Monday, March 16, 2009

European Gun Control: A Study in Failure

Many of the nations in the European Union have extremely strict gun control laws, but as articles in the Times Online and Union Leader point out, none of these strictures have been successful in actually reducing firearms related crime. This fact was underscored by the tragic incident in Winnenden, Germany where a lone individual was able to take advantage of a “disarmed victim zone” and commit mass murder.

The Times article cites several sobering statistics in Germany and Britian’s attempts to reduce violence through draconian firearm controls:

“In the first three years after the legislation was passed [1972], German military and police armouries “lost” 34 machine guns, 198 sub-machineguns, 363 automatic rifles and 1,142 pistols: with such firepower available from the organs of the State itself, the Federal Republic did not have enough terrorists to go round. As we in Britain now know, having seen the doubling of handgun crime within five years of our total ban on pistols. . .”

These are very sobering statistics and lend strong credence to several key points. Gun control only impacts the law abiding. Those wanting to commit crimes will obtain weapons from any available source – even if that means stealing from law enforcement or military sources. The increase of crimes committed with handguns in the UK after an alleged “total ban” further shows that disarmament is voluntary, and criminals never volunteer to be disarmed. Where the criminals are armed and the citizens are helpless victims, crime skyrockets.

Along these same lines, there is an excellent article originally published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy [Vol. 30 No. 2] by Kates and Mauser available online in pdf form. The article details the fallacy of the notion that less firearms equals less crime by examining legal and societal influences on murder and crime rates across many nations, with an emphasis on comparing European and American systems, laws, and crime rates. This article should be required reading for everyone, especially if they value their Second Amendment rights as it contains facts, figures, and analysis invaluable in winning any firearms related debate.

Until next time!!!

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