Handgun bans don’t work

Posted on January 23, 2008. Filed under: 2nd Amendment Rights, Nanny State |

Of course they don’t work. The criminals still have the guns and the good guys don’t!

Handgun bans don’t work
National Post Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Toronto Mayor David Miller and the federal NDP have called for a ban on all handguns in Canada. Following the killing of two innocent bystanders in Toronto by stray bullets in the past week, it’s natural to cast about for solutions. But calls for a handgun ban amount to meaningless symbolism.

If restricting ownership of handguns among ordinary law-abiding citizens had a positive impact on crime, our existing laws would already have produced the benefits. Since 1934, anyone wanting to own a pistol in Canada has had to be registered with the RCMP or the federal gun registry. The application process is long and arduous. The fact that almost no registered handgun owner ever commits murder or other forms of violent crime in Canada (one of the recent Toronto shootings being a noteworthy exception) is a testament to the thoroughness of the background checks.

On top of that, since the early 1990s, Canada’s 500,000 or so handgun owners have had to have police approval to move their guns from their homes, and even then may only move them under the strictest of conditions. Typically, owners must lock their guns in a tamper-resistant case, which must further be locked in the trunks of their cars. Then they must drive directly from their homes to an approved shooting range and back, making no stops along the way — even for gas or a restroom break.

None of this has stopped handguns from becoming the gun of choice for murderers, though. Among murders committed with firearms, handguns are now used in nearly two-thirds. That’s up from just one-third less than 20 years ago.

The reason is the changing profile of Canadian killers. Where once Canadian murders were crimes of passion, involving an angry spouse using the home’s hunting gun, most now are drug traffickers or gang members enforcing a deal gone bad or protecting turf. Their guns are typically illegal weapons smuggled in from the United States. Making collectors and target shooters hand in their legally registered pieces would do nothing to disarm the thugs.

Elsewhere, too, handgun bans have proved useless. Washington, D.C., for instance, which routinely ranks among America’s murder capitals, has had a ban on handgun ownership for more than 30 years. Luxembourg prohibits private handgun ownership altogether, yet has a murder rate nine times that of Norway, which has one of the highest rates of firearms ownership in all Europe. After a massacre of elementary school students and their teacher at Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996, the British government confiscated all handguns from their registered owners across Great Britain. Yet since then, Britain’s rate of violent crime has soared.

The most recent tragic deaths in Vancouver and Toronto represent the product of shortcomings in crime control, not gun control. Our political leaders should have the good sense to respond accordingly, and avoid the temptation of knee-jerk populism.

LINK:  http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=253889


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3 Responses to “Handgun bans don’t work”

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Gun laws only affect the law-abiding citizenry. Criminal, by their very definition, do not care about laws. Therefore passing a law banning handguns does nothing more than limit the lawful use by lawful citizens and ensure that the criminal has less to worry about. A fully armed citizenry is a polite citizenry.

I totally agree, Dave. Why is it that some people can’t understand this simple concept?

Cars kill as well as baseball bats. Are we going to remove baseball and force people to stop driving? In effect all are tools, they do not kill people do.

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