Friday, March 09, 2007



Violent crime rose by double-digit percentages in cities across the country over the last two years, reversing the declines of the mid-to-late 1990s, according to a new report by a prominent national law enforcement association.

... Over all, from 2004 to 2006, homicides increased 10 percent and robberies 12 percent.

...Homicides increased 20 percent or more in cities including Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Hartford, Memphis and Orlando, Fla. Robberies went up more than 30 percent in places including Detroit, Fort Wayne, Ind., and Milwaukee. Aggravated assaults with guns were up more than 30 percent in cities like Boston, Sacramento, St. Louis and Rochester.

Seventy-one percent of the cities surveyed had an increase in homicides, 80 percent had an increase in robberies, and 67 percent reported an increase in aggravated assaults with guns....


The number of privately owned guns in the U.S. is at an all-time high.... According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 60.4 million approved (new and used) NICS firearm transactions between 1994 [and] 2004. The number of NICS checks for firearm purchases or permits increased 3.2% between 2003-2004....

The number of gun owners is also at an all-time high....

The number of RTC [right-to-carry] states is at an all-time high, up from 10 in 1987 to 38 today....

... The federal "assault weapon" ban expired in 2004.... 46 [states] prohibit local jurisdictions from imposing gun laws more restrictive than state law, 44 protect the right to arms in their constitutions, and 33 prohibit frivolous lawsuits against the firearm industry.


(And yes, I know there are a lot of factors contributing to the rise in gun violence. But I thought expanding gun ownership was supposed to be an incredibly effective check on all those problems -- in fact, the most effective check possible, and the most efficacious social policy of any kind since human beings began to walk erect. That's what I've heard from every gun-control opponent ever, so it must be true, right?)

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