The media constantly inundates Americans with images of selective gun violence and shootings. Perhaps, in part, to strengthen calls for more gun control and firearm regulations. In fairness to the networks, it’s also an issue that symbolizes many of our national divisions as a nation: conservative vs. liberal and rural vs. urban. Overall, the narrative leads us to surmise that the crisis of gun violence is getting worse.
Yet, there is a lot of good news to report when it comes to firearms and our capacity for self-government. According to the FBI, the murder rate dropped by 6.2 percent in 2018. Furthermore, all gun murders dropped by 6.7 percent last year. The biggest news from the data is that murder committed with all types of rifles are down 23.9 percent. I’ve pointed out before in my Civitas Toxic Agenda piece and elsewhere that 80 percent of all gun crimes occur with a handgun and by someone who is not the legal owner of the firearm.
What we know and have known for some time is that the vast majority of legal gun owners follow and comply with the law. That is why it’s virtually impossible to convince them that even more gun control will somehow have a positive impact on gun crimes or violent shootings. Tens of millions of American firearm owners exercise their Second Amendment rights daily with no problems or incidents of any kind.
Furthermore, concealed carry permits are skyrocketing at a time that gun crimes are actually declining. The report by the Crime Prevention Research Center notes that “North Carolina had black permits increase twice as fast as whites.” A good sign that those choosing to exercise their rights in the state represent a broad and growing demographic Nationally, permits for concealed carry are up 8 percent from last year. At the same time, even more states have implemented constitutional or “permitless” carry in the last decade. A bill that North Carolina has been unable to pass, even with supermajorities in the General Assembly and simultaneously having a Republican governor (Pat McCrory) in office.
Unsurprisingly, all of this good news was not widely reported in the media. But the numbers are a reminder that the government should do their most important work first, which is to secure the inherent rights of the people.