Sunday, February 14, 2010
Gun Facts - Thought You Should Know
By MORGAN 0. REYNOLDS & H. STERLING BURNETT
Nationally, gun-rights advocates have been on the defensive since the early '90s. But in the states, where the fight against crime is won or lost, they're winning the debate. That's because they have the facts on their side.
Thirty-one states now let citizens carry concealed weapons -- up from just nine states in '86. Have these "right-to-carry" laws made the public safer, or have they caused a sharp drop in public safety, as opponents warned?
The standard argument against "concealed carry" laws is that there is no good reason for the average Joe to carry a gun. But federal courts have ruled that police aren t obliged to protect individuals from crime. That means citizens are ultimately responsible for their own defense.
But do concealed weapons deter crime? Criminals commit 10 million violent crimes a year. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck found that victims use handguns about 1.9 million times in self-defense.
Criminals weigh the costs of the crime against the benefits. You don t have to be a criminal mastermind to know that the possibility of a concealed weapon tilts the odds in the victim's favor. Research shows that robbery and rape victims who resist with a gun are only half as likely to be injured as those who don't.
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quote of the day:
"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." --Thomas Jefferson