That the left is responsible for spreading misinformation has finally been quantified in a study released by Pew Research Center on gun crime.  According to the study, gun crime has plummeted in recent years; however, the American public believes it to have grown.

The peak of gun violence occurred during the 1990s, and has since declined, according to the analysis of the study:

“Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew.”

But, the number of Americans who are aware of this trend are few:

“According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.”

Perhaps this lack of awareness is due to the recent Aurora Theater and Newtown shootings.  Or perhaps, it’s due to the left’s embrace of Rahm Emanuel’s famous phrase “never let a serious crisis go to waste”.  Of course, when the Washington Post runs a headline that reads “Gun violence dropping, but most killings involve firearms, report says”, it’s easy to understand how busy Americans could come to the wrong conclusion.  The Denver Post also ran the story.

What the headline fails to identify is that most gun-related deaths from firearms are suicides.  Here’s a stat from the Pew Report:

“Looking at the larger topic of firearm deaths, there were 31,672 deaths from guns in the U.S. in 2010. Most (19,392) were suicides; the gun suicide rate has been higher than the gun homicide rate since at least 1981, and the gap is wider than it was in 1981.”

Interestingly, the Brady Campaign came out with a top ten list of states with the strictest gun laws.  The state with the toughest gun laws was California. In 2011, California had the highest number of gun deaths (total) as well as one of the highest firearms murders as a percentage of all murders, according to data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.  That trend continues throughout much of the top ten list.

Death by any means is to be taken seriously, but let’s make sure we have the right stats and an accurate perspective on gun violence, particularly with Colorado playing center stage to much of the gun debate. It will be interesting to see whether Colorado ends up on the Brady Campaign’s toughest gun laws list next year.  We’ll keep you posted.