Here I am in the middle of researching an article I hope to finish to post next week, when I see an article from 2010 regarding Crime statistics in Texas. The headline read:
Less Murders, Violent Crime 15 Years after Concealed Carry
Since I was researching how concealed carry laws affect crime statistics – if at all – I stopped to read the article. Greg Googan, the author, mentions that then governor George W. Bush, signed concealed carry into law in 1995. Interesting, I would’ve thought Texas had concealed carry much longer than that.
But, here’s what really caught my eye, these two sentences:
“In 1994, there were 129,838 violent crimes reported in the state with 2,022 murders.
In 2008, the total amount of violent crimes had fallen to 123,564 with 1,374 homicides.”
To read that, you would assume that concealed carry had indeed lowered the crime rate. I decided to double-check the figures and according to the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, the number of violent crimes in Texas did drop from 129,838 in 1994 to 123,564 in 2008. That’s a drop of 6,274 violent crimes or 4.8%.
However; don’t be impressed just yet. According to the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, the number of violent crimes in Texas in 1993 was 137,419. Between 1993 and 1994, violent crimes dropped by 7,581 or 5.5%. In fact, if you go all the way back to 1960 (which is as far back as the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistic site goes), you can see that on average, violent crimes in Texas rise nearly every year until reaching a high of 145,743 in 1991. After that, violent crimes begin a slow and steady drop until 1998 when violent crimes reach a nine year low of 111,566 and then they begin a slow and study rise.
I feel pretty certain that the concealed carry law didn’t have that much affect on the lowering of violent crimes in Texas. Violent crimes were already dropping before the law was signed or went into effect. I did think it was interesting that the violent crimes spiked in 1991. I’m curious if any other states had the same kinds of spikes for the same time period.
If I can really pass on anything from this outing into Texas’ crime statistics it is this: Don’t believe everything you read. Go look it up and check the facts for yourself. Everyone has an agenda to push. With so much misinformation on the web, it is smart to find the facts for yourself.
Ironically, when I saw this article, I wasn’t even looking up Texas’ crimes stats. I was looking for Maryland, Minnesota and Wisconsin’s.