A study released Tuesday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics is bad news for people in the United States seeking to further restrict citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights. It illustrates a sharp drop in the number of American gun homicides since their highest level of occurrence a decade ago.
The BJS study found that homicides committed with firearms dropped 49 percent, from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011.
For gun rights advocates, however, the results are unsurprising. They echo similar findings by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.
At the same time the number of gun-related homicides fell, the rate of gun ownership increased. Pew reports in a separate gun-related report: “The number of firearms available for sale to or possessed by U.S. civilians (about 310 million in 2009, according to the Congressional Research Service) has grown in recent years, and the 2009 per capita rate of one person per gun had roughly doubled since 1968.”
Pew also indicated a drop in gun homicides, citing a more drastic change: from seven gun-related homicides per 100,000 people in 1993 to 3.6 in 2010, a drop of 49 percent.
In spite of the drop in the number of gun-related homicides as the rate of firearm ownership is on the rise in recent years, vilification of guns and gun owners by reactionary media and political interests has taken its toll. A Pew survey from March indicated that a majority (56 percent) of Americans believe gun-related crimes happen more frequently than they did in past decades.