by John Hawkins | June 30, 2005 2:13 am
“This wasn’t supposed to happen. When the federal assault weapons ban ended on Sept. 13, 2004, gun crimes and police killings were predicted to surge. Instead, they have declined.
For a decade, the ban was a cornerstone of the gun control movement. Sarah Brady, one of the nation’s leading gun control advocates, warned that “our streets are going to be filled with AK-47s and Uzis.” Life without the ban would mean rampant murder and bloodshed.
Well, more than nine months have passed and the first crime numbers are in. Last week, the FBI announced that the number of murders nationwide fell by 3.6% last year, the first drop since 1999. The trend was consistent; murders kept on declining after the assault weapons ban ended.
Even more interesting, the seven states that have their own assault weapons bans saw a smaller drop in murders than the 43 states without such laws, suggesting that doing away with the ban actually reduced crime. (States with bans averaged a 2.4% decline in murders; in three states with bans, the number of murders rose. States without bans saw murders fall by more than 4%.)
And the drop was not just limited to murder. Overall, violent crime also declined last year.” — John Lott
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