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Con: Gun control
2005/03/29

By Elijah Ammen
Source: www.roanoke.com

A lot of well-intentioned people are under the impression that laws restricting the use of firearms will lower crime rates. However, time and practice have proved this idea faulty.

A prime example is the tragic shooting at Columbine High School. The two teenagers responsible for the shootings broke more than a dozen gun laws.

The catalyst of shootings is not the guns, but the criminals behind them. The problem is not gun control, but criminal control. Rather than creating more laws, we should focus on enforcing the current ones, punishing the criminals who commit these types of crimes and encouraging responsible ownership.

Not only do guns not cause crime, but they help stop it. According to a study by criminologist Gary Kleck, handguns are used for protection nearly 2 million times per year, up to five times more often than to commit crimes.

The point is that in this world there are people who can be identified as "prey." As the old saying goes, "God didnít make all people equal ó Mr. Colt did." A 1985 survey by the Department of Justice of inmates across the nation reported that 56 percent of the felons agreed that "A criminal is not going to mess around with a victim he knows is armed with a gun."

An example of the power of guns to stop crime can be found in Kennesaw, Ga. In that city, an ordinance was passed in 1982 that required every able and willing head of every household to maintain a firearm. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report in 1999, Kennesaw saw an 81 percent per capita decrease in burglaries.

Statistics also show that banning guns only encourages crime. According to a study by SUNY-University at Albany criminal justice professor Colin Loftin, Washington, D.C., banned handguns in 1976, and by 1991 its homicide rate tripled. Meanwhile, the national homicide rate rose only 12 percent.

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