While we have had regularly enforced gun laws since 1865, it was not until 1905 that those laws impacted an Americans right to purchase,own,or carry a gun. Most of the restrictive gun laws were “time and place laws, generally observed as a part of civilized behavior. Such laws are not considred in this discussion of the cost of gun control.
Labor problems were the proximate cause of the restrictive laws imposed in the 1905-06 period, as workers demands for bettre wages and working ocnditions clashed with the determined opp;osition of mine,mill,and factory owners not to give an inch. The resutlt were many armed clashes between striking workers and the company’s hired “strikebreakers,called scabs.
The immediate result was a near vertical increase in murder and violent crime rates, particularly assault. It was not unusual for workers walking a picket line to be jeered by scabs patrolling the fence, and violence often resulted.
A very similar pattern appeared in the crime rates during the 1960’s, particularly in the violent crime rates that give a snapshot of the overall victimization rate in a nation, state, or community.
Homicide rates give a much more limited picture, which we will discuss presently.For the moment, let’s look at Alabama’s violent crime rates.
The key dates are 1960,after a 27 year long decline n violent crime rates brought on by relaxed enforcement of restrictive gun laws after Prohibition:
1963, the year the entertainment industry began a nationwide gun ban campaign in response to peer reviewed scientific studies demonstrating a causal link between television violence and societal violence:
1964, the first full year of the first nationwide gun ban campaign:
1968; the fifth full year of a gun ban campaign, the year Hollywood got two very restrictive State gun laws and the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968:
1969, the first full year of dra State level gun restrictions the Greek tyrranos Draco would be proud of, and fFederal gun controls:
1973, the fifth year of Federal gun controls; and..
1993,the final year of the “Assault Weapons Ban” campaign.
And the results of the gun control campaign and resultant violent crime wave are shown in the chart below. These numbers can be verified in the back issues of the FBI Uniform Crime Report, or in his convenient spreadsheet, maintaned by he Disaster Center.
Largely rural, bogged in poverty,and subject to the outrageous risks of farming,Alabama was slow to respond to Hollywood’s gun ban campaign, and to the Federal gun controls that followed.
In 1960 Alab ama Law Enforcement Agencies reported 6,097 violent crimes to the FBI, out of a population of 2,267,000.
In 1963, Alabama LEA’s reported 6,115 duch crimes to the FBI.
In 1964, authorities reorted 7,260 violent crimes to the FBI.
1968, the year that saw the entertainment industry’s gun ban camp;aign pay off, Alabama’s LEA’s rep;orted 8,288 violent crimes to the FBI.
in 1969, the first full yer of Federal gun controls, Alabama authorities reported 12,390 murders,rapes,robberies and aggravated assaults to the FBI.
The peak year for violent crime was 1992, when Alabama LEA’s reported 3232676 violent crimes to the FBI. That reflects Alabamians early awareness that they could lose their gun rights, and a shift from purchases of sporting arms, rifles and shotguns, to defensive weapons.
So it is time for a a chart of Alabama’s violent crimes
You can easily see the effect of both gun ban campaigns and restrictive gun laws as well as economics, in the chart above. here is the hihgh homicide rate in the early 1960’s as drug wars over turf took lives. There is the reaction to the Gun Control Act of 1968, leading to a \first peak in 1976, followed by a decline as conditions improved somewhat and then a second peak in 1992,and a sharp decline as many of Alabama’s criminals decided the easy lifestyle was not worth the risk.
In the next 50 “Cost” posts you will see this pattern repeated. Not exactly – because the demographics and economics of each State are different, as well as the difference in how stringent the gun laws are and how vigorously they are enforced.
But for the moment, since this series is alphabetical,it will be “North to Alaska.”
In 1960 American Law Enforcement agencies reported 288,288,460 violent crimes, murders, rapes,robberies, and aggravated assaults to the FBI.
In 1963, with a somewhat larger population, local LEA’s reported 316,970 such crimes.
In 1964,the first full year of a gun ban campaign, LEA’s reported 364,220 such crimes.
In 1968,the fifth year of Hollywood’s gun ban and the first two weeks of the Gun Control Act of 1968campaign American LEA’s reported 595,010 violent crimes to the FBI..
1969 was the first full year of Federal, and two State,gun control laws, and local LEA’s reported 61,870 violent crimes to the FBI.
1973 was the fifth full year of Federal gun controls, and local Law Enforcement Agencies reported 875.910 violent crimes to the FBI. 1993 was the peak of the campaign to ban so-called “assault weapons,” a rifle used far more ofte by police SWAT teams than by civilians with harm on their minds.
I993 marked a turning point, as relaxed gun laws and general realization that our masters in Washington intended to disarm Americans started a wave of gun purchases. In the next few months, more than 200 million new guns have been purchased, cutting violent crime from 758.1 violent crimes including 9.5 murders per 100,000 in 1993 to to 379.12 violent crimes and 4.5 homicides per 100,000 in 2013.
That is when the latest gun control campaign began doing what gun control ampaigns have invariably done,drive up the crime rate. If you refer to the upper,homicide,chart, the red columns at the right side of the chart shows the effect the latest gun control drives have had on the murder rate/
Since the entertainment industry began its 1963 gun control campaign in 1963, the total cost of gun control has exceeded $4,200,000,000.00,$4.2 trillion,equivalent to $16,000 for every living American and more than$37,000 for every current American
As you can ee, Alabama has paid a terrible price in lives,property,and treasure for Federal gun controls. From 1963 to 2015,that cost is estimated at $7,000,000,000,seven billion, dollars.Costs include lives lost,medical treatment,permanent disability,loss of companionship,loss of a parent,property lost,destroyed,or damaged; as well as the extra costs of security, law enforcement, and incarceration.
That is a terrible load for a poor State to be forced to carry.It is time for Congress to behave like adults and preempt all State gun laws, bringing them back to no more than the restriction level America had before gun controls.
Watch for the 50 posts showing in detail what gun cotnrl did to your State, and to every State.
nb: This series is cross posted at Extranos Alley