While spelunking some data on the modes of gun deaths, I decided to have a look at some smaller instances, namely how often people die accidentally from gunshots, and the number of justifiable (perhaps even meritorious) homicides.
Most readers already know that accidental gun deaths have been in sharp decline for several decades, despite the number of firearms in circulation skyrocketing. This is a curious situation, and one that goes directly against claims by the gun control industry.
With concealed carry a fact of daily life in 42 states, one might also think justifiable homicides have gone up. They have, but only slightly. But this too also goes against the claims of gun control advocates, who maintain that concealed carry does not prevent crime (we’ll ignore the whole deterrence effect issue, which is likely contributory to the multi-decade drop in violent crime in America).
Though the number of incidents for both categories are small (489 and 484 for accidents and legal interventions respectively, in 2015) the trends remain of interest to policy makers.
It took me five years working as a police officer in a major city to comprehend the fact that more guns in the hands of law abiding citizens translated to lower crime rates overall. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Criminals are reluctant to commit crimes when the potential victim might be armed.
Not just the intended victim, but an observer close by as well. “An armed society is a peaceful society”.
By all means be moderate, though Barry Goldwater would not have approved, viz: “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”
Which vertical axis numbers go with with accident and which with interventions?
Durn. I always forget to add axis labels when using a secondary axis. I’ll update the chart today.