Banning guns increases violence, a coalition of dozens of gun organizations have said in an open letter to Congress opposing the myriad plans to restrict firearms, their ownership and access.
“Between the first significant school shooting, in 1966, and enactment of the 1996 (Gun Free School Zones Act], media summaries reveal eight shootings with 134 victims killed or wounded – a rate of 4.3 victims per year,” said the letter to members of Congress and other leaders.
“Between 1996 and 2012, the review finds 62 shootings and 367 victims – a fivefold increase to 23 victims per year. Yet, during the same period, FBI Uniform Crime Reports indicate homicide nationwide dropped by 14 percent,” the letter explains.
“Members of the National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban demand that Congress refuse to use lawful gun owners as political scapegoats and instead reduce school violence by …. Defeating any attempt to pass gun control including, but not limited to, banning semi-automatic firearms or magazines, or requiring private gun transfers to be registered through the National Instant Check System; and repealing the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1996.”
The letter is signed by leaders of the Firearms Coalition, Gun Owners of America, Rights Watch International, Second Amendment Sisters and USRKBA.org and dozens of state groups.
“Researchers John Lott and William Landes, then at Yale and the University of Chicago, respectively, studied multiple victim public shootings. Said Lott, ‘Gun prohibitionists concede that banning guns around schools has not quite worked as intended – but their response has been to call for more regulation of guns. Yet what might appear to be the most obvious policy may actually cost lives.
When gun-control laws are passed, it is law-abiding citizens, not would-be criminals, who adhere to them,” the letter explains.
“Examining data from 1976 to 1995, they discovered that mass homicides in states adopting concealed handgun laws declined by 84 percent, deaths plummeted by 90 percent and injuries by 82.5 percent. Crediting the reductions to deterrence (even suicidal maniacs avoid armed victims), Lott and Landes called their findings ‘dramatic,’ concluding: ‘[T]he only policy factor to have a consistently significant influence on multiple victim public shootings is the passage of concealed handgun laws,’” the report said.
Meanwhile, one Marine is warning Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that he won’t allow her gun control proposal to disarm him.
The gun groups’ letter is just one response Americans are delivering to plans in Congress to tax, register and ban weapons in reaction to the massacre at the Newtown, Conn., school that left 20 children and six adults dead.
Investigators have not determined why a suspected gunman shot and killed his mother, then went to a nearby school and killed children and administrators.
Feinstein’s proposal would ban 120 specific weapons and would impose background checks on owners that would include registration of a firearm serial number and positive identification of the owner, including a photograph and fingerprints.
The American public already has made a statement on guns. The FBI says the number of background checks for Americans buying guns set a record in December.
The FBI recorded 2.8 million background checks during the month, beating November’s record of 2 million. December 2011 saw 1.9 million checks. In Colorado, there was a backlog of tens of thousands of gun owners waiting to pick up weapons they had purchased. State agency officials asked for an extra $500,000 to make sure the work, which was behind by about 10 days, got done.