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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Do Gun Control Laws Make Streets Safer?

In our earlier post, we talked about the California law banning the carrying of exposed and unloaded handguns which will take effect on January 1, 2012.  

The law is attracting so much criticism considering that a number of states have adopted measures to relax the gun control laws.  As of the present time, there are 42 states which allow the open carrying of guns in public.  

In a news report entitled “Does Open-Carry Gun Ban Make California Safer?”, it was highlighted that statistics do not show that gun control laws have lessened crime in states that have banned carrying of guns in public.  

Below are the points raised in the news report:
1.  According to Richard Mack, a former sheriff of Graham County in Arizona said that "These are not going to reduce crime or gun violence … no others have done that and there are no statistics to show it." 

2. "We have a long history of pretending that gun control in America is going to help us and it really hasn't." he says, citing statistics in Vermont, Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming that he says are unchanged by looser laws. "I am sure they are going to keep trying stupid laws until someone realizes they don't work and maybe we ought to try following the Constitution." 

3. “I think this goes to the really basic question whether law enforcement should be a government function or an individual responsibility.  The whole point of carrying a gun is to be able to use it, after all. It's not useful as a deterrent otherwise. So the arguments in favor of openly carrying guns on our streets are arguments in favor of using them in our streets." 

On the other hand there are those who are in favor of stricter gun control laws saying that with the gun ban they can not take their families to parks without worrying that they will be shot by a vigilante.  

Whether or not the California measure will be able to reduce crime will be difficult to prove as no studies have been previously done about it.  However, once a case is filed with the Supreme Court it will decide whether the measure is constitutional or not.  Does the law absolutely ban carrying of firearms? If so, then the Supreme Court will strike it down for violating the Second Amendment.


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