Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend Shootings and Gun Control

In the wake of brutal shootings this weekend, I feel compelled to post once again on solutions that work, and solutions that don't. I've certainly posted on this before, but want to remind readers every time an incident like this takes place that despite the pain and fear, we can't fix it the way many politicians and anti-gun activists insist we can.
"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles." -Jeff Cooper, "The Art of the Rifle"
If gun control worked, I'd still object to it because the 2nd amendment was designed to protect us not only from criminals, but from any possibility of tyrannical government. I want our voices and votes to always work, but if they ever fail to compel the government to remember its responsibilities to the citizenry, we have a tool of last resort, and they'll never forget that.

However, gun control doesn't work. It's so poor a policy in restricting criminal access to guns that the U.K. under-reports its statistics on gun violence! Have a look at statistics for Australia and you'll see similar problems. I use these examples because they're islands and theoretically have the best chance of preventing an illicit flow of firearms to their shores. In the United States, the areas of the nation that have the best rating by the anti-gun Brady Campaign usually have the worst gun violence rates in the nation. In fact, the shooting story linked at the beginning of this post took place in California, which has some of the most restrictive gun ownership laws in the nation.

In short, if you're looking for an effective policy, it's not gun control. In fact, the only thing that seems to help or at slow violent crime rates is permitting more access to CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) permits for lawful citizens who want them and take the appropriate safety class.

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