You're Viewing the Archives
Return to IVN's Frontpage

Op-Ed: Gun Control Laws Don't Work

by Dan Richards, published

We hear that strict gun control, removing guns from the street, will help protect society. But is this true? The facts would seem to show otherwise.

Australia, the only country in the world to have an entire continent to itself, saw no appreciable change in its levels on gun crime after a sweeping ban on firearms.

It is a well proven fact that criminals will find many illegal means to acquire guns or other weapons to use in crimes.

Toronto police were investigating the possibility of gang involvement in a shooting that killed two and injured 23 at an outdoor party, and said Tuesday they were concerned about the potential for violent retribution… This type of brazen gunfire is rare for Canada's biggest city, which prides itself on its safety record, but Monday's melee is the fourth fatal public shooting in Toronto in less than two months… despite the country's strict gun control laws.

Strict gun control laws only make it easier for criminals to get firearms than law abiding citizens. When lived in Australia in 2001 there was at least one shooting a week by Asian Cartels operating there. They had no problem acquiring handguns at all.

This is supported by the Baltimore Sun, dealing with crime in their area saying “Very few of the huge number of public shootings in Baltimore each year are committed by those who acquired their weapons legally."

It doesn't matter where you live. Criminals will find ways to acquire handguns, automatic guns, knives, clubs, or whatever else might be banned. Police can only respond after a crime has been committed so honest civilians should have the right to choose to defend themselves. No Federal law should hamper your rights to make that choice within reason. This does not mean that every American should have the right to own a machine gun, but should have the means of their choice within legal means to protect themselves and their family if something should happen.

Increasing the level of review for a gun license would offer more protection to others. A fair level of invasion on the prospective gun owner's privacy is also acceptable. In other words, we shouldn't go overboard but do need more in-depth reviews of the owner’s back ground and stability.

Let me end with this final note.

A study of the 1994 assault-weapon ban, conducted in 1999 by the Justice Department during the presidency of Bill Clinton, included this key finding: "The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun-murder incident or multiple-gunshot-wound victims.

Then there's the evidence from Europe. Norway has strict gun control. Yet, last year admitted killer Anders Breivik still obtained enough guns to shoot to death 80 people on an island youth camp near Oslo. Gun scholar John Lott has written, "And in Germany, a country with some of the strictest gun control in the world, they have had three of the worst five multiple-victim public shootings in the world – all occurring over the last decade."

About the Author