Real Benefits or False Promises?
Truth was the first victim of the gun control debate, and apparently will be the last. It may be unfair to pick on Doctor Garen Wintemute, for his research into gun control policy has been publicly savaged by many in the field. Nor is it polite to rehash the fact that much of Wintemute’s funding comes from the gun control movement’s financier, the Joyce Foundation. It wouldn’t even be sportsmanlike to pick apart his all too frequent Op/Eds since they appear in newspapers without the benefit of citing his sources (a common scientific courtesy).
It is, however, fair to say his conclusions are not supported by facts, statistics, history and common sense.
In legislative matters, laws must address problems. Problems must first be identified, measured, and if confirmed to be a public menace, laws are crafted to address the problem. Granted, this critical thinking chain reaction is occasionally sparse in the State Capital, but it should be robustly enforced on such critical issues as firearms, preserving self-defense alternatives and that quaint, libertarian notion of freedom.
To start the process, let’s take Wintemute’s unsupported contradictions in arguments he made in the Sacramento Bee a few months ago. He claimed (without citation) that before California’s 1989 “assault weapons” ban that “people who purchased such weapons were more likely … to have a criminal record, and they were more likely to commit violent crimes subsequently.” Yet later he claims “such weapons were not in common criminal use at the time they were banned.” Restated without obfuscation, “there wasn’t a problem to begin with, and the ban fixed that problem.”
Ignore if you will the broken chain of logic from what weapons a criminal may acquire and the fact that criminals commit crimes. Even Wintemute admits that the firearms in question were not the choice of criminals.
I’m not seeing the “real benefit” he claims more gun bans will bring.
Click here to read the entire op-ed.