This is a 2005 Report!!!!!!!
GUN OWNERSHIP CONTINUES TO GROW
The number of privately owned guns in the United States rises by about 5 million a year, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The number of guns owned by Americans is now at an all time high, fast approaching 300 million.
Meanwhile, the FBI reports that in 2003 the nation's violent crime rate declined for the 12th straight year to a 27-year low. The FBI's figures are based upon crimes reported to the police. By comparison, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in September that, according to its annual national crime victim survey, violent crime reached a 30-year low in 2003.
And, while the so-called "mainstream" media like to feature accidental firearm deaths as often as possible on the nightly newscast, a new National Safety Council report shows that the number of accidental firearm-related fatalities in the United States continues to fall, with the latest annual total the lowest since records have been kept. Last year, 101,537 U.S. residents died in accidents of all types. Less than 1 percent, only 700, involved firearms. The most common deadly accidents involved motor vehicles, falls and poisonings, claiming 72 percent of all accidental deaths.
"This shows that prosecuting violent felons and teaching gun safety works," said Chuck Michel, CRPA spokesman. "And it proves that America's law-abiding firearm owners are enormously responsible and safety conscious."
Other new findings from the National Safety Council include: Accidental firearm-related fatalities have been consistently decreasing for many years. Preliminary statistics show accidental firearm-related fatalities declined by 13 percent between 2002 and 2003. Over the past seven years, accidental firearm-related fatalities among children (under 14) decreased 60 percent. Firearms are involved in less than two percent of accidental fatalities among children. Firearms are involved in less than 1 percent of all accidental fatalities.
On the criminal misuse of firearms, consistent with its previous annual reports, the FBI reports, the FBI report noted that only 26.7 percent of violent crimes involved firearms in 2003. Most violent crimes are aggravated assaults or robberies, most of which are committed with knives or bare hands. Crime victims can benefit from using guns to defend themselves against such crimes, however. Criminologist Gary Kleck's review of survey data in the 1990's showed that "robbery and assault victims who used a gun to resist were less likely to be attacked or to suffer an injury than those who used any other methods of self-protection or those who did not resist at all."
National murder rates, which have fluctuated slightly between 1999-2003, are now lower than at any time since the mid-1960s. The robbery and aggravated assault rates are lower than any time since 1968 and 1984, respectively.
States with liberal of carrying concealed firearms fared better than the rest of the country in 2003. On the whole, their total violent crime, murder and robbery rates were 6 percent, 2 percent, and 23 percent lower, respectively, than the states and the District of Columbia where carrying a firearm for protection against criminals is prohibited or severely restricted. On average, Right to Carry states' total violent crime, murder, robbery and aggravated assault rates were lower by 27 percent, 32 percent, 45 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
As usual, most of the states with the lowest violent crime rates are those with the least "gun control," including those in the Rocky Mountain region, and Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in the Northeast. The District of Columbia and Maryland, which have gun bans and other severe restrictions on gun purchase and ownership, retained their regrettable distinctions as having the highest murder and robbery rates, respectively.
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