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Alabama among the most heavily-armed states; research says that makes us safer

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Alabama is among the most heavily-armed states in America, according to a CBS News analysis of ATF gun registrations in accordance with the National Firearms Act (NFA). Weapons regulated under the NFA include short-barreled shotguns or rifles, machine guns and so called “assault rifles.”

There are a total of 96,744 such weapons in Alabama, or 20 per 1,000 residents, placing Alabama seventh nationally.

Here are the top 10 states, according to CBS:

1. Wyoming – 195.7 guns per 1,000 residents
2. District of Columbia – 66.4 guns per 1,000 residents
3. Arkansas – 41.6 guns per 1,000 residents
4. New Mexico – 40.5 guns per 1,000 residents
5. Virginia – 30.1 guns per 1,000 residents
6. Idaho – 24.2 guns per 1,000 residents
7. Alabama – 20 guns per 1,000 residents
8. Nevada – 19.5 guns per 1,000 residents
9. Alaska – 15.2 guns per 1,000 residents
10. Louisiana – 15.1 guns per 1,000 residents

(h/t al.com)

This is not, however, an accurate accounting of the total number of guns owned by Alabama citizens. That number is impossible to calculate because the vast majority of weapons are not subject to registration. However, the United States, a country of about 319 million citizens, has an estimated 360 million guns in circulation. If Alabama just kept pace with those numbers, the Yellowhammer State would have approximately 5.5 million guns for its 4.8 million population.

In the wake of recent mass shootings and terrorist attacks, President Barack Obama and other Democratic politicians have called for an increase in gun control. But a recently-released study by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) indicates that more guns actually results in less violence.

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“In contrast to the widely embraced narrative, perpetuated by liberal politicians and the media, that gun violence in America is getting worse all the time, the data reveal that the exact opposite is true,” writes AEI’s Mark J. Perry. “According to data retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control, there were 7 firearm-related homicides for every 100,000 Americans in 1993 (see light blue line in chart). By 2013 (most recent year available), the gun homicide rate had fallen by nearly 50% to only 3.6 homicides per 100,000 population.

“Based on data from a 2012 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, the number of privately owned firearms in the US increased from about 185 million in 1993 to 357 million in 2013,” he continues. “Adjusted for the US population, the number of guns per American increased from 0.93 per person in 1993 to 1.45 in 2013, which is a 56% increase in the number of guns per person that occurred during the same period when gun violence decreased by 49%. Of course, that significant correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation, but it’s logical to believe that those two trends are related. After all, armed citizens frequently prevent crimes from happening, including gun-related homicides.

“Bottom Line: Even if you’re not convinced that increased gun ownership reduces violent crime and gun homicides,” Perry concludes, “you should be totally convinced of this indisputable fact: Gun violence has been decreasing significantly over time, not increasing as you’ll frequently hear from anti-gun politicians and progressives.”


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