By The Numbers

And In This Case, The Numbers Are Impressive!
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Did you know about a study which found that 68% of criminals
who committed crimes with firearms were already convicted felons?

Just in case you missed it — and a lot of people evidently did — a publication called Legal Reader recently reported some interesting gun-related crime data, and there are enough statistics to provide all kinds of arguments supporting the right of individual citizens to own and carry firearms.

Other available data (see below) tends to refute many of the claims by anti-gunners about where and how criminals get their firearms.

The report — Gun Violence Statistics 2024: A Comprehensive Look at the Data — was truly an eye-opener for anyone interested in crime, gun ownership and self-defense.

What’s in here? For starters, the report estimates there are more than 82 million lawful firearm owners (a number I suspect is overly conservative). And the report contains these important bullet points:

• 53% of the 21 states with restrictive concealed carry laws have violent crime rates higher than the national average.
• 55% of states with a violent crime rate below the national average have permitless carry.
• 40% of criminals convicted of crimes while in possession of a firearm were already prohibited from carrying firearms.
• A 2018 study shows that 68% of those convicted of crimes while in possession of a firearm were already felons.

There are more statistics included in the report, and they will no doubt get pushback from the gun prohibition lobby, which has been insisting for years that places with higher rates of gun ownership also produce higher percentages of crime.

According to the report, in 2022, Wyoming had the least firearm-related homicides (17) and more firearms per person than any other state, although a quick check with a website called Data Pandas, Montana currently shades the Cowboy State 66.3% to 66.2%.

It is currently estimated that more than 2.5 million Americans use firearms for self-defense each year, a number that has remained fairly consistent since the early research by Gary Kleck.

The Legal Reader report also said the number of Americans who support stricter gun laws has declined over the past 30-plus years. Back in 1990, the report said 78% of the people wanted more gun control, but last year, that figure had dropped to 56%.

Here’s one that will make anti-gunners scramble to spin the narrative. Of the 28 states with permitless carry, only 10 have violent crimes above the national average, the Legal Reader report said.

Earlier this year, Louisiana and South Carolina both adopted so-called “Constitutional Carry” laws, bringing the number to 29. The number of regressive states still requiring permits, and in some cases habitually denying permit applications, is 21 and the District of Columbia. Many states with open carry provisions, either by law or in their constitutions, are not awash in blood, as has often been predicted by opponents of carry altogether.

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Did you know that 40% of criminal suspects involved in violent
gun-related crime were already prohibited by law from having guns?
Pretty much shows that bad guys ignore gun laws.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the report acknowledges something which gun rights activists know and have always been, at least in my experience, willing to discuss: “Gun violence statistics vary by state due to different state laws. In the 13 least restrictive gun states (2008), two-thirds of criminals convicted of a crime where a firearm was involved weren’t stopped by existing laws and wouldn’t have been stopped by stricter legislation.”

Author Cassandra McBride has cracked the code. Criminals do not obey gun control laws and never have. For reasons known only to the gods of stupidity, the gun control crowd habitually ignores this one simple fact of life. Perhaps it escapes them that this is why we call outlaws “criminals.”

Something else the study revealed is that an estimated 31% of criminal suspects wouldn’t have been prohibited from owning a gun even if laws were stricter. On the other hand, as earlier noted, 40% of bad guys involved in criminal gun-related violence were already prohibited, which underscores the statement above about bad guys ignoring gun laws.

It is pretty easy to check this for accuracy by simply going to your favorite internet search engine and typing in three words: “Felon in possession” and click on “News.” I did just as I was writing this installment and found one report in the Victorville Daily Press about a convicted felon who was out on bail on an illegal gun possession charge, being sacked on yet another illegal gun possession beef, along with methamphetamine possession.

KXLY in Spokane reported on a “five-time convicted felon” who was in trouble again because the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department bagged him for possession of a stolen vehicle, a controlled substance and a firearm.

It is impossible to conjure up this level of stupidity. Early in my career, it became clear that nobody could make up this stuff. The question is how someone with five felony convictions could somehow be on the street.

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Did you know that less than 1 percent (0.8%) of convicted armed
criminals got their guns from gun shows? So much for calling
gun shows “arms bazaars for criminals.”

The report said 68% of felons used so-called “illegal guns,” a term which has never made sense because the guns typically aren’t “illegal,” it’s just that it is illegal for these characters to have guns. Sixty-seven percent of convicted killers had a prior arrest record, and 21% of those killers had a record of multiple prior arrests.

There is so much more in this report, it behooves grassroots activists to click on the above link and study the entire document.

A few years ago, the Bureau of Justice Statistics updated a study of prison inmates, which determines where they got their guns. The largest source (43%) listed was “off the street/underground market.” Another 25.3% were obtained “from an individual,” though it was not defined who or what kind of individual. Only 7.5% were purchased at a gun store, 1.6% at a pawn shop, 0.8% at a gun show and 0.4% at a flea market. This dispels the fiction that gun shows are “arms bazaars for criminals.”

Interestingly, 6.9% say they actually found a gun at the scene of a crime. Another 4.6% bought guns from someone else. There was one other category which simply defies logic: 10.8% of these criminals got their guns as gifts. If you know someone with a criminal record, the last thing you want to give that person is a gun!

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