Gun control is not a solution

David Bowen (letter, February 19) implies that the solution to the world’s problems is yet more gun control. Never mind that this has not worked, and never mind that cities with the toughest gun control, e.g. Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC, have the worst murder rate. And never mind that states with much less gun control, e.g. Vermont (which allows all residents to carry a concealed weapon without a permit) and New Hampshire, are among the safest.

Here is one more fact for Mr. Bowen to consider: Criminals don’t obey laws. Passing evermore gun laws will have zero effect on criminals because they don’t obey the gun laws. Some politicians suggest that we should have universal background checks. Sounds sensible until you realize that “universal” means everybody except criminals. They buy their guns on the street without going through any background check.

Here is another fact: More people are killed each year by hammers and other blunt instruments than are killed with a rifle, “assault” or otherwise. More people are killed with fists than with any kind of rifle. A 2011 FBI report shows 323 killed by a rifle, 496 killed by “clubs, hammers, etc.”, and 726 by “hands, fists, feet, etc.” So why then do the gun controllers place so much emphasis on eliminating so-called “assault rifles” that are hardly ever used to kill anyone?

Another fact is that the fastest growing group of gun owners is women. In the last eight years the percent of women who own a gun has grown from 13% to 23%. They are buying guns to defend themselves against criminals who would assault, rob, rape, or murder them in spite of laws to the contrary.

The simple truth is that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens actually save lives. It doesn’t often make the news because no shot is fired, nobody is hurt. The intended victim is able to scare away the criminal merely by brandishing a pistol, or in some cases an AR-15. In rare cases, such as a woman hiding with her young son after hearing an intruder break into her house, the victim kills a criminal and saves not just herself and her son but future victims of that criminal.

(Printed in the Intertown Record, February 26.)