I spent some time over the long holiday weekend updating this post from 2017 since we've gone through one presidential election since then.
So to keep things apples-to-apples, I've put these graphs together in a per-capita format. Sales numbers are per 1,000 people and homicide rates are per 100,000.
Just in case portions of this post trigger an alert, I'm going to post the relevant section of the 2020 platform of the Democratic Party:
And the party formally known as the Republican Party and is now just the Trump/Qanon Party:
Our Right to Keep and Bear Arms
We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a natural inalienable right that predates the Constitution and is secured by the Second Amendment. Lawful gun ownership enables Americans to exercise their God-given right of self-defense for the safety of their homes, their loved ones, and their communities.
We salute the Republican Congress for defending the right to keep and bear arms by preventing the President from installing a new liberal majority on the Supreme Court. The confirmation to the Court of additional anti-gun justices would eviscerate the Second Amendments fundamental protections. Already, local officials in the nations capital and elsewhere are defying the Courts decisions upholding an individual right to bear arms as affirmed by the Supreme Court in Heller and McDonald. We support firearm reciprocity legislation to recognize the right of law-abiding Americans to carry firearms to protect themselves and their families in all 50 states. We support constitutional carry statutes and salute the states that have passed them. We oppose ill-conceived laws that would restrict magazine capacity or ban the sale of the most popular and common modern rifle. We also oppose any effort to deprive individuals of their right to keep and bear arms without due process of law.
We condemn frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers and the current Administrations illegal harassment of firearm dealers. We oppose federal licensing or registration of law-abiding gun owners, registration of ammunition, and restoration of the ill-fated Clinton gun ban. We call for a thorough investigation by a new Republican administration of the deadly Fast and Furious operation perpetrated by Department of Justice officials who approved and allowed illegal sales of guns to known violent criminals.
▼ First we have total gun sales per capita. It's pretty simple. The BATFE keep tracks of all the guns made by firearms makers (excluding, of course, guns made privately) as well as all firearms imports and exports. So by adding up all the guns made domestically and all the guns imported and then subtracting the exported guns, we can arrive at the total numbers. As you can see, sales of guns per capita have more than doubled since 1986. Note that gun sales went up about 25% from 2008 as the pro-gun-control candidate Obama beat McCain decisively. Sales slowed slightly as the economy cratered, then picked up as high-profile shootings and gun-control proposals made headlines even as the homicide rate continued to decline. In fact, 2013 was a record year for per-capita firearms sales, over twice the number of sales as 2008. Then in 2016, we sales jump by 25% from 2015 as the pro-gun-control candidate Clinton secures the Democratic primary and looks like a winner in the 2016 presidential election over Fat Donnie. An October Surprise from FBI director Comey throws the election to the Fanta Menace despite losing the popular vote by some 3 million. Gun sales declined as the pro-gun party secures the presidency and both houses of Congress, and fall even further as Donnie Two-Scoops and McConnell put a conservative justice in a seat stolen from Obama, then seat another justice after Kennedy. The GQP holds the Senate after the 2018 midterms, ensuring no threat of gun-control laws being passed, and sales continue to decline.
▼ Second, we have the same data but only for shotgun sales. As you can see, they remain largely flat on a per-capita basis. Shotguns are NOT where the action is.
▼ Third, we have the same date but only for rifles. We have a fairly large bump around 1991-1993; this was after California passed its own ban on "assault weapons", followed shortly by New Jersey and Connecticut. The Federal ban was passed in 1993 and took effect in 1994. Rifles fall back to "normal" levels, then start to climb again as the Dubya presidency comes to a close and Obama takes office. Again there's a bit of a cratering during the Great Recession, then proceed to double over 4 years. Sales remain fairly high until Clinton loses to Dolt45 in 2016, at which point, as previously mentioned, gun sales tumble as the prospect of gun-control laws fade into the distance.
▼ Fourth, we have a similar story with handguns. As states increasingly went to either permitless carry or went to shall-issue pistol permitting, sales increased. This graph is less affected by threats of bans on "assault weapons", as very few handguns are "assault weapons" and the demand for "assault weapon" handguns is virtually nil.
▼ Fifth, we have a chart with all three types of gun sales on it for comparison. Just for convenience.
▼ Sixth, we have the homicide rate with various methods of homicide. This is a little harder to parse, as there is an increasing percentage of "Firearm, type not stated" over time. I don't know why this is. But we can see the single biggest tool used in homicide is the handgun, while rifles (a percentage of which are "assault weapons" by one definition or another) kinds just bounces along near the bottom of the graph there, way below the dashed "non-firearm" line.
▼ Seventh, we have a simpler version of above. It's the total homicide rate, the firearm homicide rate, the non-firearm homicide rate, and the ratio of firearm to non-firearm homicides. As you can see, the firearm homicide rate continued to decline even after the Federal AWB expired in 2004.
▼ Eighth and finally, we have the per-capita sales as a ratio to 1986. Sales in 1986 are zero, and sales from 1987 to 2019 are expressed as a percentage above or below 1986. Doubling is a 100% increase, tripling is a 200% increase, etc. As you can see, handgun sales peaked at nearly 350% above 1986 levels, rifles climbed to 235%, and shotguns to 100%.
The number of guns sold in the United States from 1986 to 2019 is 236,425,288. That's right, over a quarter-billion guns were sold in the US in this 35-year period. 79,232,305 were imported and 166,598,230 made domestically.
March 12, 2021 Liz George
Senate Democrats introduced legislation that would ban 205 assault weapons Thursday, just hours after the House passed two other gun control bills.
Introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the legislation called the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 would also outlaw magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds and is co-sponsored by 34 other Senate Democrats.
According to a press release from Feinstein, the bill bans any assault weapon with the capacity to utilize a magazine that is not a fixed ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock.
Some of the firearms listed in the proposed ban are All AR types, All UZI types, Beretta CX4, Sig Sauer P556 pistol, as well as belt-fed semi-autos.
The Department of Justice National Institute of Justice issued a report in 2004 stating that the assault weapons ban from 1994 did not actually reduce crime.
Well, there it is. I've been alerted on twice this year for saying that the Democrats are the party of gun control. Apparently, stating what's in the fucking party platform is seen as a smear on Democrats!
And yet, here it is. A bill on universal background checks, a bill on enhanced background checks, and now a new and even more restrictive Federal assault weapon ban.
The first two might not get the Republicans out en masse, but this will certainly boost their turnout. There goes the House and the Senate in 2022.
Goddamn it, we can see how much good we can do when we're running things! Why do we have to ruin it to "stick it to gun nuts"?
This will not affect either mass shootings or gun murders, but it will put do-nothing Republicans in control in less than two years. More divided government, more Congressional inaction, and probably an impeachment of Biden for made-up bullshit reasons.
And it's even possible we'll have Trump as president again in 2024!
This sounds much better than universal health care! This bill might save as many as 10 lives a year! No way that having Medicare for all can beat that!
Instead of giving in to the complaint by a parent in the Rockwood School District, the book will now be read to the entire elementary school.
September 04, 2020 - 9:45 am
WILDWOOD, Mo. (KMOX) - The Rockwood School District is responding to a parent's complaint about a book that was read to a second-grade class, by having it read to the entire school.
The book is called "Ron's Big Mission," written about Astronaut Ron McNair the only Black member of the 1986 NASA Challenger crew. The book focuses on his fight to get a library card in segregated South Carolina when he was a kid growing up there in the 1950s.
But it apparently didn't sit well with one parent of Pond Elementary School.
After hearing it read to her 7-year-old during an online video chat, the parent urged other parents to "preview what we are letting the kids see on there." The statement was posted in a Facebook group for Concerned Parents of the Rockwood School District. The parent said she called the school about it.
Amazing. Just amazing how people want to pretend slavery and segregating never happened in the past so they can be self righteous and tone deaf in the present.
Apologies if this has already been posted here.
A couple of months ago, when I had some free time, I dipped a toe into some of the BATFE's sales data on guns. Today, having lots of free time (avoiding the shopping frenzy and distracting myself from some personal issues) I went deeper into the ATF's data and crunched some numbers. I subtracted exports and added imports, and got a slightly newer version of the report (data goes to 2015, not 2013).
The sales numbers are from here:
Report database: https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/data-statistics
Direct link to the PDF: https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/docs/undefined/firearms-commerce-united-states-annual-statistical-update-2017/download
You can view my spreadsheet as either an Excel...
...or in the original OpenOffice Calc:
Note that I removed (and corrected for) the miscellaneous firearms category.
My original intent was to see how gun sales looked, corrected for population growth. The following charts are derived from that per-capita data. Feel free to save them, re-host them, or link to them.
First: here is the totals. This is sales per 1,000 people, with a trend line.
As you can see the exploding sales of handguns and rifles drive most of the increase; shotgun sales remain relatively flat.
I'll let the reader speculate as to the rifle sales surge. Handgun sales are of course related to the liberalization of concealed-carry laws, as shown:
But what was really interesting was per capita sales relative to 1986. In other works, 1986 is "0" on this chart.
In 1986, 1,000 people purchased (on average) 14.66 guns. In 2015, those same 1,000 people bought 38.95! The peak was 2013, at 49.08. In fact, only one year (2001) has the number dip below 1986's rate, and only by 1.5% (14.45 guns per 1,000 people).
So, given the information presented, how can we judge the various efforts by various organizations on this issue? What is working, and what isn't? If the goal is X, is effort Y bringing us closer or further to X?
Here are stand-alone charts for handguns, rifles, and shotguns. I put them to the same scale for apples-to-apples visual comparison.