Jan 22, 2011 1:52 AM GMT
From a Huffington Post / New Yorker Staff Writer:
As a liberal Democrat, I worry about the damage we might do by rushing toward a fresh raft of gun-control laws. It's very hard to demonstrate that most of them -- registration, waiting periods, one-gun-a-month laws, closing the gun-show loophole, large-capacity-magazine restrictions, assault-rifle bans -- have ever saved a life. It's a hard thing to accept, but in a country of 350 million privately owned guns, the people who are inclined to do bad things with guns will always be able to get them. One might as well combat air crashes by repealing gravity.
I'm not one for slinging statistics, because everybody can read into them what he wants to see. One, though, seems pretty hard to ignore: The rates of murder and other violent crime have dropped by about half in the past 20 years -- one piece of unalloyed good news out of the past two decades. During those same 20 years, gun ownership has gone way up, and gun laws have become far looser.