Skip to comments.Ignore the noise: Facts show gun control a scam
Posted on 08/27/2004 7:24:24 AM PDT by the_devils_advocate_666
If you listen to media rhetoric, you get the notion that the more guns people own, the more crime there will be. More husbands shooting wives. More suicides by guns. More armed robberies. More homicides.
Recently I viewed a 56-minute CD, "A Question of Balance," summarizing a World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities. The meeting was held May 1-2, 2003, at the Tower of London, and eight scholars presented data on firearms and crime.
If more guns in the home lead to more crimes, then Switzerland would be the crime capital of the world. There, all men must take military training to prepare them if they are ever needed for duty. When finished with the training, they all take home their assault rifles. Yes, apparently most homes in Switzerland have an assault rifle.
Shooting guns is a major form of recreation in Switzerland. Almost every city, town and village has a shooting range. To get to these ranges, you just carry your guns (handguns are the exception). Rifles do not need to be cased and you can take them on buses, trains, bicycles, automobiles, etc.
A Dr. Halbrook, a speaker at the above-mentioned forum, said it is common to see assault rifles being carried to the many weekend shooting competitions. These shooting events are family affairs, and teenagers are very active at such competitions. Crime rates are very low in Switzerland, and people do not view guns as "sinister."
We also are led to believe that more restrictive gun control laws result in less crime. In other words, more gun regulations mean we are safer.
Sounds good, but when you look at the data that are out there, this premise does not hold up. At the above-mentioned forum, Dr. Gary Mauser, a university professor from Canada, discussed data on crime in Wales and England, where gun control has been implemented in a major way.
He showed tables that reflect crime rates over time. In these two countries, firearms restrictions were implemented in 1988 and more in 1997. All handguns were also confiscated.
Let's look at homicide rates after gun control and hand gun removal.
In the USA, where we all can own guns, homicide rates have dropped steadily for many years, and still are dropping. In England and Wales, homicide rates have steadily increased.
Robbery rates there have also increased significantly since gun controls were put in place. In Australia, gun controls were enacted in 1987, and violent crimes are up and robberies are increasing. Homicide rates are stable.
In America, private citizens use guns to defend themselves from criminals around 700,000 times a year. One Web site states that between 1977 and 1992, 10 states adopted right-to-carry laws for guns. In those states there was no change in suicide rates, but an 8 percent decline in murders.
Is there a connection? No way to tell.
In 1987 Florida adopted a right-to-carry law and for the next 10 years the state's homicide rate dropped 36 percent, while that in the United States dropped 4 percent.
We hear a lot about assault rifles. One data Web site notes that before the assault rifle ban passed in 1994, these weapons were used in less than 1 percent of homicides.
Four years later, these weapons were still used in less than 1 percent of homicides.
Passage of this gun control act led Hillary Clinton to state in April 1999: "We will never know how many tragedies we've avoided because of these efforts."
Maybe the ban did lower assault rifle deaths, but maybe not. As an aside, just led me add that 13 percent of homicides involve knives.
Now in Canada they are going through a massive gun registration program. Initial costs were to be around $85 million, but estimates now run more than $1 billion and some believe it will cost $2 billion.
It might be worth it if gun registration lowered crime, but there is no proof that it does. And it has been shown that the gun registry created so far is so full of errors that many law enforcement officials feel it is worthless.
Sometimes gun accidents cause people to lose perspective. In the United States in 1995, there were 259 fatal gun accidents for 15-to-19-year-olds, and 6,319 fatal motor vehicle accidents for 15-to-20-year-olds.
I agree, one gun death is too many. All I'm saying here is that sometimes our perspective on guns gets a bit out of whack relative to other causes of death where we don't seem to show much concern. Examples: 883 deaths of kids in fires in 1995 and 1,024 drownings.
The NRA, Hunter Ed Instructors and other groups log many hours teaching gun safety to kids. In Switzerland, the majority of teenagers shoot guns, with much training, and they have fun in such competitions. In fact, the biggest gun competition each year i* Switzerland attracts 56,000 shooters.
Truth is that kids do like to shoot guns. Many of us plinked with BB guns as kids.
So where does all this leave us today?
It seems that in countries like Switzerland, gun shooting is a safe form of recreation done by many. We also have millions of recreational shooters here.
Do we need more gun control laws? Probably not, if we'd enforce the ones we have, and the evidence from countries that have banned guns is that crime rises.
Guns don't necessarily cause crime; people obviously do.
More safety, more education? Of course.
More laws against guns? Case history studies don't support that.
(For a copy of the 56-minute CD summarizing the eight hours of speeches given at the forum mentioned above, send $14.95 plus $2 shipping to Snow Goose Productions, P.O. Box 2460, Mill Valley, CA 94942. On the Internet, go to www.jamesswan.com/Snowgoosecp.htm
DR. DAVESAMUEL is a retired wildlife professor and writes the "Know Hunting" column for Bowhunter magazine. Visit his Web site: www.knowhunting.com
A Scam? Whoda thunkit!
And these are REAL, fully automatic "assault" rifles. BTW, the term "assault rifle" was used by Nazi weapons designers to convince Hitler to allow manufacturing of a particular type of medium powered machine gun. He bought it because it had a cool name.
The good Doctor is right on...
Well, almost all of us. Go try to get a gun as a resident of Chicago, NYC or Washington, DC. Thankfully, I live in the United States of America, Texas Division, and I can get whatever I want and can afford (including machine guns, which I cannot afford), but those poor folks are trapped behind the barbed wire of American peoples republics. While most of us can own guns (legally), some of us are less equal than others (thanks to the gun control blissninnies).
It's a cold equation, but the libs who run the big cities like it that way. Keeps the average Joe dependent. If guns are used offensively by criminals, and average Joe can't defend himself, he needs the gummint.
That, IMHO, is only one facet of the gun control crowd. Those folks aren't interested in dictatorship, merely in holding onto their jobs and getting better ones (and possibly filling their pockets in the process, but that's a different matter). No, the bigger threat is those who want is disarmed so that we are helpless not in the face of street thugs, but in the face of criminals with suits, titles and apparent legal authority. They are the Kennedys, the Feinsteins, the Schumers, the Clintons, etc., who have tasted national power and who want more of it - MUCH more of it. People like them are why the 2nd Amendment was proposed and ratified.
Correction: "No, the bigger threat is those who want us disarmed...."
When I was a boy, it was that way here!
When I bought my first shotgun, at age 14, I just rode my bicycle down to the hardware store, and pedalled home with it across the handlebars - a Steven 16 ga double. Didn't get a second look, except from the jealous!
It still stands in my closet.