I'm sure you've discussed the topic of guns. Maybe your friends and family think that "guns are dangerous", "guns kill innocent people" and "guns cause crime." They'd like to see tougher gun laws enacted but, if the truth be told, they'd love to see all guns eliminated from the face of the earth. In a perfect world they'd like to see them melted down in a telvised, primetime ceremony. The host of the show would be Rosie "the Queen of Nice" O'Donnell. They'd conduct the ceremony in a foundry, with cameras in 6 different positions and there would be speeches by George Galloway, Harold Pinter and Susan Sarandan. The guns would tumble into the hot vat of molten steel and a huge eruption of applause would drown out the sizzle of melting metal. And with that dawns a brave new world....
But, as usual, the liberals got it all wrong. The Leftist hysteria continues unabated in the press and the mainstream media. Why do so many people believe that guns are bad? We'll examine the root causes and show that gun control is not the answer to lowering crime.
I'm no fan of Michael Moore but in "Bowling for Columbine" he made a great point that our culture is full of hysteria. How many times have you heard your 10 O'clock newsanchor say, "Tonight, what you didn't know about your Garlic Press could kill you." It happens over and over again, night after night. After years and years of hearing the unfounded declarations of guns bringing violence to American streets, we begin to believe that guns are bad. The hysterical reaction to guns comes because the media focuses on issues that are :
Gun violence easily fits into those 2 categories. In the book Freakanomics, the authors ask a simple question, "Would you allow your son or daughter to go to a house with a swimming pool, or a loaded handgun?" The overwhelming response was the swimming pool. It may interest you to know that your kid is 100 times more likely to die in a swimming pool related accident than in a handgun accident. Surprised? I was. We're so used to the hearing how horrendously dangerous guns are that anything else seems like a reasonable alternative.
Are tougher laws the answer? No.
A study shows that Washington D.C. enacted a virtual ban on handguns in 1976. Between 1976 and 1991, Washington D.C.'s homicide rate rose 200%, while the U.S. rate rose 12%. If its laws are the toughest, why don't we see a commensurate decline in homicides? Because tougher laws don't work at lowering crime.
What if a state adopts Right to Carry laws? From www.justfacts.com -
In 1996, Dr. John R. Lott of the University of Chicago Law School published the results of a crime study conducted using FBI data for all 3,045 U.S. counties from 1977 to 1992.
* The study sought to answer the question, "What happens to crime when states adopt right-to-carry laws?"
* Between 1977 and 1992, 10 states adopted right-to-carry laws. Dr. Lott's study found that the implementation of these laws created:
-- no change in suicide rates,
-- a .5% rise in accidental firearm deaths,
-- a 5% decline in rapes,
-- a 7% decline in aggravated assaults,
-- and an 8% decline in murder
for the 10 states that adopted these laws between 1977 and 1992.
* Using 1995 numbers, this amounts to:
-- 1 more accidental gun death,
-- 316 less murders,
-- 939 less rapes,
-- and 14,702 less aggravated assaults
in these 10 states annually.
Like any police officer knows, when the criminal thinks he's going to have a hard time with an intended victim, he'll go somewhere else. If you have a community in which anyone could be carrying a weapon, the chances of being victimized goes down. It is common sense.
The numbers support that conclusion.
In Rich Lowry's book Legacy, he talks about how Clinton took credit for the plummeting crime rates in the 90's. The only problem is that Clinton had nothing to do with it.
From the book - page 95:
"Gun control as a crime-fighting strategy suffers from at least two fundamental flaws. First, there is nothing to suggest any connection between the level of gun ownership and violent crime. To cite just one datum: More guns were manufactured in 1997 than 1986, but the homicide rate in 1986 was 25% higher.
Second, with some 240 million guns in circulation, criminals simply won't have a problem getting access to guns unles all guns are banned and confiscated - and may be not even then.
Making a dent in crime with gun control measures, therefore, is extremely unlikely, even if it makes liberals feel like they're "doing something" about crime."
The facts show that tougher prison sentences contribute to lower crime rates, and Clinton had nothing to do with it. Just like he had nothing to do with the cyclical prosperity we enjoyed in the 80's, 90's and right now.