Piers Morgan has a passion for banning firearms. His most frequently cited statistic is that the United Kingdom’s firearms murder rate dropped from thousands annually all the way down to the double digits (less than 100). Sounds terrific, right? Let’s ban all firearms now, right?
Well, not so fast. You see, Piers Morgan lies. He lies to you by using the term, “firearms murder rate,” “gun murders,” or “murders by firearms.” He intentionally (possibly just stupidly) ignores murders which occur as the result of violent crime. Speaking of which…
Piers Morgan fails to mention the fact that the UK’s violent crime rate more than tripled after they banned nearly all private ownership of firearms. Apparently, a disarmed citizenry is far more susceptible to the other violent crimes of rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Furthermore, since most murders are a result of violent crime at its worst, when their violent crime rate tripled, so did their non-firearms murder rate.
Put simply, the U.K. reduced their firearms murder rate but increased their non-firearms murder rate.
THE QUESTION: Did the overall effect of the UK gun ban result in fewer murders overall or did the resulting tripling of the UK’s violent crime rate actually lead to more murders overall? A related question involves how that would translate to gun bans here in the United States. Would gun bans actually save lives, or would it cause violent crime — including murders related to violent crime, to rise?
To answer that question, I consulted with the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. UCR “has been the starting place for law enforcement executives, students of criminal justice, researchers, members of the media, and the public at large seeking information on crime in the nation. The program was conceived in 1929 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to meet the need for reliable uniform crime statistics for the nation. In 1930, the FBI was tasked with collecting, publishing, and archiving those statistics” (Source).
Specifically, I examined their vaunted Table 1: Crime in the United States by Volume and Rate per 100,000 inhabitants, 1997-2016. This table provides both the raw numbers as well as the rate per 100,000 inhabitants for all violent crimes as well as the breakdown into murders, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. It also provides the raw numbers and rates for non-violent property crimes, including burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.
To be continued…