Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hard To Imagine How The NRA Can Spin This

A recent study which was underwritten by more than 300 U.S. mayors has uncovered some extremely damning evidence about the link between lax gun laws and legal guns ending up being used in crimes. The study makes clear that 10 states with lax gun laws are responsible for over 50% of guns used in crimes across the U.S. This number should be staggering and the repercussions swift. This sort of dangerous funneling of weapons to be used in crimes cannot be allowed to continue. While people will continue to argue that it is not the guns that commit the crimes, it is clear that access to guns is providing the ability to carry out many crimes. It is hard to imagine how anyone reading the report could come to the conclusion that gun control does not have a positive effect on reducing the amount of guns in the hands of criminals. Particularly deplorable was the cover-up pushed by the industry to keep this data from seeing the light of day. To know that such data exists and to try to censor it is despicable and calls into question how dedicated to safety those involved really are.

It isn't just purchasing guns intended for use in crimes that is making headlines. In the same days as the above-mentioned report was released, this story came out as well. I cannot imagine how horrible all those involved must be feeling at this moment. It is difficult to imagine such a senseless thing, all because a weapon was being treated as a source of entertainment. Why an eight year-old would be allowed to fire such a deadly weapon is beyond me. I hope people learn to respect the dangers that guns pose and accept that they must be regulated for public safety. Together these two articles highlight what many researchers in a variety of fields (including public health, criminology, sociology, economics, and others) have found, that guns must be regulated and that protections must be in place to keep guns out of the wrong hands. Clearly many states are failing on this issue and must be brought to task.

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