If people only ever read the mainstream media on crime and self-defense issues, they would never learn why people choose to get gun licenses and buy guns. The would only ever learn reasons to ban guns and to disarm law-abiding citizens.
This story was reported in the Washington Free Beacon:
An Ohio woman and her elderly parents are safe while the man who attacked her on Friday is in prison facing several pending charges.
Kim Sinnott of Hamilton, Ohio, was at her parents’ home in the early morning hours of Friday celebrating her father’s 75th birthday when the home’s alarm went off. She and her twin sister Tamie Lesher went to investigate the disturbance.
“About 1:30 a.m. the alarm went off in the house,” Sinnott told Pantagraph. “We noticed the light on in the garage. We saw somebody walking in the garage.”
That’s when the pair came across a man police later identified as 21-year-old Mykale B. Davis. Sinnott pointed her father’s .32 caliber pistol at the man.
“I told him that I had a gun,” she said. “I was standing there looking at him with the gun pointing at him. I told him a hundred times not to come out because I had a gun and that I would shoot and that we were waiting for the cops, that we had the cops on the line right now.”
That’s when the intruder lunged at Sinnott and attempted to wrestle the gun away from her.
“Anything could have happened by just the way he lunged at me, and I had the gun in his face and told him not to come out because I would shoot,” she told the paper. “He probably thought I wouldn’t shoot.”
But Sinnott did shoot the intruder.
“When he grabbed me and pulled me down I was fearing for my life,” she said. “I shot him just for him to let me go. I don’t know if it was in the leg or in the foot. I was scared to death.”
The shot caused the man to flee out of the garage and down the street where police later apprehended him.
[…]Sinnott said the incident has shaken her and her entire family. “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle, but I’m about done,” she said.
People who oppose guns typically oppose them because of feelings. Guns are loud and makes me feel scared, they say. But if you actually look at the scientific data, you’ll see that guns do reduce crime rates.
The peer-reviewed research
Whenever I get into discussions about gun control, I always mention two academic books by John R. Lott and Joyce Lee Malcolm.
- The Lott book was published by the University of Chicago Press (now in its 3rd edition)
- The Malcolm book was published by Harvard University Press
Here is a paper by Dr. Malcolm that summarizes one of the key points of her book.
Tracing the history of gun control in the United Kingdom since the late 19th century, this article details how the government has arrogated to itself a monopoly on the right to use force. The consequence has been a tremendous increase in violent crime, and harsh punishment for crime victims who dare to fight back. The article is based on the author’s most recent book, Guns and Violence: The English Experience (Harvard University Press, 2002). Joyce Malcom is professor of history at Bentley College, in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is also author of To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an AngloAmerican Right (Harvard University Press, 1994).
Upon the passage of The Firearms Act (No. 2) in 1997, British Deputy Home Secretary Alun Michael boasted: “Britain now has some of the toughest gun laws in the world.” The Act was second handgun control measure passed that year, imposed a near-complete ban on private ownership of handguns, capping nearly eighty years of increasing firearms restrictions. Driven by an intense public campaign in the wake of the shooting of schoolchildren in Dunblane, Scotland, Parliament had been so zealous to outlaw all privately owned handguns that it rejected proposals to exempt Britain’s Olympic target-shooting team and handicapped target-shooters from the ban.
And the result of the 1997 gun ban:
The result of the ban has been costly. Thousands of weapons were confiscated at great financial cost to the public. Hundreds of thousands of police hours were devoted to the task. But in the six years since the 1997 handgun ban, crimes with the very weapons banned have more than doubled, and firearm crime has increased markedly. In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, gun crime in England and Wales rose—by 35 percent for all firearms, and by a whopping 46 percent for the banned handguns. Nearly 10,000 firearms offences were committed.
[…]According to Scotland Yard, in the four years from 1991 to 1995 crimes against the person in England‟s inner cities increased by 91 percent. In the four years from 1997 to 2001 the rate of violent crime more than doubled. The UK murder rate for 2002 was the highest for a century.
I think that peer-reviewed studies – from Harvard University, no less – should be useful to those of us who believe in the right of self-defense for law-abiding people. The book by economist John Lott, linked above,compares the crime rates of all U.S. states that have enacted concealed carry laws, and concludes that violent crime rates dropped after law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry legally-owned firearms. That’s the mirror image of Dr. Malcolm’s Harvard study, but both studies affirm the same conclusion – more legal firearm ownership means less crime.
If you still think that guns are somehow bad for reducing crime, why not check out a formal academic debate featuring 3 people on each side of the debate?
If you want to know why the Democrat parts of the United States have such high rates of violence, then you need to look at the enormously high out-of-wedlock birth rates in the Democrat parts of the United States. Having babies before marrying causes fatherless children, and fatherless children are more likely to commit crimes. When Democrats stop paying single mothers money to have fatherless kids, then the crime rates in the Democrat parts of the United States will go down. It’s a personal responsibility issue.