On January 12, the FBI released preliminary crime date for calendar year 2008, indicating that the nation's murder rate has fallen to a 43-year low, and the nation's total violent crime rate has fallen to a 35-year low. The data suggest that since violent crime peaked in 1991, the nation's murder rate has fallen 46 percent, and the nation's total violent crime rate has fallen 41 percent. The FBI will publish final data for 2008 later this year.
In the same time frame, federal, state and local gun control laws have been eliminated or made less restrictive, Americans have been buying over 4 million new guns every year, and the number of guns (including semi-automatic and other firearms that use standard magazines that hold more than 10 rounds) is at an all-time high. Less gun control has coincided with less crime. Pretty simple stuff.
For most people, that is.
On February 4, the anti-gun Brady Campaign looked at the historically low crime rates and concluded otherwise. "Most states have weak or non-existent gun laws that help feed the illegal gun market, allow the sale of guns without Brady background checks and put families and children at risk," the group claimed.
Brady made the claim in conjunction with the release of its annual "state scorecard" gimmick, in which the anti-gun group "scores" each state from zero to 100, giving more points for more gun control laws, without regard to whether the laws have any positive effect. Brady used to give out school-like letter grades, but abandoned that concept when people noticed that the group was giving most states Ds and Fs when violent crime was low and declining.
Scores of 0-59 points are still worth an "F," and scores of 60-69 points are still worth a "D," however. And with that in mind, Brady gave 48 states an "F," one state a "D," and California got a "C." The average score for the 50 states was 17.7. As Brady put it, "Once again, the scores for most states are abysmal. No states got a better score for 2008 than for 2007. Five states saw their scores drop."
Since Brady gives the states worse scores every time crime rates go down, all we can add is "Amen."
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