Did You Know We Haven’t Been This Safe Since The 1960’s?
Message to New Visitors
Have you been concerned with what you’ve been hearing on the news over the last number of years? Whether that’s because you’re worried about the violence taking place across the nation, or whether you might be questioning the information that’s being presented, you’re in the right place.
Many of us found ourselves in a similar position to where you may be now. Some anti-gun, some pro-gun, some in-between. What many of us have found in common is a search for truth. In many cases opinions have altered as a result of that pursuit for truth. Often, when we distance ourselves from fear-mongers and those who would manipulate data to sell a narrative, we find that reality is not nearly as tragic or one-sided as it may first seem.
We believe highly in integrity and transparency when it comes to our work. We look to data and statistics to help formulate our opinions, and share this information openly so that you may formulate your own opinions independently. Please feel free to dive deeper into the datasets with our Data Explorer tool.
Effectiveness of Recent Washington Gun Laws
Politicians and organizations in Washington have been successful in enacting new gun-control measures over the last number of years. What is rarely, if ever, done is measuring the effectiveness of these types of laws. One would most certainly expect that the implementation of laws like these would actually do something to reduce homicides or other crimes committed with firearms.
Initiative 594 – Universal Background Checks (2014)
Based on the FBI NIBRS data, it would be naive to believe that Universal Background Checks that passed in 2014 has led to a safer Washington. Both homicides and crimes committed with firearms rose since the passage of these additional required checks. These additional checks only placed a time and financial burden on law abiding citizens, not those who are committing these heinous crimes.
Initiative 1639 – More Stringent Background Checks, Age Requirements, Registration, Training, and Fees for Semi-Automatic Rifles (2019)
Again, based on the FBI NIBRS data, it would be naive to believe that I-1639 has led to a safer Washington. The law so far appears to have had a negligible effect on both homicides and crimes committed with rifles since the passage of these additional requirements. These additional requirements only placed a time and financial burden on law abiding citizens, not those who are committing these heinous crimes.
We anticipate that the recent legislation banning the sale of magazines that have a capacity greater than 10 rounds will have no impact on gun violence, and instead only continue to impair the rights of law abiding citizens. We wrote in great detail about this in the following article. We looked at Colorado, a state very similar to ours in many ways and found no evidence that their magazine ban in 2013 had any appreciable effect on gun violence in their communities.
Understanding the Composition of Gun Deaths
Often we hear proponents of gun control cite data from the CDC about the number of gun deaths in the United States to support further gun control legislation. Even more often the laws being proposed are extremely broad and neglect to focus on the narrow issues they might help solve. As a result the legislation largely impacts law abiding gun owners and doesn’t address any significant portion of the gun deaths that they use to bolster their position. These data points are generally presented in 5 year averages as shown below.
United States Data
Washington State Data
It is important to understand the risks to your own life when considering gun violence. While there is not likely a great comparison, here we choose to use motor vehicle fatalities as a comparison. This is merely a comparison of risk of death in our daily lives. The CDC provides all sorts of data around disease that are far more lethal than either of these.
When considering odds it is clear that we risk our own lives far more greatly by getting in a vehicle each day.