More guns, more crime? Not in 2009.

Stories of skyrocketing gun sales dominated the headlines earlier this year, with the number of gun-purchase background checks in the first six months of 2009 soaring 25 percent over the same period in 2008. Yet as the NRA points out today, murder in the U.S. has plummetted to a 46-year low (with the largest year-over-year drop since the 1960s) even as gun ownership has risen to an apparent all-time high.

Meanwhile, across the pond, gun crime in Britain has risen 89 percent since the UK banned guns in 1997.

Some may jump too far in there conclusions, but we can at least say this: There is no evidence from the U.S. experience this decade that higher rates of gun ownership lead to more crime, nor from the British experience this decade that fewer guns translate to less crime.

Even as more Americans exercised their Second Amendment rights, sending gun ownership to an apparent all-time high, crime in the U.S. plummetted. Newly released FBI statistics for the first half of 2009 suggest that 2009 will have had the lowest murder rate in 46 years. Background checks for gun sales in 2009 were up 25 percent from last year.

Beltway ConfidentialUS

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