Friday, October 8, 2010

Washington Post: Gun rights advocates take aim at Md.

Comment on: Gun rights advocates take aim at Md. limits at 7/30/2010 9:08 AM EDT

I am not opposed to registration and some reasonable limits on ownership such as terrorists, ex-cons and the mentally unstable but there should be no restrictions on owning or carrying a gun by average citizens – anywhere in the US. There is a “God-given” right of self protection and a gun is an exercise of that right. One has to go no further than right here in our own DC-area backyard to clearly demonstrate that contrary to liberal rhetoric, “guns actually do make us safer.” Case in point, Virginia has by far the laxest gun laws and the least gun violence of any of the surrounding jurisdictions. Additionally, the DC homicide rate has been declining ever since the Supreme Court ordered the loosing of DC gun ownership laws. Is the fact that this dramatic drop coincided with this landmark decision coincidence or might there be a cause-effect relationship? Could it be criminals are not so anxious to murder law abiding citizens if they might be "packing heat?"

A cursory analysis of the stats in a January Washington Post front page article: “Homicide totals in 2009 plummet in District, Prince George's” demonstrates that there is a dramatically inverse relationship between homicide rates and restrictions on gun ownership. Using the most recent 2008 population figures from the US Census Bureau and the Stats in this article, DC has 591,833 people and had 140 homicides in 2009 for a rate of 23.7 per 100,000 people. The two Maryland DC-suburbs of Montgomery County (950,680) and Prince George’s County (820,852) have 1,771,532 with 113 homicides for the same period for a rate of 6.4 per 100,000. The three Virginia suburbs of Alexandria City (143,885), Arlington County (209,969) and Fairfax County (1,015,302) have 1,369,156 people with 18 homicides for a 1.3 per 100,000 rate.

This reveals that a person would be fortunate to live in Virginia where gun ownership and open carry is almost unrestricted because a DC resident, where guns are still very restricted, is 18.2 times more likely to be a homicide victim. Even a Marylander, with moderately strict gun laws, was 3.7 times less likely to be a homicide victim than a DC resident. Much better than DC but a Marylander is still 4.9 times more likely to be a homicide victim than one of us “gun tottin” Virginians.

The obvious message in these statistics - guns make us more and not less safe.

- (sign me) A "Gun Tottin" Virginian-

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