Criminals and Gun Control

I really enjoyed reading John Stossel's editorial Gun Control isn't Crime Control (HT: Mark Horne). Since the VT shooting this has been an area of hot debate, and I believe that Stossel brings out an important (should we say obvious) point: "Criminals don't obey the law." Here's an excerpt:

After the 1997 shooting of 16 kids in Dunblane, England, the United Kingdom passed one of the strictest gun-control laws in the world, banning its citizens from owning almost all types of handguns. Britain seemed to get safer by the minute, as 162,000 newly-illegal firearms were forked over to British officials by law-abiding citizens.

But this didn't decrease the amount of gun-related crime in the U.K. In fact, gun-related crime has nearly doubled in the U.K. since the ban was enacted.

Might stricter gun laws result in more gun crime? It seems counterintuitive but makes sense if we consider one simple fact: Criminals don't obey the law. Strict gun laws, like the ban in Britain, probably only affect the actions of people who wouldn't commit crimes in the first place.


Daniel said...

I lived in Prescott, Arizona for over 2 years as a child. Downtown you would see guys walking around with six shooters on their hips. Seriously. A loaded weapon that they were licensed to carry out in the open and in public. And you know what the crime rate was like there? A whole lot lower than most places.

Those guns represented serious consequences, not a mindless danger.

Eric M. Ashley said...

There is a town in Georgia that requires all citizens to have a gun, and their violent crime rate is extremely low. Granted, I don't think people should be required to own a gun any more than they should be banned from owning a gun...but gun ownership allows for people to "even up the odds" with would-be criminals. If I was going to rob a home (which I wouldn't) I sure wouldn't go to a town that 90% of the people owned guns.

Anyway, gun control is not the answer to violent crime. Our society glories in violence. (Just think of how successful the Saw movies were...and we could add a host of others.) Yet, when a violent act takes place like the one in VT, we try to blame gun laws, etc. instead of looking at the real problem: ourselves.