Blame criminals, not the guns that stop them

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By Michael A. Kotch

Re: the Dec. 27 commentary, "Too many weapons: Control guns to stop the tide of death", by John D. Kelly IV:

Dr. Kelly obviously is committed to the medical profession. However, his negative position on firearms ownership is an emotional response that avoids the true factors in violent acts.

He blames availability of guns and concealed-carry permits as the cause of 380 homicides in Philadelphia in 2005, noting that 208 of these deaths were over disputes.

Dr. Kelly seems to purport that holding individuals accountable for their actions is unrealistic, and, therefore, that eliminating the rights in the Second Amendment is the only plausible solution to violent crime.

Economist Lawrence Southwick Jr., in his 1999 paper, "Guns and Justifiable Homicide: Deterrence and Defense," said 800,000 to two million violent crimes were prevented each year as a result of gun ownership and use by civilians.

Click on 'Read More' for the entire commentary.

In addition, armed civilians stop 1.5 million to 2.5 million crimes. This clearly demonstrates that the Second Amendment provides citizens with a means to protect themselves against violence.

Measures that prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights will only empower criminals and increase the vulnerability of law-abiding citizens.

The answer to violent crime is stiffer penalties for people whose criminal actions place society in danger.

Ultimately, we must stop blaming guns for violence, as they are simply tools that are used regularly to aid the innocent against vicious attacks.

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