Op-Ed: Disarming the Myths Promoted By the Gun Control Lobby

by Larry Bell

As much as gun control advocates might wish otherwise, their attacks are running out of ammo. With private firearm ownership at an all-time high and violent crime rates plunging, none of the scary scenarios they advanced have materialized. Abuse of responsibility by armed citizens is rare, while successful defensive interventions against assaults on their lives and property are relatively commonplace.

National violent crime rates that soared for 30 years from the early 1960s began to decrease markedly since 1993. Last December the FBI reported that murder and other violent crime rates fell again by 6.4% during the first half of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. A Gallup poll indicates that “Americans’ preference regarding gun laws is generally that the government enforce existing laws more strictly and not pass new laws.”

Caroline Brewer of the anti-gun Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has reported that “The research we’ve seen indicates fewer and fewer people owning more and more guns.” Yet one can only wonder where they are getting that information. In reality, public support for personal gun ownership is growing. According to Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group that represents about 7,000 firearms manufacturers and related companies, in 1959 some 70% of the American public favored handgun bans, whereas today that number has flipped. This support is reflected in the marketplace. Sanetti observes that the $4.1 billion gun industry “has had nineteen months of growth in an otherwise anemic economy.”

Recognizing these positive trends, most states now issue permits allowing qualified law-abiding people to legally carry handguns outside their homes. Unprecedented numbers are becoming licensed to do so, now totaling an estimated 10 million Americans, contributing, in turn, to a dramatic growth in gun sales.

Click here to read the entire op-ed at Forbes.com.

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