Gun control and consequences

Gun control and consequences

March 23rd, 2009 in Opinion Free Press

The recent tragic shooting that left 11 people, including the gunman, dead in south Alabama has generated demands for "more gun control." That was predictable. Shootings in other states have led to calls for government to restrict or even do away with the right to bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Rarely considered, though, are the harmful effects of gun control, and how it leaves law-abiding people at the mercy of criminals who are perfectly willing to use guns illegally.

In response to the Alabama shooting, a columnist for London's Telegraph newspaper pointed out some troubling facts about his own country's elimination of gun rights. Gerald Warner had this advice for America:

"Any American citizens who are tempted to go down the road of prohibition might be advised to consider the experience of Britain. ... In 1997, the year of the ban (on handguns in Britain), there were 2,636 handgun offences; in 2007 there were 4,175. In England and Wales there are now 28 firearms offences committed every day. Gun crime is now one of the most formidable challenges to law and order.

"Or Americans might look at Australia where, a year ago, a Draconian ban enforced the destruction of 640,381 personal firearms, at a cost of more than $500 million. The results? After 25 years of steady decrease in robberies with firearms, this offence increased by 44 per cent in one year. Homicides with guns increased by 3.2 per cent, assaults by 8.6 per cent. In the state of Victoria homicides with firearms rose 300 per cent. Break-ins and assaults on the elderly hugely increased."

Gun control disarms the innocent to the benefit of criminals. We ought to remember Britain's and Australia's counterproductive gun bans before moving in that direction ourselves.

Better still, we ought simply to obey our own Constitution.