Pro Gun

Pro Gun Advocates

The National Rifle Association is arguably one of the most powerful lobbyist groups in the U.S., as well as a leader in the 2nd Amendment rights debate. Some say the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban inflamed NRA members that its effects were felt throughout Congress. "President Clinton, after the '94 election, thought this issue probably cost the Democrats the House of Representatives," said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA. "Gun owners and hunters that know guns deeply, resent the misleading characterizations and the fact that the other side is attempting to mislead the American public on this, and they will go to the polls and vote against the congressmen that go with the lies," the pro gun spokesman added.

It is a myth that guns create violence and gun laws end violence, say pro gun lobbyists. Homicide rates are actually lowest in states with the loosest gun regulations -- North Dakota, Maine, South Dakota, Idaho, Iowa and Montana. By contrast, the states with the strictest gun laws -- D.C., New York, California, Illinois and Maryland -- have the highest number of gun deaths. The real causes of violence are poverty, drugs and unemployment, some argue. The National Safety Council says there are only about 200 fatal gun deaths each year, compared to the thousands often cited. Additionally, gun-related suicide rates have declined in the presence of gun bans -- but there is an increase in methods like poisoning, hanging and leaping deaths to compensate for it. We arrive back at the same question again: Do gun laws make us safer?

Pro gun groups often point to an influential 1995 study entitled "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun" by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz to illustrate their case. The study found that law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals up to 2.5 million times each year. Over 200,000 women use guns to thwart sexual assailants and 500,000 people use concealed carry guns away from the home in self-defense. "Citizens shoot and kill more criminals than police do every year," reported Kleck and Gertz. Additionally, according to the 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey, 477,040 victims of violent crimes said they used a firearm when facing an offender.

One of the strongest pro gun arguments is the simple undeniable truth that, in most cases, strict gun regulations have not worked. Britain's 1997 ban on all handguns was supposed to be the gold standard of what rigid restrictions on guns and ammo could do for the world. However, the end result was that banned handguns became the weapon of choice and the use of these guns in crime rose by 40% from 1998 to 2000. The rate of violent crime in England's inner cities more than doubled from 1997 to 2001. So the answer to the question of banning weapons to make the nation safer can be plainly stated: No.

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