The oft-cited credo that more guns equal more crime is being tested by facts on the ground this year: Even as gun ownership has surged in the US in the past year, violent crime, including murder and robbery, has dropped steeply.
Add to that the fact that many experts had predicted higher crime rates as the US grinds through a difficult recession, and the discrepancy has advocates on both sides of the Second Amendment debate rushing to their ramparts.
After several years of crime rates holding relatively steady, the FBI is reporting that violent crimes – including gun crimes – dropped dramatically in the first six months of 2009, with murder down 10 percent across the US as a whole.
Concurrently, the FBI reports that gun sales – especially of assault-style rifles and handguns, two main targets of gun-control groups – are up at least 12 percent nationally since the election of President Obama, a dramatic run on guns prompted in part by so-far-unwarranted fears that Democrats in Congress and the White House will curtail gun rights and carve apart the Second Amendment. . . .