'Telling a murderer to "wait" till his papers are processed
Handgun waiting period won't decrease crime
© The Marquette Tribune, 4/2/91, editorial
Washington, D.C. has the strictest gun control laws in the country -- and the highest murder rate.
Guns are used 430,000 times a year to commit crimes, but
80 million Americans own 250 million guns.
To say 12 children a day die from guns (an oft-repeated statistic) is misleading. Most of those "children" are between the ages of 17 and 19 and involved in gangs or drugs.
1996, 21 children under age 15 died from accidental handgun deaths. Every
year, 40 under the age of 5 drown in water buckets, and another 80 drown in bathtubs.... The risk of a child
drowning in a swimming pool is 100 times greater than the risk of dying from a firearm-related accident.
by Diane Dew
Waiting periods as a form of gun control never can reduce crime. In Los Angeles, for example, where the waiting period is two weeks, there has been no decrease in the homicide rate since the law's inception. The same is true of other cities, as well.
Telling a murderer to "wait" till his papers are processed is like telling a rapist to "wait" till he is married to have sex. "In the heat of passion," criminals do what they want, when they want to do it -- without regard to human life, and regardless of the law!
Gun registration does not deter crime. Anyone hateful enough even to consider taking another's life, is not going to reason with reality (or conscience) long enough to: drive to the gun store, choose a weapon, arrange for payment, fill out the registration forms and go home and patiently await the day of rejection/acceptance. He simply will choose another means to murder: choking, stabbing, drowning or beating.
Most killers are repeat offenders. And no one is so stupid as to believe, especially with previous convictions, that their registration for a firearm would pass -- "if only they will wait." Besides, since when have criminals begun following legal processes? Criminals don't purchase their murder weapons in gun stores anyway; they buy them on the street.
The availability of guns is not really the issue, any more than the number of knives in my kitchen drawer has tempted me to kill. In Milwaukee, which last year had one of the highest homicide rates in the nation, many murders involved such everyday "weapons" as: a glass bottle, baseball bat, knife, rope or the human hands.
Realistic attempts to reduce the rate of homicide -- such as a change in the nation's attitude toward recreational drinking -- certainly would require a restructuring of many societal attitudes. According to a recent study by Milwaukee County Medical Examiner Jeffrey Jentzen, half of Milwaukee County's 1990 murder victims aged 15 to 50 were drunk at the time of their death. Another 26 percent had cocaine in their systems. Individuals concerned about the increasing rate of homicide might consider attacking some of the real causes of the problem: alcohol and drugs.
Waiting periods as a means of controlling crime are unnecessary and illogical. Such legislation merely tells the criminal that if he's planning to break the law and kill someone, he'd better make sure he does it legally -- with all the right papers.
© Copyright 1991 Diane S. Dew
The Founding Fathers, on Gun Ownership
"No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." (Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, 1776)
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Diane Dew o PO Box 340945 o Milw WI 53234
A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone. ~ 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.
~ Gun control is not about guns; it's about control. ~ If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?
~ If you don't know your rights you don't have any. ~ Those who trade liberty for security have neither.
~ What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?
~ The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the others.
~ You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive. ~ Assault is a behavior, not a device.
~ Criminals love gun control - it makes their jobs safer. ~ If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.
~ Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.
~ You only have the rights you are willing to fight for. ~ When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.
~ The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.