The Question is: Why?
Gun Nuts and Shills for Weapon Manufactures claim it is because of the massive upsurge in weapons in the Country.
Of course, this is fallacious.
The number of laptops, PCs, Macs, Android devices, IPods, gaming systems has dramatically spiked since the 1970's, as well. The number of Micro-Breweries making craft beers has exploded in the last 20 years. The rate of church attendance and religious self-identification has dropped dramatically in the last 20 years.
I could argue the number of Internet diversions has allowed people to vent on-line and the ability to get their murderous rages out in first person shooter games has led to the decrease.
Or that because Americans now have a choice of finely crafted, tasty and quirky beers their soporific effect has stopped shootings.
Or that the abandonment of Christianity and adoption of Atheism is responsible for the drop in violence.
Because A, Therefore B.
Now, as a corollary let's simply not call the killing of a 2 year old by her 5 year old brother using a weapon specifically made for children and called "My First Rifle" a homicide.
Let's call the shooting of a 6 year old by her 13 year old brother a game of hide and seek and simply quote a neighbor, "I don't know how it went down but he shot his sister." See? Not Gun Violence.
Or let's call the Halloween Party shooting of a 9 year old dressed as a skunk by her adult cousin "an accident" and classify it simple assault and another gun violence data point vanishes and the downward trend continues.
Thus, by reclassifying these as Accidents or Negligent Discharges we can skew the numbers even more. Each shooting or killing is transferred allowing the "homicide rate" to drop 49%!!!!
When the total number of firearm fatalities is compared for 1993 and 2011 we see: 39,595 and 32,163. Recall that 1993 was the Peak Year with the highest recorded year for Gun Murders and suddenly that 49% drop trumpeted by Unrestricted Gun Violence Supporters is placed in the proper context.
The Pew Research paper also states that while the number of guns has increased to 310 Million the percentage of households owing weapons is the same (43%) as 1972. And importantly (according to data from a 2007 U.N. study) the U.S. firearm homicide rate and overall homicide rate are higher than those in Canada, Australia, Japan and in Western European and Scandinavian nations.
Thus, when put into context we see that Gun Deaths are cycling upwards from a low point in 1999.
The fact is what the NRA and Gun Owners of America apparently want is This.