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Gun control isn’t really the answer

IF gun control worked, I would be its biggest proponent.

But the history of gun control shows that the government seizes on an emotionally troubling time to expand its power, while doing little to protect the citizenry.

Consider the Gun Control Act of 1968.

President Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Party exploited the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy to pass this law.

The national homicide rate was 6.9 homicides per 100,000 people in 1968.

In 1969, it rose to 7.3 homicides per 100,000 people.

In 1970, it rose to 7.9 homicides per 100,000 people.

In 1971, it rose to 8.6 homicides per 100,000 people.

In 1972, it rose to 9.0 homicides per 100,000 people.

In 1973, it rose to 9.4 homicides per 100,000 people.

In 1974, it rose to 9.8 homicides per 100,000 people.

Within six years of the passage of this gun control measure, homicides rose by 42 percent.

It would be 29 years before the homicide rate fell below the 1968 rate.

I am not blaming gun control for this catastrophe.  

Many are the other factors contributing to the terrible rise in homicides, including an emphasis on rehabilitation in prisons rather than locking criminals up to protect the public.

Liberal logic is to lock up the guns instead of the criminals.

In the 1990s, America reversed that and began locking up criminals with the three strikes law and the like — and the homicide rate dropped along with the overall crime rate.

Gun laws elsewhere also have a spotty history.

Following the Port Arthur massacre in which a gunman killed 35 people, Australia in 1996 adopted one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the world.

By 2010, Australia's homicide rate had dropped by 27 percent.

At the same time, the homicide rate dropped by 36 percent in the United States.

And the overall crime rate in Australia is nearly double that of the United States.

Britain, Canada and France are among the nations with higher crime rates than the United States, while Japan and Austria are among the nations whose crime rates are lower.

Clearly, gun control laws are not necessarily the solution.

In fact, having more people carrying weapons may be a cheap and effective deterrent to crime.  

Since 1987, Florida has issued more than 2 million concealed weapons permits and today 1 million permits are active.

Florida's homicide rate dropped from 11.4 homicides per 100,000 people in 1987 to 5.2 homicides per 100,000 people in 2011.

At the same time, Florida's overall crime rate and its rate of violent crime were also halved.

Other states have reported similar results.

Politicians in Washington do not care.

The sharp rise in homicide rates following the 1968 law should have drawn congressional review, but to those lusting for power, results do not matter. So Congress went on to its next business, creating a Department of Education to oversee the decline of our inner city schools.

Need I point out that the poverty rate in the United States is higher than it was when we began the War on Poverty?

A War on Guns will be as ineffective as the War on Drugs.

Gun control is about control. Gun is merely the adjective, which is why President Obama and the Democratic Party once again are trying to exploit a tragedy.

Surber's email address is


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