I know it flies in the face of everything we’ve been told, but we now have a shining example of a city on a hill (actually in a Valley) of how to combat the scourge of gun violence and firearms-related murders: We need more guns and fewer gun laws.
Just one day prior to President Barack Obama’s announcement as to how he intended to combat gun violence in this country by regulating guns even more, Phoenix police announced that 113 murders were committed in the city in 2015 — the lowest number recorded in Phoenix in almost 30 years.
Uh-huh. The biggest city in the U.S. with the fewest gun laws and one of the highest firearm ownership rates, also enjoys one of the lowest murder rates.
Go ahead. Take your time. Let that sink in.
Don’t (want) to believe me? Here are the stats:
- There were 113 murders in Phoenix in 2015, a 2.5 percent reduction from 2014 and the lowest raw number since 1988.
- The city of Phoenix has 1.51 million residents, placing it sixth in size among American cities.
- In 2015, Arizona enjoyed two different number one rankings: the best state for gun owners (bequeathed by Guns and Ammo magazine) and the best state for criminals to get access to guns (awarded by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence).
Meanwhile, the president’s adopted hometown of Chicago — with a population of 2.71 million — recorded 468 murders last year. Basically, Chicago, with a population that is not even double the size of Phoenix, had more than quadruple the number of murders.
Chicago had more homicides than any other city in 2015, according to the Chicago Tribune at the same time they also “enjoyed” some of the tightest regulations on gun ownership anywhere.
Here’s just a sample (via state and municipal laws):
- A 72-hour waiting period for handguns and a 24-hour waiting period for long guns.
- A Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card is required for purchase and possess a firearm.
- Unless one has a concealed-carry license (legendarily hard to get in Chicago), a firearm must be unloaded and in a case when you are moving about in public.
- Firearm sellers are required to provide a gun lock.
- Firearms seller are required to keep a record of their sale for at least 10 years.
And yet, Chicago continues to be the Murder Capital of America, continues to see an increase (up 29 percent in two years) in murders in their city and continues to believe that laws are going to fix the problem. Meanwhile, “Wild West Phoenix,” with its easy access to guns, is seeing a decrease.
Doesn’t compute, does it?
Of course, I need to acknowledge that one murder is too many. And I’m not suggesting that everyone run out and buys a gun, nor am I suggesting that we eliminate all gun laws.
What I am suggesting, however, is that we look at scientific data instead of relying on raw emotion to solve our problems.
Because it would seem to me that normal, everyday, lawful people having access to guns means that even if criminals do too, the bad guys are a lot more hesitant to use theirs.