JS asks if you can tell by looking at crime statistics when gun control laws were imposed.
Sure, so long as at least some effort to enforce the restrictive law has been made. Consider this chart of the U.S. homicide rate from 1880 to the to last year:
On the left, it is obvious that America’s homicide rate was very low, typically 0.8 to 0.9 per 100,000 population.
Then, in the 1890’s labor unrest caused a small rise in the homicide rate, and political leaders sounded the familiar “Omigosh we have to do something.” The something wa the passage of anti-carry bills in a majority of States between 1906 and 1906. And the effect on the homicide rate is easy to see – and left a lot of widows.
Now, look up to 1910, when some lessening of labor violence cut the homicide rate a bit, resulting in a notch in the chart.
But the next year, something happened to send the United States homicide rate skyward again. What was that event?
A New York City Assemblyman and brothel keeper named Timothy Sullivan pushed a law, the Sullivan Law, through the Assembly. And the result you see. Enough of a result to lift America’s homicide rate from 11910’s 4.8 to 1913/s 6.1 murders per 100,000 population.
If you follow the chart to its 1933 peak of 9.7 murders per 100,000 population, you will find a number of cases where some relaxation of State anti-carry laws resulted in declines that were more than cancelled by more restrive laws in other States.
Now, something obviously happened in 1933. What? The end of Prohibition, and the end of Prohibition – and the Depression.
With the end of the liquor wars, many jurisdictions stopped enforcing the gun laws that were intended to keep mobsters from killing each other. Short term, there were several brief spikes in the homicide rate, many caused by black marketeers rivalry, but in the long term the downward drift in violent crime and homicide lasted for twenty years, until 1963.
Something obviously happened in 1963. The entertainment industry started a campaign to ban mail order gun purchases, which quickly became a camapign to ban all guns.
And something else happened in 1968 to send homicide rates climbing even faster. What was that?
That started with the murder of Dr. Martin Luther Kin and Robert Kennedy, both murdered by killers acting far out of character. And of course the usual suspects screaming “We gotta do something if it is wrong.” Clarly from the crime statistics, what they did was wwwwrong.
The end of ammunition purchaser registration caused a temporary dip in crime rates, as criminals could no longer steal the pages of the buyer registry and the supply of crime guns fell, but the rate soon rose again.
And something obviously happened to cause a reduction of crime rates in the late 1980’s. And that was?
One of the gun ban lobbies, Handgun Control, Inc., created a campaign to ban the firearm least used in crime, the military styled semi-automatic rifle, calling it an “assault weapon.”
The campaign to “Ban Assault Weapons” sent the offiical homicide rate back to 10 per 100,000 population in 1992. The bill was signed into law in 1993,, but something obviously happened to send homicide and most States violent crime rates tumbling. What?
As you might expect, a relaxation of overly restrictive gun laws. Florida, which had the nation’s highest violent crime rates, began a “must issue” Concealed Carry Weapons permit system. And murder and violent crime in Florida plummeted:
In 1992 and 1993, tens of millions of Americans could obtain a License to Carry for paying a fee, and perhaps satisfying the training requirements. And crime did what crime always does when the risk of meeting an armed and aroused “victim” rises.
While bitter, and very well funded, opposition to relaxing and rationalizing gun laws developed in late 1998, at the same time the National Instant Criminal (background) check system was initiated, crime continued until the “Everytown” gun baaan lobbying organization began operations in 2013.
Now, please be awwere that I have only cited a few of America’s almost 13,000 restrictive gun laws. Researching such a detailed listing would be a monumental job, and writing it would be a lifetimes work for a half dozen researchers. And reading it – not to be done in one lifetime.
But we do know,, from State and county data, that the United sTates does not have a single restrictive gun law that has resulted in lower crime rates or improved public safety.
Every restrictive gun law has had results similar to the results cited here, with totals proportional to the affected population, economic factors, and rigor of enforcement.
so yes, you can easily tell when a restrictive gun atually went int effect, and how band the effects are, from the crime statistics.