Arizona, Violent Crime And Gun Control

Arizona is an interesting State to retrace the link between crime, violent crime, and restrictive gun laws. Gun control predated Statehood, as the territorial legislature reacted to violence in the many mines and smelting facilities by following the Eastern States and restricted carry and other restrictions.

At the time, the population was approximately 210,000, and doubling the murder rate from 1.9 to 3.8 in 2011 did not make much of a bump in tghe United States national homicide rate. Nine years later Prohibition kicked in, and Arizona, on major smuggling routes from Mexico, crime rates rose along with those rates in other States.

Violent crime and homicide rates continued to rise with the homicide rate reaching 12.6 in 1933, the year prohibition was repealed. When Prohibition ended, Arizona’s crime rates went into a slow decline with 1960 ending with 78 murders among 1,303,000 residents. A high percentage of those criminal on criminal murders.

a> Population is the major factor in Arizona’s violent crime rate, with 1960’s population. The State has grown much like Jack’s Beanstalk, with the 1980 population given as 2,716,000, the 2000 population at 5,131,000, and the 2015 population at 6,829,00o. (click on the charts for a clearer view.)

Arizona’s murder to population ratio,or “homicide rate” is strongly affected by the ebb and flow of the rise and fall of goods, smuggling, drug smuggling and human trafficking. In 1960 the combination of relatively mild gun laws and and criminal activity resulted in a homicide rate of 6.0,slighlty above the national average.

When Hollywood began its gun ban campaign in 1963,the State’s homicide rate still stood at 6.0 and, thanks to some heavy money invested, that rate actgually fell to 5.0 in 1965. Howver, 1968 saw Arizona’s homicide rate rise to 6.3,with increased population offsetting the increase in the number of murders.

1968 was also the year the Lyndon Johnson signed the Gun Control Act of 1958 into law,and the rate of increase in crime picked up. By 1973 the murder total was 167, up from 78.

The homicide total continued to rise, peaking at 438 in 1995, as the States License to Carry system was getting off the ground. That was followed by a second peak caused by smuggling and trafficking disputes, and with the increase partially off

IN 2010 the Arizona legislature ignored critics who said that ladies would be wading in blood to cross the street and passed Constitutional Carry, meaning that no permit is needed to carry a firearm either openly or concealed anywhere in the State. The results can be seen in the 2011 to 2015 murder results on the extreme right of the Chart:

Turning now to the other two firm numbers, the robbery and aggravated assault rates, the chart below charts the numbers for both crimes, with the blue trace representing the robberys reported to the police in each calendar year from 1960 to 2015, and the red trace representing the number of aggravated assaults reported to Arizona Law Enforcement Agencies.

As I have noted many times in the past, aggravated assault is p primarily tow young people “getting it on.” The usual cause is a girl, followed by criminal activity, negative comments about a team or sports star,or any of the myriad things young people try to prove which of the two combatants is right, by smiting the other. Given Arizona’s very rapid population growth, with teens from may different areas mixed indiscriminately, it is hardly surprising that the aggravated assault rate has continued to grow.

On the other hand, it is clear from the blue trace that allowing Concealed carry, and now Constitutional Carry has done for robbery what it has done for the homicide rate, suppressed the increase in crime rates that comes with explosive population growth. .

The final criminal category considered violent is forcible sexual assault, commonly called rape. The Bureau of Justice Statistics obtaining a firm number, and I do not have reliable statistics so I try to avoid listing that number.

Let me remind readers thes the numbers given here, and that the charts are built on, are from the FBI’s Uniform Crime REport. While back copies of the UCR are difficult to obtain past 1993, this convenient spreadsheet maintained by the disaster Center us aksi based on FBI numbers.

It is easy to see that gun control campaigns such as Hollywood’s 1963 campaign and gun control laws drive violent and property crime rates up, and make it impossible for the law abiding to defend themselves, their family and community from predatory criminals.

It is also easy to see that despite severe problems with criminal on criminal crime as well as gun control advocates fighting progress in controlling crime at every step, Arizona’s relaxed gun laws have held the rise in violent crime to a minimum.


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Extranos Alley is a Collaborate effort to provide up to information on the relationship between restrictive gun laws and violent crime; as well as other related topics. While emphasis is on United States gun laws and crime, we also provide data on crime trends world wide.
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