Debate Club

Stricter Gun Control Laws Will Only Make Citizens Less Safe

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The president and members of Congress are pouncing on the recent shooting in Connecticut and are trying to exploit it for political gain. Sadly, if they get their way, we will see even more of these horrific tragedies.

According to the Brady Campaign, Connecticut has the fifth toughest gun laws in the country. They have a myriad of gun restrictions—including a ban on guns in schools and a semi-automatic ban—and all of them were broken by the shooter in Newtown.

So are more gun control laws really going to make us safer? Is it any surprise that (over the past couple of decades) all of the mass shootings that have occurred in this country—with the exception of one—have taken place in gun-free zones?

[See a collection of editorial cartoons on the Newtown shooting.]

Armed thugs who are intent on committing evil usually don't try to shoot up a police station where their victims are armed. No, they target locations like the Oregon mall (earlier this month); or the theatre in Aurora, Colo. (in July); or Virginia Tech (in 2007)—all places where guns were illegal, even for law-abiding citizens.

Thankfully, there are examples of how good people successfully use guns to stop potential massacres. Consider Assistant Principal Joel Myrick at the high school in Pearl, Miss. (in 1997) or Jeanne Assam at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs (in 2007). Both Myrick and Assam stopped their attackers before the police could arrive and without injuring one innocent person.

There are many in Washington who now want to ban large-capacity gun magazines. But that will only make law-abiding citizens less safe. Just ask the Korean merchants who armed themselves with so-called "assault" weapons (and lots of ammunition) during the Los Angeles riots. Their stores remained standing, while others around them burned to the ground.

[See a collection of political cartoons on gun control and gun rights.]

When you are facing gang or mob violence—and the police are nowhere to be found—you need more than just a six-shooter.

While the nation witnessed a real tragedy last week, the media continues to ignore the far greater number of kids who die by other means—like in cars or pools. Sadly, I know about this personally, as one of my children drowned a few years ago.

But just as I'm not going on a nation-wide campaign to ban access to pools, neither should Congress deny access to the very instruments that help good people stop violent thugs from killing children.

Erich Pratt

About Erich Pratt Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America

Tags
Congress
gun control and gun rights
Connecticut

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