03 May 2007

More gun laws needed after Virginia Tech?

There has been much pro-gun-control sentiment since the shooting at Virginia Tech.

Dianne Feinstein: "I believe this will reignite the dormant effort to pass commonsense gun regulations in this nation."

A Yahoo! News article: "While some focused blame only on the gunman, world opinion over U.S. gun laws was almost unanimous:  Access to weapons increases the probability of shootings.  There was no sympathy for the view that more guns would have saved lives by enabling students to shoot the assailant."

Polls say that even Americans are supporting gun control in greater numbers.  The Inter-Parliamentary Union (whatever that is) met and issued a statement that recommends more gun control worldwide.  (No American lawmakers were present at the meeting.)

I think these reactions are scary and nonsensical.  The way I see it, gun control does more harm than good:  It's completely impossible to keep guns away from every potential killer, even with draconian gun laws that deny our right of self-defense.  A much better approach is to lift restrictions.  If only there had been one VT student with his own gun in the dorm that morning!  I would prefer what Michelle Malkin calls a culture of self-defense.  If even one person in twenty had a gun at any given time, even a deranged gunman would think more than twice about going on a rampage.

A common emotional response to the suggestion of relaxing gun regulation is horror at the prospect of just anyone on the street legally hiding a gun.  But even if you don't carry a gun for your protection—I don't—wouldn't it be better for both criminals and law-abiding citizens to have guns rather than just criminals?  Certainly criminals would be much less bold in their use of guns.  This kind of decentralized, liberty-friendly approach to solving problems is usually better than a technocratic, authoritarian one.

Ron Paul ("More Guns Will Deter Shootings") and Glenn Reynolds ("People don't stop killers. People with guns do") have written intelligently about this issue.


At 09 May, 2007 19:57, Blogger Jennifer said...

Right on! I couldn't agree more as long as it's educated and safe gun ownership. Hope you are well.


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