Ivor Paul claims that “countries with the most lax gun laws suffer the greatest number of shooting deaths” and “countries with strict gun-control laws . . . have the fewest.” But do gun- control laws really have much effect on violent crime rates? Or do social, economic and cultural factors play a larger part?
Gun-control laws in Brazil and Mexico are among the strictest in the world. Yet violent crime in both countries is far worse than in the United States. Ask someone in Brazil or Mexico if it is difficult to obtain an illegal firearm. In Switzerland, private ownership of guns, including automatic and semi-automatic weapons, is regulated but widespread. Yet Switzerland has not experienced much in the way of violent crime.
Gun-control people love to cite Britain and Japan as examples of effective gun control. Both countries have very strict gun-control laws, yet violent crime in Britain is far worse than in Japan. The police in England, for example, can hardly be expected to protect everyone, everywhere and at all times. It seems that, in Britain, the “freedom” of criminals to attack you or invade your home, without fear of being shot by their intended victim, trumps the law-abiding citizen’s right to self-defense.
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