In a recent guest commentary (Dec. 23, 2012) in the Ahwatukee Foothills News (“A weaponized America makes the slaughter so much easier”), Mike McClellan draws parallel between gun ownership and crime rate. One question Mr. McClellan should ask before arguing for more regulations is how many lives were saved this year because of private gun ownership. Several different surveys exist and these surveys show that there were between 760,000 and 3 million defensive gun uses per year resulting in countless saved lives.
If you believe regulating fire arms will reduce crimes I urge you to look to other countries with strict gun laws. China had multiple incidents in 2012 where adults killed or injured school children. One incident took place on Dec. 14, when a knife-wielding man injures 23 children outside a primary school in Henan. Norway is another country with strict gun laws, and yet on July 22, 2011, a person bombed the government buildings in Oslo (capital of Norway), which resulted in eight deaths. He then carried out a mass shooting at a camp on the island of Utøya. This person went unopposed around the island for 44 minutes shooting and killing 69 people, mostly students. In Mexico it is illegal for private citizen to own firearms, and yet more than 30,000 people were killed last year by fully automatic fire arms.
I urge people to consider the positive side of private gun ownership and consider the following: The average response time for the police in Phoenix is close to five minutes (for the SWAT team the response time is more). How many shots can a person fire in five minutes? How many lives would be lost? Many.
In my humble opinion, the answer is not more gun regulation, but rather that citizens must take responsibility for their own safety. The government should not restrict a personal preference for protection, because bad people will always find a way to obtain regulated/forbidden fire arms.
Remember what Thomas Jefferson said: “Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.”