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GUNS: Lessons from Kennesaw and Harvard

Letter by Larry Shank, Tacoma on Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:55 am | No Comments »
January 9, 2013 9:55 am

Kennesaw, Ga., is the antithesis of a gun-free zone (a target-rich environment). A 1982 ordinance required all households to own and maintain a gun. Crime dropped dramatically. Today, Kennesaw’s violent crime rate is only 15 percent of the national crime rate (cityrating.com) and 12 percent of Tacoma’s. Kennesaw has been murder-free for decades.

The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy studied the issue worldwide. It found that gun ownership has an inverse relationship to crime. Luxembourg, where guns are banned, has a murder rate 10 times that of Germany, where the are 30,000 guns per 100,000 population.

In the late 1990s, England moved from strict gun control to a complete ban. By 2000, it had the highest violent crime rate in Europe, surpassing that of the U.S. To conserve criminal justice resources, England no longer investigates burglary and minor assaults. Muggers and robbers are released with a warning.

I cannot think of another instance where a crime is committed and an inanimate object is blamed. Not one gun control proposal would have stopped the tragedies in Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colo.; or Tucson, Ariz., where Gabby Giffords was shot. Sidwell Friends – the school of choice for the Clintons and Obamas – has 11 armed guards without Secret Service.

If we are serious about crime, the whole issue of guns should be moved from an emotional debate to a rational, intellectual, fact-based debate. There are nearly 290 million guns in the U.S. If guns were to blame, the whole U.S. would be a war zone.

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