John Hinderaker, over at Power Line Blog, found an interesting graphic. Produced by the Young Conservatives, it purports to show the US murder rate from 1885-2012. Hinderaker admits that he's not completely sure of the accuracy, but from the figures he's checked against FBI crime stats, it seems to be accurate. The left axis is murder per 100,000 people. Of course, you can click on it to see the chart in a larger format.
I'll admit that the FBI probably wasn't keeping crime stats back in the 1880s, for lots of good reasons. The Wild West was hard to police and even harder to get statistics on. And, the FBI wouldn't come into existence until 1908 and the Uniform Crime Report was established in 1930. So, the graphic before 1930 may have some interpretation issues, but it's probably representative.
We're expecting the President to make a big, regulatory executive order on guns as soon as he gets back from his Christmas holiday. We know that he's a Democrat and his base demands action on a problem that seems to be solving itself through laws already enacted.