Guns

Gun Control Advocates "Running Out of Ammo"

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

For decades now, gun control advocates have been trying to convince people that the nation needs stricter gun laws, that more guns means more crime. Well, an op-ed on Forbes.com says it is time to put that "myth" to rest.

Larry Bell writes that gun ownership is at an all-time high in the United States and a time when crime is plummeting to historic lows:

A Gallup poll indicates that “Americans’ preference regarding gun laws is generally that the government enforce existing laws more strictly and not pass new laws.”

Caroline Brewer of the anti-gun Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has reported that “The research we’ve seen indicates fewer and fewer people owning more and more guns.” Yet one can only wonder where they are getting that information. In reality, public support for personal gun ownership is growing. According to Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group that represents about 7,000 firearms manufacturers and related companies, in 1959 some 70% of the American public favored handgun bans, whereas today that number has flipped. This support is reflected in the marketplace. Sanetti observes that the $4.1 billion gun industry “has had nineteen months of growth in an otherwise anemic economy.”

A record 16.4 million background checks for gun purchases were requested in 2011, including 1.8 million in December, a record for a single month.

More and more states are allowing people to carry guns, and people are flocking to apply for such permits.

Bell also attempts to dispel the idea that guns are unsafe for their owners:

While gun accidents do occur, the Cato study indicates that they are the most overstated risks. There were 535 accidental firearms deaths in 2006 within a population of almost 300 million people. Although every lost life is tragic, the proportion is not particularly startling.

On the other hand, Newsweek has reported that law-abiding American citizens using guns in self-defense during 2003 shot and killed two and one-half times as many criminals as police did, and with fewer than one-fifth as many incidents as police where an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal (2% versus 11%).

He also said studies show there are fewer robbery attempts when people are at home in the U.S. than in nations with strong gun laws, concluding:

Doesn’t this comparison offer some indication that criminals are getting the message? Don’t you wish those bent on eliminating our Second Amendment rights would also?