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Gun Law Dichotomy

By Jon E. Dougherty


Supporters of gun control say more gun laws are needed to protect innocent Americans by restricting their access to firearms. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the anti-gunners to escape the fact that the more restrictive the gun laws, the more Americans are at put at risk.

Rare is the moment you will hear the federal government admit it or see an FBI report documenting it, but I am of the opinion it is no coincidence violent crime began dropping dramatically in the 1990s, not because of the Clinton administration's ridiculous "assault" weapons ban or "community policing" programs, but because most state legislatures passed laws allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons. It made sense; after all, criminals had been carrying them for years anyway, despite the fact that it wasn't legal to do so. What nerve.

In a bid to make you think otherwise, however, the gun-grabbing Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence offers up this "statistic:" "The number of crime victims who successfully use firearms to defend themselves is quite small. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports and the Centers for Disease Control, out of 30,708 Americans who died by gunfire in 1998, only 316 were shot in justifiable homicides by private citizens with firearms (Brady's emphasis)."

Putting aside the fact that the Brady bunch seems to be hinting the 316 Americans who used their own weapons for self-defense shouldn't be praised for surviving, what is this statistic supposed to prove? Without knowing the details behind the figures -- like, how many of those killed were armed as well and had a chance to fight back, or under what circumstances the attacks took place (were the victims leapt upon by surprise, for instance), and other details, it's worthless propaganda.

In fact the Brady Campaign seems to look upon CCW laws with contempt, as if law-abiding Americans shouldn't have the right to protect themselves by utilizing their constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms.

In an atypical moment of candor the government did, in 2003, take the time to examine all manner of gun control laws, to ascertain whether they really did as advertised: reduced gun-related violent crime.

"A sweeping federal review of the nation's gun-control laws including mandatory waiting periods and bans on certain weapons found no proof such measures reduce firearm violence," The Associated Press reported, detailing the findings of a Centers for Disease Control analysis. Analysts also said "firearms-related injuries" in the U.S. declined since 1993 despite the fact that "approximately 4.5 million new firearms are sold each year."

Writing for Insight on the News, Woody West notes that "the premise of right-to-carry or "shall-issue" statutes is impeccably logical: Predators may be more circumspect if they have reason to think their intended 'victims' might have a loaded pistol in pocket or purse or, if the thugs aren't that smart, it may not be the law-abiding citizen who gets hurt."

He goes on to note "opponents of right-to-carry laws volubly have contended that if significant numbers of individuals legally can carry weapons there would be a high body count as a result of poor judgment or accident. That does not seem to have been the case in the two states which have had such laws the longest, Florida and Texas. Meanwhile, proponents contend incidents in which crimes are prevented by armed citizens are underreported indeed, ignored by the media."

The most vociferous complaint about CCW lodged by gun controllers is that such laws will inevitably lead to "wild west-type shoot-outs" in the streets of America's cities. It is also the most inaccurate of the anti-gunner's predictions. Indeed, when there has been blood spilled, increasingly it is the blood of the bad guys falling victim to their own predatory nature.

John R. Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime, and who has been pilloried by the anti-gun coalition, notes accurately that no state which as passed a CCW law has repealed it. In fact, a number of those states have actually expanded (as in, liberalized) their CCW laws, in order to enhance what lawmakers also must perceive as the crime reduction factor of said laws.

Though the government may be loathe to admit it, there is a common-sense quality to the passage of CCW laws, insofar as their effect on violent crime. As the saying goes, "an armed society is a polite society." Criminals like to operate unencumbered by such threat factors as falling prey to a gun-wielding victim, so it only stands to reason the more armed the citizenry the better-protected it will be against crime.

Allowing law-abiding citizens full advantage of their Second Amendment guarantee is not just the proper constitutional thing to do. It is exactly the right thing to do if enhancing public safety and security is your goal, especially in a time of terrorism.

The CDC, in its analysis, also faulted some studies of the effectiveness of CCW laws, to be fair. And there is credibility in better and more effective policing and law enforcement.

But these methods have been tried in past high-crime eras, to questionable substantive effect. The difference in this past decade, however, has been the widespread passage of CCW laws. Discounting this phenomenon or ignoring it altogether is not just a disservice to civil society, it is an injustice to the victims of crime who are, in still too many places today, denied their right to self-defense.

http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/guest/2005/jed_06151.shtml

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FWiedner said:
In a bid to make you think otherwise, however, the gun-grabbing Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence offers up this "statistic:" "The number of crime victims who successfully use firearms to defend themselves is quite small. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports and the Centers for Disease Control, out of 30,708 Americans who died by gunfire in 1998, only 316 were shot in justifiable homicides by private citizens with firearms (Brady's emphasis)."
Follow up question; why is it that the bad guy has to die for it to be considered a 'successful' DGU? As a victim, all I care about is that the attack stop. If he dies, or runs away because he sees my gun, it's essentially the same to me; the attack stopped.

That's a lot of blood lust coming from Brady. To insist for it to be a 'success' that a badguy has to die.
 
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