Public Health

The anti-gun lobby has tried every possible approach to attack guns and gun owners. They imply that guns drive human beings to acts of violence, they claim that guns are responsible for suicides and they insist that guns do much more harm than good. All of these charges are easily dismissed with a bit of research, so the gun control crowd has turned to the ultimate weapon. They tell us we must ban guns in order to "save the children" from gun accidents. -- Dr.Michael S. Brown, The Real Gun Safety Crisis Jan. 8, 2001

Public Health

Finally, the "public health" campaign to outlaw guns because of the allegedly successful gun control policies of other nations ignores the potential criminogenic effect of those controls. American rates for crimes that usually involve guns (such as murder) and crimes that rarely involve guns (such as rape) are both far higher than the rates in most democratic nations. Curiously, the American residential burglary rate is below that of other nations. Perhaps this is because in the United States, an American burglar who breaks into an occupied home faces a risk of being shot that equals his risk of going to prison. In contrast, burglars in other nations do not face such risks. Gun-owners in Great Britain, New Zealand, and Canada express little interest in the protective aspects of gun ownership; Australians are more interested in guns for protection, but as a matter of law, defensive gun ownership is illegal in most of Australia.

Given the poor record of restrictive firearms laws in other English-speaking countries, the simplistic, reflexive insistence of the gun prohibition lobby and its medical allies that the United States immediately import foreign gun control laws may imperil, rather than protect, public health.


Written Testimony of David B. Kopel
Select Committee Investigating the Use of Automatic and Semiautomatic Firearms, September 8, 1994, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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