I think there is very little evidence to suggest that increasing restrictions on gun ownership will reduce crime. However, the only way to really find out would be to restrict ownership, sales and manufacture on a nationwide basis. Movement around the country is essentially unrestricted and guns routinely move from areas where there are few controls to areas where there are many. The arguments that places with tighter gun control laws also have higher rates of violent crime may be valid, but the correlation is spurious. The support for the laws comes largely from the higher crime rates and those rates exist with or without gun restrictions. I am not arguing for tighter gun control. However, that doesn't make all arguments against gun control valid.
Among developed countries, America has the highest rates of gun ownership by its citizens. It also has the highest rates of violent crime, the largest percentage of its population in jail, and the highest rate of capital punishment. Where are the causes and where are the effects?
In Switzerland, where I spent my adolescence, there is almost universal ownership of fully automatic military weapons in private households. The reason is that all males aged 18 - 55 are required to join the military which operates much like our reserves with members spending a few weeks each year on active duty. A difference is that these soldiers take their weapons home with them during the rest of the year. When I lived in Switzerland (1960's), anyone over the age of 18 could walk into a store and buy a rifle or pistol with no questions asked. To buy a switchblade or brass knuckles, you didn't even have to be 18. Laws have become stricter over time and most cantons (the Swiss equivalent of states) now have regulations governing hand guns. However, handgun ownership is still second only to the US and rifle ownership is higher. Violent crime is almost non-existent in Switzerland and rates of imprisonment are very low (despite a very high legal and illegal immigrant population). Where are the causes and where are the effects?
I believe that violence, crime and guns are only tangentially related. Outside the US, America is viewed as having a violent culture and I suspect that is a fair assessment and is a major factor explaining both our higher rate of gun ownership and our higher crime rates. I sometimes facetiously argue that we would be better off if we mandated universal gun ownership, If nothing else, it would tend to encourage good manners. I'm not really sure I think this is a good idea, but I suspect that for our country it's a better idea than restricting weapons to government forces (police or military) which I view as being a sure road to tyranny.
Terry Britton, P.E.
Engineers believe that if it isn't broken, it doesn't have enough features yet.
Britton's Red Echo Lightning Storm (new pup)
RIP HR Britton's Gold Ginger Spice JR 02/18/2002 to 11/07/2014
Lets do this. Most democrats are for gun control and most republicans are not but rather responsible gun ownership. Lets take the next 4 years and make it illegal for democrats to owns guns and allow republicans to continue with the current gun laws. That way both sides are happy.