Someone stopped by searching for “crime and mail order guns.”
I suspect the question behind the search involves the entertainment industry’s 1963 propaganda campaign, intended to divert attention from the four new studies linking TV violence to “The real cause of rising violence in our society, mail order guns.”
Actually, ordering guns to be delivered by mail predates the United States. During Ben Franklin’s time, guns from Boston gunmakers and importers were common among the parcels carried by Franklin’s “post riders.”
Until the 1920’s, when the possibility of obtaining crime guns by mail order was first mentioned as a part of the excuse for banning guns from Post Offices, no one seems to have had a problem with the practice until November, 1963 and the murder of President John F. Kennedy.
AT that time, outdoor and gun magazines were packed with ads large and small, like this one, offering guns of every descriptions from well abused military rifles to high quality but remaindered shotguns: (Click on the image for a clearer view)
From 1948 to 1956, some experts said that more than half of all American gun sales were by mail order, amounting to more than four million units a year. The practice ended in 1968, killed by Lyndon Johnson’s “Gun Control Act of 1968,” which tacitly blamed a non-existent rise in murder during the 1950’s on “mail order guns.”
While converting the various changes in the definitions of crimes, the rise in Grand Larceny from $50.00 to between $500 and $2500 is a nearly impossible task, a murder victim is still a murder victim.
Here is a chart of the showing the near vertical climb in homicide rates in 1905 and 1906, when the first regularly enforced gun laws were put in place, the “long decline, between 1933 and 1963, the sharp rise in the rate during the gun control drive sof the near vertical rise in the homicide rate after the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968, followed by the “concealed carry decline” beginning in 1993:
This rate, taken from FBI, Department of Justice, and other Federal sources, gives the United States Homicide rate back to 1880, back to “When the West was wild.” By by this composite of the results of mor ethan 13,000 restrictive Federal, STate, and local gun laws, it is clear that gun control does not work. The near vertical climb in homicide after mail order guns were banned confirms what those of us who looked at the numbers said in 1963.
Mail order guns are not a contributing factor in high crime and homicide rates.” If anything, by the numbers, mail order guns contributed to the uncertainty involved in criminals choice of victims, and helped keep crime rates low. Just as concealed carry and Constitutional Carry laws do today.
NB: A spreadsheet with crime numbers since 1960 is at this link.