Gun Control Debate 2013: A Majority Of Americans Wrongly Believe Gun Killings Are Going Up

So if you watch a lot of Hollywood, or a lot of news coverage, or a lot of President Obama’s speeches, you probably think this is what’s going on in the streets in every city, every day.


In reality, however, the numbers show just the opposite.

Gun crime has plunged in the U.S. since its peak in the mid-90s, including gun killings, assaults, robberies and other crimes, two new studies of government data show.

The number of gun killings has dropped 39% since 1993, the Bureau of Justice Statistics recently reported. Gun crimes that weren’t fatal have fallen by 69%. According to the Pew Research Center, the gun homicide rate has dropped 49% since 1993, with non-fatal gun crimes dropping 75% according to their analysis.

Shocked? Don’t feel bad, you’re in the majority on that.

According to Pew, only 12% of Americans are aware of this. Twenty-six percent (26%) believe the rates have stayed the same and a whopping 56% of Americans believe gun killings have increased. The survey showed that women (65%) are more likely to believe that fatal shootings are up than men (46%), while young adults, ages 18 to 29, are noticeably less likely than older adults to say shootings are up – 44% do, compared with more than half of older adults.

Gee, I wonder how more than half the country could incorrectly believe gun killings are way up over the last decade?

The survey didn’t provide any answers as to why. But I can take a guess: 24 hour sensationalist news media and ardent gun control advocates – including the president. Not only does Obama not bother pointing these stats out in his speeches, but he and other Democrats are doing anything possible to keep tragedies like Sandy Hook fresh in everyone’s mind to push his agenda through – including exploiting children and mothers for photo ops.

It wouldn’t be the first time he’s exaggerated claims on gun violence. The Washington Post gave him three Pinocchios for lying about 40% of all gun sales not requiring a background check under current law. FactCheck.org illustrated how Obama’s claim that 90% of Mexico’s recovered crime guns come from the U.S. is blatantly false.

But the myths will probably still persist for anyone who doesn’t bother to read or do their own homework. And of course, the president won’t bother pointing any of these falsehoods out either when he’s on camera.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

John Giokaris

John Giokaris has been contributing to PolicyMic since February 2011. Born and raised in Chicago, John graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a double major in Journalism and Political Science and is currently earning his J.D. at The John Marshall Law School. John believes in free market principles, private sector solutions, transparency, school choice, constitutionally limited government, and being a good steward of taxpayer dollars. His goals are to empower/create opportunity for citizens to use the tools at their disposal to succeed in America, which does more to grow the middle class and alleviate those in poverty than keeping a permanent underclass dependent on government sustenance indefinitely. Sitting on the Board of Directors for both the center-right Chicago Young Republicans and libertarian America's Future Foundation-Chicago, he is also a member of the free market think tank Illinois Policy Institute's Leadership Coalition team along with other leaders of the Illinois business, political, and media communities. John has seven years experience working in writing/publishing, having previously worked at Law Bulletin Publishing, the Tribune Company, and Reboot Illinois. His works have been published in the Chicago Tribune, U.S. News & World Report, Crain's Chicago Business, Reboot Illinois, Townhall, the Law Bulletin, and the RedEye. He's also made appearances on CBS News, PBS, and Al Jazeera America.

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