Guns involved in lots of killing
To the Journal editor:
Now that the mid-term election is past us, staunch partisans can pause, take a breath and think more clearly.
During this election, one of the primary issues of concern was that of crime, especially violent crime and murder.
Among registered voters, 73% of Republicans felt that it was a very important issue, while 49% of Democrats felt that way.
Contrary to the claims of many political ads, there has been no significant change in overall U.S. violent crime rates. Compared to the previous year, the number of aggravated assaults increased in 2020, but were buffeted by the decrease in rape and robbery rates. 2020-21 results were similar.
There was, however, a significant increase (29%) in the number of murders. The data for analysis came from two sources, The Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (PEW Research Center, Oct. 31, 2022).
Common sense tells us that violent crime and murder rates will differ from one state to another, from one city to another and from one community to another. This probably helps in feeding into the fallacy that Republican political leaders do a better job fighting crime than Democratic leaders.
This nation experienced some of the highest violent crime and murder rates during the Republican Presidency of George H. W. Bush (1989-1993). In 1991, the FBI recorded 758 violent crimes per 100,000 people, compared to 395 in 2021, under Democratic President Joe Biden (statista.com violent crime rates).
In 2020, of the top ten states with the highest violent crime rates in the nation, seven had a Republican governor and attorney general. Nine of those top 10 states had Republican led state legislatures, to include Michigan.
In 2020, comparing Democratic San Francisco to Republican Oklahoma City, both cities had much higher violent crime rates than the national average.
The same with Fort Worth, Texas, (Republican) compared to San Diego, California, (Democratic), both ranked at a higher than national average violent crime rate (U.S. News & World Report, crime rate and safety report).
There is no correlation between political party and violent crime and murder rates, at any level of government.
What is known, is that of those murders in 2020, 77% were committed with a firearm, the highest share ever reported to the FBI since they started keeping record in 1960 (Brennan Center for Justice, July 12, 2022).