Sunday, November 30, 2003

A New Study Says Gun Laws do Not Reduce Criminal Violence

"Restrictive firearm legislation has failed to reduce gun violence in Australia, Canada, or Great Britain. The policy of confiscating guns has been an expensive failure, according to a new paper The Failed Experiment: Gun Control and Public Safety in Canada, Australia, England and Wales, released today by The Fraser Institute."

"What makes gun control so compelling for many is the belief that violent crime is driven by the availability of guns, and more importantly, that criminal violence in general may be reduced by limiting access to firearms..."

Violent crime is not driven by the availability of guns, but rather by opportunity. Criminals do not want to face an armed victim. This has been proven again and again, by the number of "hot" burglaries in the UK (nearly 60 percent) where the vast majority of the public is disarmed, giving the criminal ample opportunity to commit the crime with impunity, and by a survey of convicted felons by Professors James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi. According to this survey, when asked if the one reason burglars avoid houses when people are home is that they fear getting shot, the vast majority of criminals either agreed (39 percent) or strongly agreed (35 percent).

In other words, gun availability is not a deterrent, but the realization that the victim might be armed (lack of opportunity) is.

Additionally, a simple review of the law of supply and demand tells us that where there is a demand, there will always be a supply. In the UK, where private firearms ownership has been all but destroyed, criminals are modifying air guns to shoot real bullets. This phenomenon is contributing to the UK's rising gun crime.

This new study confirms what we already know.

Isn't it nice to know some academics are on our side?

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