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By Elizabeth McGuigan

A recent article published on The Conversation draws a correlation between the psychological impact of so called “gun violence” on Americans and reduced trust. Victims of violent crime can, understandably so, be psychologically affected by the choices of a criminal’s intent on inflicting harm.

However, the article uses outdated data to try and connect victims of violence with reduced levels of trust. The author cites obsolete information from the U.S. General Social Survey which covers data collected from 1973 to 1994.

Unsurprisingly, there is also a false assertion that violent crime has been rising in recent years. Violent crime peaked in the United States in the early 1990s which would have strongly influenced the responses collected by the U.S. General Social Survey the article relies upon. Violent crime rates have dropped steadily since the early 1990s. This is apparent not only in the historic data reported by the FBI but also in recent data released by the U.S. Department of Justice which reports a 15% drop in violent crime from 2018 to 2019.

Furthermore, according to the Preliminary Uniform Crime Report, January-June 2020, violent crime rates are lower in the first six months of 2020 when compared to the same timeframe of 2019. An important takeaway from this report is the drop in overall violent crime, but the rise of manslaughter and aggravated assault offenses, 14.8 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, that can be attributed to the current civil unrest.

It should be noted that this specific, recent increase is not part of a years-long trend, but is likely influencing the perception of safety and trust with the general public and contributing to a rational rise in first time gun owners from all walks of life.

Violent Crime Rate

Firearm ownership has increased with multiple record-breaking months year after year. The article acknowledges that victims of crime have reduced trust; yet, puts a spotlight on the firearm instead of the criminal.

This is a deliberate smoke-and-mirrors effort to cast firearm ownership in a negative light while minimizing the culpability of offenders who committed the crime. It is not the firearm that broke the law and victimized an innocent person. It is always the criminal who is responsible for his or her actions.

The Second Amendment itself may help build the trust of law-abiding individuals by enumerating the right to keep and bear arms to defend oneself, loved ones and property. Whether or not a victim of crime feels a lack of trust in society, certainly the knowledge that he or she can protect themselves in a time of need is paramount.

Kimberly Corban, a rape survivor, famously confronted President Barack Obama on his gun control stance, telling him in a nationally-televised forum that since being victimized, she is an unapologetic gun owner. “I have been unspeakably victimized once already, and I refuse to let that happen again to myself or my kids.”

Holding Criminals Accountable

What’s being done to catch violent criminals? The first step is to enforce the law to prevent prohibited persons, like convicted violent criminals, from obtaining a firearm in the first place.

The firearm and ammunition industry supports these laws and works hard to help ATF educate retailers about how to spot and stop straw purchasers and to encourage all government entities to submit their prohibiting records to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Opperation Legend AG Barr
Attorney General William Barr and Kansas City Police Chief Richard Smith visit the apartment where four-year-old LeGend Taliferro was killed while he was sleeping in Kansas City, Mo. The Trump administration has recently launched a nationwide violent crime initiative named Operation Legend, named for the young boy. (AP Photo/Mike Balsamo)

The Trump Administration is putting prosecution at the forefront with initiatives such as Operation Legend, which is expanding collaboration among federal, state and local law enforcement departments throughout the country to address violent crime.

In a recent press release, Attorney General William Barr announced several impressive updates since the initiative rollout, including 2,000 arrests. Furthermore, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and U.S. Marshals Service have confiscated over a thousand firearms, 111.2 kilos of illegal drugs, and $5.19 million in drug proceeds since the start of the program.

Building Trust

Law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system must work tirelessly to apprehend violent offenders and prevent recidivism by career criminals. Addressing illegal activity at the source — the criminal — is a valuable building block to create a more confident and resilient nation, as seen by the steady reduction of violent crime over the years.

Americans who lose trust in their communities or fellow citizens should not be further negatively impacted by antigun advocates. Articles like the one in the Conversation drive a wedge in communities to ostracize law abiding citizens who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Instead, we need to promote legal and responsible gun ownership through collective support, education, and utilization of resources like #LetsGoShooting and +ONE.


Elizabeth McGuigan is Director of Legislative and Policy Research at the National Shooting Sports Foundation. 


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    • Correct as there is no such thing as a violent gun, only humans, just more anti Constitution dribble from Marxist Leftards.

      • Control and tyranny begins with the changing of colloquial phrases in common uses that help fit their preferred social manipulation.

        “Government” as a word itself comes from the Latin/medieval French, governus mente, which means “to control the mind”.

        “From Middle French -ment, from Old French -ment, from Latin mente, ablative singular of mēns (“mind”).”

    • I had a long talk with my AR about gun violence and it promised me that it would never fire on someone unless fired upon first.

  1. Stats are funny old dogs, that can end up biting one. Wait until the anti-gun mafia figures out that falling crime rates are actually a good argument for not needing a gun.

    • Low crime or high crime; you don’t need a gun at any time. That’s why we have the police. They will protect us from the evil people with guns, because, let’s get one thing strait: only evil people have guns. That’s why we need to defund and get rid of the police…. because the police have guns and they’re evil.

      Eric Swalwell 2020

  2. WRONG, stupid! You lost any trust the public had in you, that’s exactly why people who’ve never held a gun before are buyin em!!!

  3. “prevent recidivism by career criminals.”

    This is done by locking them up and keeping them there for as long as possible. That way, they have fewer chances to commit crime, and they eventually age out of criminal behavior. Prisons aren’t for reforming criminals. They’re for keeping the animals contained.

  4. I lost what little trust I had under Clinton. Trump has restored a portion of that but only a portion. Trust in the Democrat party only exists in my heart in their imbecilic hatred of the American way of life. The left has cemented that in stone for me.

  5. Freeing a 100,000+ felons for something no worse than a bad flu is the problem. Defund the police is why I went from neighbors asking why I had guns to “what gun do you recommend?”

    • Criminals should regard death or injury as hazards in occupation and incarceration.

      You chose to make a living outside of the law. You deserve no protection under the same law.

  6. Gun Violence is another way for sneaky lowlife anti gun zealots to say Gun Control without saying Gun Control. All sorts of sleaze can be expected coming from those selling a despicable agenda rooted in racism and genocide.

    On face value Gun Control caters to the Criminal misuse of firearms by supplying criminals with an endless supply of unarmed victims. And that’s while despicable gun control zealots like mini mike bloomberg surround themselves with armed security.

    TRUMP/PENCE 2020.

  7. Deeming someone violent and unworthy of rights but then releasing them back in the community is stupid. Its the problem with the felon concept. If you’re not safe enough to own a gun, you’re not safe enough to have freedom.

  8. Gun Control means you and yours get to hide beneath a Gun Free Zone Sign while Gun Control Zealots surround themselves with armed security. What’s wrong with this picture?

    When you don’t vote you ride in the wagon while others pull the wagon for the Rights You Enjoy. When you don’t vote what you do get is a standing round of applause from sick Gun Control Zealots.

    Don’t be a self server like little man enuf who is so history illiterate and politically inept he cannot see a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties meaning Trump and biden. To a pos like enuf apparently there is no difference between the Communist Manifesto and The United States Constitution. Months ago enuf stated his vote will go to a still yet to be announced candidate thus meaning his vote winds up with marxist democRats.

    Don’t be another little man enuf. Prepare today to vote in November…

    TRUMP/PENCE 2020. .

  9. The loss of public trust in government is mostly attributable to the discovery, even by many of the illiterate morons who comprise the bulk of Americans, that government is a dangerous servant and a terrible master.

    All government is evil, and trying to improve it is largely a waste of time. Our G is less evil than most, but that’s a temporary condition.

  10. Crime rates can also be reduced by having Soros backed prosecutors who refuse to enforce the law.

    If you make everything legal there will be no more crime!

  11. Actually, the simple answer to the loss of trust is Vietnam. If you were not alive and old enough to remember it you wouldn’t know that though. People felt way different about the integrity of the government pre-Johnson.

  12. They used to call it “gang violence”.
    Now they call it “gun violence”.
    Same thing, same people, but now they blame the object and instead of the perpetrators.

    And making a ton of useless b.s. laws didn’t help whatever you call it.

  13. People need to speak out more against the increasing use of the term “gun violence” by politicians and the media. This seemingly casual use of the word is more sinister than it appears. It is a case of the Left intentionally employing subliminal anti-gun messaging against the general public. Think about it. Why aren’t brawls between fans at football games called “sport violence?” Why aren’t bar fights labelled “alcohol violence?” By repeated use of the term “gun violence” firearms are transformed in the public mind into a lethal object which kills people…much in the same manner that street drugs like meth and fentanyl kill their users.

  14. I would like to see stats showing the number of crimes where the perps used guns with Chicago, Baltimore, St. Louis, etc taken out. That would show you where the problem is. Then efforts could be made to clean up the real problem with gun users. We all know who is causing the greatest majority of crimes with guns but I guess it isn’t appropriate to come right out and state it so I will. Blacks with guns DO cause most of the crimes with guns. Trump and Barr are currently working all over the country to clean out gangs and are doing a great job. Just today it was announced that the Feds have arrested 262 gang members and rescued 5 missing children in Oklahoma. Shana Tovah.

  15. The loss of public trust in the government, judiciary, etc. began between 50 and 60 years ago when Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ): the worst president in American history, was in the White House! During this same era the corrupt Earl Warren Supreme Court and later Warren Burger Supreme Court, were collectively all to blame for loss of public trust in Washington, D.C.! Same for various other career criminal politicians from our nation’s shameful past: Ted Kennedy (D) of Mass., Thomas Dodd (D) of Connecticut: framer of the damnable and oppressive 1968 Federal Gun Control Act, the crooked and corrupt Daly Democratic Machine in Chicago (Cook County, Illinois), and all this treasonous ilk! No, public distrust of politicians in America did not commence with Richard M. Nixon and Watergate in 1974. The public distrust, as I have already alluded to above, was deeply entrenched long before Nixon and Watergate. How soon we forget these abusive
    past political atrocities. The establishment news media, in lockstep with our government controlled socialist public schools, colleges, universities, and academia all stand collectively guilty of whitewashing and defending these career treasonous criminal politicians, and traitors on the high judicial bench, from our nation’s shameful past! Need I continue further? Finally, “gun violence” is a morally and intellectually dishonest/deceitful parroted cliche which constitutes class warfare against innocent honest American gun owners, the NRA, our Second Amendment heritage, and freedom, liberty, and decency in general! This socialist parroted term rightly deserves to be called out, condemned, and exposed!

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