The US Supreme Court’s 2008 decision to strike down Washington DC’s handgun ban and gunlock requirements should have led to a surge in murders, with Wild West shootouts. At least that’s what those who supported the maintenance of the ban predicted.
In fact, DC’s murder rate plummeted by an astounding 25 percent last year, much faster than for the US as a whole or for similarly sized cities.
John Lott, the author of More Guns, Less Crime, has an updated edition coming out in which he argues that every time gun bans have been tried, murder rates have risen.
That might be relevant when the Supreme Court considers whether its decision to strike down DC’s ban also applies to the States, and in particular to Chicago. Chicago’s murder rate fell relative to other large cities prior to its 1982 handgun ban, and rose relative to them afterwards.
They also rose in Jamaica, Ireland, the UK and (for a time) Australia when gun prohibition was introduced.
Personally, I think gun laws probably have no impact either way on crime rates in Australia, at least in trend terms. But Lott’s arguments for America are supported by substantial data and serious analysis. To argue he has it wrong, you need far more than anti-gun bigotry.