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BJS: Gun Homicides Down

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The Bureau of Justice Statistics announced that homicides with firearms dropped 39 percent from 1993 to 2011.

Is this newsworthy?  We have known for a long time that crime rates dropped dramatically during the 1990s, after we saw the folly of our soft ways and got tough.  The drop continued, although at a slower rate, in the years following.  The rate of gun homicides specifically would be news only if there were reason to believe that gun homicides were a special category.  But the data don't show it.  The drop in gun homicides is the same, within about a percent, as the drop in homicides generally for the same period.  It is also reasonably close to the drop in violent crimes generally for the same period.

The cause of crime is criminals, not weapons.

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