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Study: Murder rates decrease as gun holders increase

Guns like these can be concealed easily
Guns like these can be concealed easily
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Yet another study has shown a correlation between gun ownership and lower crime rates. This one, by the Crime Prevention Research Center, was released today and shows that an increase in concealed carry permits led to a drastic reduction in murder rates. It says that some 11.1 million Americans now hold concealed carry permits, up from 4.5 million in 2007, according to Fox News.

“When you allow people to carry concealed handguns, you see changes in the behavior of criminals," John R. Lott, president of the group that conducted the study, said. “Some criminals stop committing crimes, others move on to crimes in which they don’t come into contact with victims and others actually move to areas where they have less fear of being confronted by armed victims.”

Murder rates dropped by some 21 to 22 percent between 2007 and 2013, while concealed carry permit holders increased by almost 146 percent. Data was not available for all states, however, and some states do not require permitting, so the actual number of people carrying concealed handguns is likely much higher.

Every state has some provision to allow concealed weapons, with Illinois finally joining the rest of the nation earlier this year. The result was the lowest murder rate in over 50 years for Chicago. In fact, it seems to be the case almost everywhere that higher gun ownership decreases violent crime rates.

Not everybody agrees, however. Many knee-jerk gun control advocates still believe that allowing law abiding citizens to obtain weapons will somehow stop criminals from committing crimes. Their logic, that fewer guns means fewer shootings, is unfortunately flawed in that it implies criminals will abide by the same laws as the average citizen. Gun control advocates may soon find themselves lumped in with other conspiracy groups, such as anti-vaccine activists, climate change deniers, and creationists.

But gun rights have actually gained ground in recent years, as the aforementioned move in Illinois demonstrates. Gun ownership has long been a right and a means of both defense and sport in this country and it seems likely to stay that way, especially if results like these continue to occur.