Tuesday, April 29, 2003

GUNS: Minnesota passed a conceal-carry law and a friend of mine is "disgusted with [her] state." She seems to think that rampant violence will begin any day now and that shootouts will happen in every parking lot. Many states, of course, already have conceal-carry laws without an increase in gun violence. Somehow people like my friend fail to realize that, in general, the people seeking permits are the law-abiding ones. Criminals don't apply for permits, just like they find ways to circumvent background checks when they want guns. An irrational fear of guns makes no more sense than a fear of knives, chainsaws, or broken glass bottles. All them can injure or kill if used improperly, but as John Lott of the American Enterprise Institute noted after two law students with their own guns subdued the shooter at the Appalachian School of Law last year, "Research consistently shows that having a gun is the safest way to respond to any type of criminal attack, especially these multiple victim shootings." So the only people who should be quaking in their boots at the thought of an armed citizenry are criminals.

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