Numbers Good And Bad

Murders Most Foul Keep Gun Sales Sizzling

A publication called The Trace says Americans bought some 14.7 million guns last year.

The Trace is a publication financially supported by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and as the New Year began unfolding, it provided some interesting data, though these are likely estimates, probably open to question.

During 2022, The Trace said Americans bought 14.7 million firearms. That just might be the good news. The report also said there are 71,600 federally licensed firearms dealers across the country, an apparent increase of 2,000 “registrations in the last five years.”

Last year, the report said, there were an estimated 20,138 firearms-related deaths, excluding suicides. This represents a slight decline from the number posted in 2021, “a year that saw the most gun deaths on record.”

Remember the much-ballyhooed “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” quickly signed into law by Joe Biden the same week as the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the 6-3 ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. Some believed at the time Biden hastily inked the bill as much to take the spotlight away from the pro-rights Bruen ruling as it was to take credit for signing a gun control bill.

According to The Trace, Biden’s gun control measure includes $1.5 billion for “gun violence prevention.” The publication described the legislation as “the first major gun reform law in three decades.” Nobody has yet explained what “reform” guns require, probably because nobody in the establishment media asked. Included in the package is $200 million to improve the National Instant Background Check System (NICS), and another $250 million for “community-based violence intervention initiatives,” whatever they are.

Tall Order

If these “initiatives” are truly going to focus on reducing violent crime, it will be a tall order. Proof of that can be found in some of the municipal body counts posted in 2022; numbers that came easier and faster from some cities than others.

Philadelphia, according to WHYY News, racked up at least 514 murders last year, including 471 involving firearms. It’s no wonder why some people have nicknamed the city “Killadelphia.” If there was a bright side, the 2022 murder tally represented 7% fewer killings than were recorded in 2021, when 562 people were murdered in “The City of Brotherly Love.”

“Just over three-quarters of fatal shooting victims were Black, and about half were between the ages of 18 and 30,” WHYY noted.

In Chicago, Fox News reported 695 slayings during 2022, down from the 804 posted in 2021. However, according to the popular website, preliminary data said there were a total of 735 homicides, of which 665 involved firearms. Presumably the disparity will get sorted out.

Birmingham, Alabama logged 144 homicides, according to The news site said the number is down slightly from the 148 murders recorded in 1933. Curiously, the Birmingham population has been gradually shrinking in recent years, resulting in an increased murder rate.

In St. Louis, Missouri, KSDK News said at least 196 people were murdered last year, which was down from the 263 slayings in 2020, so there was something of a positive note in the negative headline.

Way out in Portland, Oregon, the Twitter account @PDXHomicide (not connected to the Portland Police Bureau), reported the Rose City set a new record last year. The body count hit 96, well above the 10-year average of 38.4 slayings per year. There were five fatal police shootings in 2022.

Up the interstate about 175 miles to the north, Seattle posted 57 slayings, according to the similar @homocideseattle Twitter account. This is also well above the 10-year average of 31.5 murders annually, which doesn’t tell the whole ironic story. In the 8 years since Seattle adopted a special “gun and ammunition” tax, the number of homicides has been creeping upwards. Obviously, the tax is hitting the wrong people, or it might just be the perps doing all the shooting buy their ammunition in some other city. And to make a point, the year was only a day old when the city saw its first killing of 2023.

Now, just for the sake of contrast, take a look at quiet New Hampshire. There, according to WMUR News, there were 27 homicide cases for the entire state last year! In 2020 and 2021, the Granite State posted 16 killings in each year. The story noted that in 2019, the state saw 33 homicides, and in 2018, there were 21 murders.

Call it almost humorous, but the anti-gun Giffords website laments, “New Hampshire has not passed any meaningful gun safety laws in years, and recently enacted a law that allows people to carry loaded, hidden handguns in public without a background check or permit. In 2020, New Hampshire had the 9th-lowest gun death rate in the country and exported crime guns at the 26th-highest rate. To save lives from gun violence, New Hampshire could require a background check and waiting period on all firearm purchases and enact an extreme risk protection order law.”

Maybe the whole country could learn something from New Hampshire, huh? Maybe the secret to safety is found in what the state isn’t doing.

Oregonians bought a lot of hardware after Measure 114 was
passed in November, a lesson anti-gunners have yet to grasp.

There’s A Lesson Here

A report at Oregon Live earlier this month may have unintentionally revealed the obvious to gun owners, but should have hit the Portland-based gun control crowd like a wet towel.

“In the first 10 months of 2022,” the news organ reported, “the state police received 253,662 requests for criminal background checks on prospective gun buyers, an average of 25,000 requests per month. That number rose dramatically after Measure 114 passed, with more than 85,000 requests for background checks received in November. Last month through Dec. 20, the state police received about 43,000 requests for background checks, state police data showed.”

This is what we call a “Well, DUH” educational experience. It may take Oregon anti-gunners a while to absorb the fact that, when threatened with new gun restrictions, good people will flock to gun stores to buy firearms and ammunition. It’s as predictable as February rain in Portland and Seattle, and the angst gun prohibitionists are experiencing is well deserved.

Incidentally, when last we checked, a circuit court judge in the community of Burns was still holding up Oregon’s Measure 114. That’s the state-level lawsuit brought by Gun Owners of America.

Meanwhile, four federal lawsuits remain very much in play.

Circle the Date

The good folks at Florida Carry have scheduled their annual “2A Freedom Fest” on Saturday, Feb. 4 beginning at 10 a.m.

This event is about education and civil rights, with guest speakers from across the country. It will be held at Runaway Campers in Summerfield, Florida. People planning to attend are asked to bring their own chair.

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