Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Many purchase weapons after they have been the victim of a crime

In the past, I've always tried to point out the lack of correlation between gun ownership and the crime rate.

"Nothing is perfectly true, and not even this phrase."

The following article points out an obvious flaw in that idea I have put forward in the past, Because there just might be a correlation: "crime causes an increase in gun ownership".
But that doesn't make sense, if there had been such a relationship, it would be reflected in the averaged out statistics, regardless of causality. Why didn't I find it? Here's the catch:

"Montgomery Police Chief Arthur Baylor has said the public apprehension that crime is out of control in Montgomery is more perception than reality. Crime in general is down, he has said, but an unusually high homicide rate and the resulting media attention has created a false sense of insecurity."

Crime isn't soaring, but people are just as scared. So if you want to try to reduce gun ownership, start by -god, am I a broken record or what- fighting crime back even further, and try to get the factual information out there, not the synopsis of the eight o' clock news. People are scared by the media, scared by the possibility of being victimized (again). And even though that chance is small, they are stocking up on weapons and learning how to use them:

"The Montgomery Police Department and a private self-defense teacher have seen an increase in the number of people wanting to learn how to use guns.
The Montgomery Police Department offers monthly firearms familiarization classes through the police academy. It's a free service dating back to the administration of former Mayor Emory Folmar. Records show that interest in taking the classes has grown. Two classes are offered each month, with a maximum of 15 students per class. In the last six to eight months, all slots have been filled."

I'm glad to see that these citizens can count on the police to help them be as safe as they can be when handling firearms.
Now, if you've been with me for some time, you know that I've established to the best of abilities that the removal of guns from our society is neither possible or even desirable, so this is exactly what gun control should be about: A well coordinated platform to teach the law abiding how to properly handle their firearms. Safety, marksmanship and weapon retention are vital to the proper use of firearms, and it would be great if our citizens could learn these lessons from a qualified instructor in -of all places- a police station.

Why do I think this is all a good evolution?
Crime is going down, civilians and police are being drawn together in a voluntary fashion. And all of those people might grow to be friends who occasionally visit the range (private or police range) as a means of harmless recreation.

Most of all I applaud that my allies are continuously defeating the other side of this debate, convincing people that safety starts with "numero uno's" capability to keep him- or herself safe.

Here's a piece from 20/20 in touch, about gun control:

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