by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The key fallacy of so-called gun-control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law-abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available.
If gun-control zealots had any respect for facts, they would have discovered this long ago, because there have been too many factual studies over the years to leave any serious doubt about gun-control laws being not merely futile but counterproductive.
Places and times with the strongest gun-control laws have often been places and times with high murder rates. Washington, D.C., is a classic example, but just one among many.
The rate of gun ownership is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas. The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, but the murder rate is higher among blacks. For the country as a whole, hand-gun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down.
The few counter-examples offered by gun-control zealots do not stand up under scrutiny. Perhaps their strongest talking point is that Britain has stronger gun-control laws than the United States and lower murder rates.
But, if you look back through history, you will find that Britain has had a lower murder rate than the United States for more than two centuries — and, for most of that time, the British had no more stringent gun-control laws than the United States. Indeed, neither country had stringent gun control for most of that time.