Gun Violence Declining in U.S. While People Think It's Rising, Studies Suggest

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Gun violence has actually plunged in the U.S. since its peak in the middle of the 1990s, according to two new studies of government data.

At the same time, a majority of Americans believe it is on the rise.


Gun crime statistics are comprised of murders, assaults, robberies and other crimes, and the Pew Research Center found that they're down overall.

In less than two decades, the gun murder rate has been nearly cut in half, their research suggested, while other gun crimes fell even more sharply.

This parallels a broader drop in violent crimes committed with or without guns, which peaked during the 1990s and has fallen sharply since then.

The decline has been more modest since the turn of the century, but overall, the number of gun killings dropped 39 percent between 1993 and 2011.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in a separate study released Tuesday that gun crimes that weren’t fatal fell by 69 percent in that time.

However, guns still remain the most common murder weapon in the U.S.

Also notably, despite this measurable drop in gun crime, only 12 percent of Americans surveyed believe gun crime has declined compared with 1993.

Twenty-six percent of those polled said they believed that it had stayed the same in the past two decades, and 56 percent thought it had increased.

It’s unclear whether media coverage is behind that, but crime has become a growing focus of TV news, and several recent events have been extremely high-profile.

From the Connecticut shooting to the Aurora movie theater massacre, the Boston bombing and beyond, it's hard to escape coverage of the worst tragedies.

Also, while the rate of violent crime is down, it's got a long ways to go.

While violence has dropped, the United States still has a higher murder rate than most other developed countries, though not the highest in the world.

Experts have no simple answer for why violent crime is down, attributing it to everything from a diminishing crack cocaine market to surging prison populations.

Some researchers have even linked dropping crime to reduced lead in gasoline, which can cause increased aggression and impulsive behavior.

Victims of gun killings are overwhelmingly male and black, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Compared with other parts of the country, the South had the highest rates of gun violence, including both murders and other violent gun crimes.


Joseph, I agree with you 110%. All of it is bull. My husband works nights. So I am at home with two children, by myself every night. Some one comes in my house, they arent walking out. I keep firearms around for protection and locked up where the children cant get to it or find it but where i have quick access. Plus I grew up hunting. It is a great source of food and helps keep down the deer population, which is very important in this region. Firearms have many good purposes. Whether it is protection or hunting for food. Plus, guns dont kill people. People kill people in many ways and murder will continue with or without firearms. The media has always been puppets. They have the power to sway the thinking of the general public and they (and the government) take full advantage over it.


playing your own Judge is something for the 1930's in wyoming!!

Joseph houseman

The ignorance of the sheeple know no bounds. The so-called news media has become just the propaganda arm of the white house and they surely will never report anything positive about guns but will never miss an opportunity to hype up the negative. Those who still believe the networks like ABC, NBC, MSNBC or NPR report the truth are the most ill informed and mislead people on earth.

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