Forcible citizen disarmament advocates have been thrown off by the fact that shooting deaths have spent the last year (a year in which gun and ammunition sales have far exceeded anything we've ever seen), plummeting:
A Dec. 21 press release from the Second Amendment Foundation points to an inconvenient truth:A ten percent drop in murders during the first six months of this year at a time when gun sales were up dramatically is more proof that there is no correlation between gun ownership and violent crime...You can read the SAF release by clicking here, and the FBI preliminary report it references by clicking here. In response, the gun prohibitionists point to a 2009 spike in shooting deaths of police officers.
Across the nation, 2009 was a particularly perilous year for officers involved in gun disputes.A 24% jump sounds pretty dramatic, but as the article points out, that's a bit deceptive, because that's 24% above 2008, in which the number of officers shot to death (38) was the lowest in over half a century (and yeah--a bit of perspective is useful, too--this "spike" is nine people).
The number of officers killed in the line of duty by gunfire increased 24 percent from 2008, according to preliminary statistics compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a national nonprofit organization that tracks officer-related deaths.
As of Saturday, 47 police officers have died nationwide this year after being shot while on duty, up from 38 for the same time in 2008, which was the lowest number of gunfire deaths since 1956, according to the data.In fact, looking at data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (the source of the data cited in the article), we see that if 2008 is dismissed as an outlier, 2009 has seen fewer such deaths than any year in the last ten (1999 had one fewer--and 1999 was the best in that respect since the early 60's.
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Even the Associated Press article citing the spike in officer shooting deaths makes this observation:
In 1973, during a heyday of corruption and crime, there were around 600,000 officers and about 156 gunfire deaths. Currently, there are about 900,000 law enforcement officers nationwide and only 47 gunfire deaths this year — a per-capita decrease of nearly 21 percent.Actually, though, the math is wrong there--going from 156 deaths among 600,000 officers, to 47 deaths among 900,000 officers, is a decline not of "nearly 21 percent," as the article states, but of nearly 80%. Officers are, in other words, very nearly five times less likely to be shot to death today than they were 36 years ago.
More guns=more violence? That's not what the facts say.