By Ken Mathison, President
Shooters’ Committee On Political Educationwww.scopeny.org
We are all aware of the problem of violent crime rates in many of our major US cities, but often the first choice of action by our elected officials of passing more and stricter gun control laws is not the answer to the problem.
Washington D.C. often referred to as the Murder Capitol of the US has a virtual ban on handgun ownership and strict regulations on long guns, yet their homicide rate has tripled since 1976 when these laws were enacted.
New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit also have extraordinarily strict gun laws, including handgun bans, yet are among the top five US cities in homicide rates and gun crimes.
Besides high violent crime rates, these cities have in common their constant call for more and stricter gun control laws -- laws that only affect the law abiding. The New York State Assembly every session passes legislation that would further restrict gun ownership in New York, but none of these bills would do anything to reduce gun crimes.
The City of Rochester has proven that more law enforcement efforts on the streets and aggressive prosecution of violent criminals do reduce violent crime.
Trafficking in illegal handguns has been a major contributor to gun crimes in New York for many years, and it was our own weak laws on handgun trafficking that contributed to this problem. After the murder of two New York City police officers working undercover on a gun trafficking case, enough public pressure finally forced the Assembly leadership to pass anti-trafficking legislation that they had blocked for many years. This new law makes the job of busting traffickers easier and mandates harsher sentences for those convicted. This is what has produced a 16% decrease in trafficked guns from Southern states, not Mayor Bloomberg’s politically motivated “sting” operations against gun stores in those states.
Studies by the National Academy of Sciences, the Center for Disease Control, the Library of Congress and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy confirm that reducing gun ownership through gun control laws does nothing to decrease violent crime or gun crimes rates.
Gun bans such as the Clinton Assault Weapon Ban that expired in 2004 produce no measurable reduction in gun crimes; in fact, since that ban expired firearm related deaths have dropped more than 4 percent.
Quite simply, gun control laws are ineffective because criminals simply ignore them. That’s why we call them criminals.