Saturday, September 15, 2007

Wild, Wild West

The Kalamazoo Gazette featured a front page article on Dave Agema's bill to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons in schools. The bill is cosponsored by local Republican state representatives Jack Hoogendyk and Lorence Wenke.

Whenever someone mentions guns, particularly in connection with schools, some people react with pure emotion. The Gazette article is no exception.

Hence we have this from Democrat state representative Robert Jones.

"A solution of everyone carrying guns in a 21st-century society is a step back to the Wild West and the cowboy era,'' Jones said.
First of all, "everyone" would not carry guns, only those who freely choose to do so. Second, no debate about gun control would be complete without a reference to the Wild West.

Would this really bring back the Wild West? Will people be attacked by wild animals? Will stagecoaches be raided by hostile Indians? Will we have no more cars, paved roads, electricity, or flush toilets?

Of course not. Presumably Jones is referring to the level of crime in the Wild West. But crime in the Wild West was lower than in most major American cities today. The notion that crime was high in the Wild West is the product of movie westerns, not reality. The truth is contained in a chapter of the new book 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask by Thomas Woods.

Should we be afraid of guns in schools? Well, several states allow concealed carry permit holders to carry in schools right now. Has mayhem ensued? Israel used to see terrorist attacks against schools. Then they allowed school employees to carry guns. The result? No more attacks. Thailand also recently allowed teachers to carry guns in response to attacks.

Only a few decades ago, students brought guns to school to participate in school rifle clubs.

Economic analysis shows that allowing concealed carry will reduce crime. This is backed by research. Economist John Lott conducted a study on mass shootings several years ago.

We found that when states passed right-to-carry laws, these attacks fell by 60 percent. Deaths and injuries from multiple-victim public shootings fell on average by 78 percent.

To the extent that attacks still occurred, they overwhelmingly happened in the special places within right-to-carry states where concealed handguns were banned.
Rather than examine the evidence, opponents of gun rights would rather spout slogans about the Wild West.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It has already been show in similar postings prior to this one that your case for gun rights is not as open and shut as you want it to be. What does remain evident is that you refuse to consider the arguments and seem content to spout your own version of slogans about "economic analysis." It’s going to be another poor year for this blog it seems unless some other members of the WMUCR step up to the plate.