The tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, has resurfaced the gun control debate that has dominated the political landscape in recent years.
Amid outcry from Democrats calling for increased gun control and all-out bans on firearms, a 2017 tweet from political commentator Ben Shapiro has resurfaced.
In the tweet, Shapiro displays a graph from the American Enterprise Institute that shows the number of privately owned firearms compared to the rate of gun homicides.
“Here is a chart of American gun ownership and American murder rate,” Shapiro wrote. “Please explain how more guns inevitably means more murder.”
As depicted in the graph created by the American Enterprise Institute, as the number of firearms owned has steadily increased for the past ten years, the gun homicide rate has dropped.
Moreover, data from a 2012 Congressional Research Service report revealed that the number of privately owned firearms jumped from 185 million in 1993 to 357 million in 2013, a 56 percent increase in firearm ownership.
However, in that same timespan, rates of gun violence dropped 49 percent.
The American Enterprise Institute was quick to point out that correlation doesn’t imply causation, but considering the timing, it is logical to entertain the idea that the two trends are related in some fashion.
And in 2013, Breitbart contributor Awr Hawkins noted that “the number of firearms almost doubled over a nearly 20-year period, the ‘firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide’ rate was more than halved.”
According to an analysis by Pew Research, in 1993 there were seven firearm-related deaths out of every 100,000 in the U.S., and by 2013 there were only 3.6 homicides per 100,000 — a nearly 50 percent decline.
Looking back even further into the past, data shows that gun violence was even more rampant.
As reported by Max Ehrenfreund, a contributor for The Washington Post, the murder rate in 1980 reached its highest point, according to FBI data. Ehrenfreund noted that the data isn’t a perfect representation of gun crime, but that it is suggestive considering that two in three murders are committed with a firearm.
He also revealed that according to FBI data, the national violent crime rate has decreased 49 percent since 1991.
In 2016, liberal media site Vox released a video depicting gun violence and mass shootings as an epidemic unique to the United States. However, many of the claims made in the video were debunked by political commentator Steven Crowder.
As noted by Crowder, Vox’s video presented a flurry of misleading statistics, a common theme among those on the left looking to push gun control policies and gun bans.
“Despite the fact that 80 percent of gun homicides in the United States are drug-related, despite the fact that the biggest indicators of gun crime are big populated areas and poverty. Despite the fact that the United States is not even in the top 25 in firearm-related deaths, despite the fact that the United States does not have an abnormally high suicide rate, despite the fact that with increased legal gun ownership gun crime has actually steadily declined,” Crowder stated on his program “Louder With Crowder” in 2016.
“It’s one thing to get your information wrong, it’s another to deliberately mislead people because the facts don’t stack up with your narrative,” he added.
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