In a recent brief to the U.S. Supreme Court by the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, police officers and prosecutors spoke on behalf of the right of the private citizen to keep and bear arms. Their conclusion? Gun ownership is the single best crime deterrent that there is.
[LEAA spokesman Ted] Deeds said this probably is the largest unified law enforcement statement in support of the Second Amendment ever, and includes nearly a dozen organizations that represent tens of thousands of police officers across the country, dozens of state attorneys general, dozens of prosecutors and a long list of federal law enforcement experts up to and including federal judges.
"Numerous surveys show that firearms are used (usually without a shot needing to be fired) for self-defense at least 97,000 times a year, and probably several hundred thousands times a year. The anti-crime effects of citizen handgun ownership provide enormous benefits to law enforcement, because there are fewer home invasion emergencies requiring an immediate police response, and because the substantial reductions in rates of burglary, assault, and other crimes allow the police and district attorneys to concentrate more resources on other cases and on deterrence."
"Guns save lives," the brief said. "In the hands of law-abiding citizens, guns provide very substantial public safety benefits. In all 50 states – but not the District – it is lawful to use firearms for defense against home invaders. The legal ownership of firearms for home defense is an important reason why the American rate of home invasion burglaries is far lower than in countries which prohibit or discourage home handgun defense."
My buddy used to say that when you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have them. Just ask the folks at any of the "gun free" campuses where dozens of people have been shot and killed in the last few years. Could an armed and well-trained citizen have stopped some of those mass murders? Probably.
Gun laws are important.
We need to do everything possible to keep guns out of the hands of children, criminals and those who are mentally incapable of assuming the responsibilities of gun ownership. We need to restrict the sale of guns and ammo to those that have been fully trained in gun handling and the use of force laws of their state. The only thing worse than an unarmed citizen is an armed one that doesn't know what s/he's doing.
Cops confront armed citizens all the time. On rare occasion, those situations go horribly wrong, usually because the citizen did not know how to respond correctly when the badges showed up. But that's why we require armed citizens to attend firearms and use of force training before being allowed to carry a weapon.
And I firmly believe that every stable, law-abiding citizen has the right to safely keep a gun in their home to protect themselves, their family and their property. Where burglars are being shot dead, property crimes suddenly decrease. I think it's that new math that I keep hearing so much about.
Let those who are well trained and so inclined carry a gun. And the next time some PoS with suicide on his mind walks into a campus or a church or a store, maybe the body count can be stopped at one.