What could be the next catalyst resulting in another spike in the US Murder rate?

This graph link of the US murder rate since 1900 is telling of how society reacts when the government steps out of line.

During the Prohibition Era (1920's and 1930's), the US saw a steep increase in murder rates. After a noticeable decline following the end of Prohibition, murders began to rise again and Nixon's declaration of war on drugs served as the main catalyst.

The downward trend beginning in the 1990's could be a result of several factors, including the rise of prescription and OTC drug abuse, and quicker and more efficient medical responses.

Overall, the murder rate has been steadily lowering into the new century and may continue to do so, in spite of highly publicized shootings that ruffle the feathers of public opinion. Another spike is not guaranteed nor imminent, but to rule one out entirely would be naive.

Using history as my guide, the next catalyst will be increased gun control, and possibly a ban on most if not all guns. Take Chicago for example as a microcosm of what can happen if the country with over 3 million guns adopted stricter gun laws. Not all cities are like Chicago, but it is suffice to say that more laws doesn't mean less crime. In fact, it can result in the opposite.

History says that Prohibition, the War on Drugs, and the soon-to-be Gun Ban have one thing in common: They give power to the bad guys.


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  • Without divulging into specifics, There is a common sense reason why there would be a correlation here. Laws encourage illegal activity. Yes its ironic but its true.

    Prohibition is a good example. When alcohol was made illegal, it didn't stop people from wanting to drink it. As per usual the gov't didn't account for the human factor. They assumed that like a computer, they could just write a line of code saying "Don't do this" and everyone would follow it 100% of the time. All it meant was now people had to be more creative and or forceful about how they got their liquor. As a result, crime took over the liquor market with gangs and the mob controlling much of its production and sale, since it its legality made it impossible to produce in controlled and regulated environments.

    The same thing can be said about drugs. I won't bother linking stats because I think everyone can agree that there are a large number of deaths that result from the drug trade (i.e. gang member kills another person over drugs). If everyone could buy pot at the gas station like a pack of cigarettes, this wouldn't be happening. Granted they might find something else to fight over but that's besides the point here.

    Everyone knows that laws do not prevent things, they simply give the judge a means to punish. Murder is illegal, but that doesn't stop people from killing each other, it just gives us something to charge the killers with.

    I won't deny that in some cases, laws can at least curb the activity as with murder but murder is an extreme example so probably not the best one. I assume this question is pointed at gun control, in which I have to agree, there is no evidence that stricter gun laws stop violent crime, and in many cases there is evidence to the contrary. Britain added more gun laws not long ago and have see about a 30% increase in violent crime. Vice verse, switzerland gives every male a rifle at 18 and teaches them how to use it (through 1yr manditory military service). They have the lowest crime rate in the developed world. During the assault weapons band that expired in 2004, there was little drop in violent crime, hence the reason the supreme court through it out. It basically was a pointless law. I live in Chicago, which has very strict gun laws, yet our murder rate is on of the highest in the us. May residents are pushing for concealed carry as a result so that they can defend themselves from the rampant crime.

    Like you said, this entire debate is about emotions. The news shows one horrific event and everyone gets their panties twisted, when in reality nothing has changed. Two gang members shoot each other in TX and its headline news because its at a school, yet this happens every day in Chicago and nobody cares. That's why I call the bluff of any gun control advocate. There is nothing to back up their claims, They are uneducated about guns types, calibers, and the like, hence the false classification of assault rifle or "high powered".

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  • Now now, don't be bringing any of those pesky facts into this illogical, emotion-driven, knee-jerk debate about gun control, the libbies don't want to hear it.

    When the government oversteps its boundaries, people die and die in larger numbers because of the people who would defy the law, the rum runners of the 20s, the drug cartels of the past several decades and the soon to be illegal arms dealers of the 20-teens.

    Of course those that would enforce the will of the tyrant don't help things either, Bonapart, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Assad, Hussien, all their followers certainly did nothing to stop the violence.

    This will be but another chapter in the book of history where a power-grab ensues and there is one thing government power-grabbing has historically always done: Fail.

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    • Since RedThead has me blocked if someone could kindly direct his attention down here I would greatly appreciate it, I have a comment I would like to make on his answer.

      While you do have a point of the weapons we have being ineffective at facing the US military, you're assuming that most or all of the US military would actually obey such an order.

      A police officer from Massachusetts (Franklin PD, Robert MacQuarrie) once told me that roughly 70% of police support the right to bare arms as it...

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    • I think a combination of small time regulations (again not taking anyone's guns), perhaps a federal buyback program like Australia, toughening up the American/Mexican border to protect against drug/weapons entering the country, and teaching society to respect weapons and raising awareness towards mental health would be a very potent weapon against gun violence in the US. It needs to be a combination of a lot of things in my opinion and I don't think there's one perfect solution.

    • Feel free to send me a PM if you want it would be easier to discuss the issue :) I hope you don't have any hard feelings about me blocking you I just think we got emotionally charged in a debate before and were talking at cross purposes and weren't convincing each other of anything.

  • Do you have actual data besides what you're assuming based on the trends of the graph? Anybody could find a graph on murder rates and deduce their own argument for reasons why it could be possible. I'm in the middle when it comes to gun issues but I do see a lot of conservatives spouting paranoia and emotionally based "data". Nobody wants to take away everyone's guns either I don't know where this paranoia comes from. The constitution itself says "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms". Key word here is well regulated.. There are already plenty of arms that we aren't allowed to handle. This came about when the only firearms people had were damn muskets. I can't go to a weapons depot and pick up an RPG or a surface to air missile for instance.

    Do people honestly think that with the meager weapons we are allowed to operate we'd be able to fight off an oppressive government with F-16s and tanks? Stop kidding yourself.. We are already hilarious, pathetically outgunned.. If the US government decided to be authoritarian and start a costly and foolish war against it's people it already has the power to easily win and then some.

    If I hear what you're saying properly you say well the first attempt people tried in Chicago didn't work so we should just stop trying and say screw it? I feel like the ideas that things can't be changed is a very defeatist perspective to take. This is from someone whose family owns guns and has a gun license.

    https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=K13HdTsW_E0

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    • Counterpoint 1: "Your graph is emotional and paranoid" No it isn't. It's based on factual data.

      Counterpoint 2: "Regulated duh!" Actually regulated isn't a key word in that statement, the "bearing arms" part is pretty important. Of course you want an organized militia. No psychopaths or children... and they have to know how to use a gun.

      Counterpoint 3: "We should just not stand up for anything its pointless" See gotc147's comments.

      Counterpoint 4: "You're a defeatist" Ironic, seeing #3.

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    • "Do people honestly think that with the meager weapons we are allowed to operate we'd be able to fight off an oppressive government with F-16s and tanks?"

      I do. Look at Vietnam and Afghanistan. Any military commander will tell you that technology level is only part of the equation.

    • Kholland65 do you think everyday Americans have access to this kind of military gear you're referring to? This is also my point of how I think anything like that is highly unlikely in the US.. It would never have enough support I was just talking about a hypothetical scenario anyway.

  • When the bond market goes under, murder rates will spike

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  • Me and MC Hammer have one thing in common...Can't Touch This https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=otCpCn0l4Wo

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