to guns leads to a need for illegal access.

The murder rates in Mexico:

Mexican politicians complain that weapons are easily smuggled from the United States, and that is the source of their problem. But if access to guns is the problem, shouldn't murder rates be much higher in the United States? Moreover, if gun smuggling is such a problem in Mexico, this is just another piece of evidence showing the weakness of prohibition laws in preventing access to the intended target of prohibition.

Naturally, we can't blame everything on gun prohibition in Mexico, nor can we attribute the murder rate decline solely to more guns in the US. But we can say two things for sure: (1) Gun restriction in Mexico has not prevented enormous increases in the murder rate, and (2) increases in gun totals in the US have not led to a surge in the murder rate.

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