Anyone needing proof that fanaticism for gun control hasn't waned on Capitol Hill, that anti-gunners are—as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) put it last year—only waiting to "pick the time," should watch the video of Mexican president Felipe Calderon's speech to Congress last week, versions of which have been posted on youtube.com. When Calderon asked that the federal "assault weapon" ban be re-imposed, a very large number of U.S. Representatives and Senators present gave him a standing ovation.
However, on Monday the FBI released crime statistics that should cause the applauding anti-gunners to sit on their hands. The statistics indicate that between 2008 and 2009, as gun sales soared, the number of murders in our country decreased 7.2 percent. That amounts to about an 8.2 percent decrease in the per capita murder rate, after the increase in our nation's legal and illegal population is taken into account. And it translates into about a 10.5 percent decrease in the murder rate between 2004, when the ban expired, and the end of 2009. And finally, it means that in 2009 our nation's murder rate fell to a 45-year low.
The FBI's report was also bad news for anti-gunners elected to other offices. With the Supreme Court's decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago no more than a few weeks away, Mayors Bloomberg, of New York City, and Daley, of Chicago—who fear that it will require them to respect the Second Amendment for the first time—have continued to beat their drums for gun control. As we have noted, Bloomberg recently encouraged a Senate committee to support the Lautenberg-King terrorist watchlist bills. And last week Daley told a Chicago Reader reporter, who expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of Chicago's handgun ban, "It's been very effective." Holding a bayonet-equipped rifle, Daley added, "If I put this up your butt, you find out how effective it is."
But, murders in big cities declined over 11 percent between 2008 and 2009, translating to over a 12 percent decrease in the big city murder per capita rate. We hope, but don't expect, that the indisputable fact that an increase in gun ownership does not necessarily correspond to an increase in crime, will reduce the frequency of Bloomberg's stunts aimed at gun shows, and Daley's periodic rants against the firearm industry.