Brian Thomas reports that despite insistence to the contrary from the Left, the data shows that there is no correlation between gun ownership rates and gun violence rates.
After the tragedy in Las Vegas Monday night, there have been no shortage of complaints from the media about America’s “gun culture.”
Leftists insist that America is obsessed with guns. They blame the violence on gun ownership in the U.S. But if higher rates of gun ownership correlate to more gun violence, then in states with higher rates of gun ownership, we should expect to see an increase in gun violence. That is not the case.
Gun ownership isn’t the problem. Most Americans with guns aren’t going to use them to murder people. And that can be easily proven.
The Mises Institute’s Ryan McMaken put together two graphs comparing gun ownership rates to murder and mass shooting rates, state by state.
He concluded that there is “no correlation” between gun ownership and murders and mass shootings:
I just looked at the rate of gun ownership in the state. After all, the argument is often that more guns and more gun owners leads to more violence.
So, I looked at the correlation between the gun ownership rate (a percentage on the x axis) and the murder rate (n per 100,000 on the y axis) in each state. The visual result is this:
Looking at the graph above, we can see that the state with the highest rate of gun ownership, Alaska, doesn’t see the highest rate of gun related homicides, as would be expected if the leftist argument was correct. In fact, it doesn’t even come close. Alaska has a relatively low homicide rate.
A quick look at the graph reveals this lack of a pattern state by state.
In case somebody tries using mass shootings, and mass shootings only in the argument that more gun owners means more danger, McMaken composed a similar graph comparing instances of mass shootings and to gun ownership rates, again in each state.
McMakin defined mass shootings as “a shooting involving 4 or more people.”
He concluded that the odds of being involved in a mass shooting are “vanquishingly small,” again finding no correlation with rates of gun ownership:
Just for good measure, I also went in and looked for a correlation between mass shootings and gun ownership rates. Here, I took the total number of mass shooting victims in all states so far in 2015. This is updated constantly by Mass Shooting Tracker, and includes the most recent Oregon mass shooting. Mass shootings here include a shooting involving 4 or more people, and do not necessarily mean school shooting. They can mean someone went nuts and shot his wife, her lover, and two bystanders at a birthday party when the shooter personally knew all the victims. There are not just cases of random public shootings. If we only included those, the total numbers would be microscopically small. Even with all mass shooting data together, it’s obvious that your odds of being involved in one in any given year are vanishingly small, and less than 1 per 100,000 in 48 states. I’ve included all victims, not just fatalities here. If I used only fatalities, the mass shooting numbers would be much smaller (x axis = gun ownership percentage; y axis = mass shooting deaths per 100,000):
This graph makes it plain and simple. The argument that Americans just can’t be trusted with guns is dead.
But let us know what you think, and sound off in the comments section below.