Why the anti gun lobby lost

Steve Chapman:


-- Gun control didn't work. In the 1990s, despite its draconian ban, Washington became the murder capital of the United States. Chicago's homicide rate, which had been declining in the years before it banned handguns, climbed over the following decade. Gun control didn't work.

During the time the federal assault weapons law was in effect, the number of gun murders declined -- but so did murders involving knives and other weapons. When the law was allowed to expire in 2004, something interesting happened to the national murder rate: nothing.

-- Laws allowing concealed weapons proliferated -- with no ill effects. In 1987, Florida gained national attention -- and notoriety -- by passing a law allowing citizens to get permits to carry concealed handguns. Opponents predicted a wave of carnage by pistol-packing hotheads, but it didn't happen. In fact, murders and other violent crimes subsided. Permit holders proved to be sober and restrained.

People elsewhere took heed, and today, according to the NRA, 40 states have "right-to-carry" laws. As those laws have spread, the homicide rate has fallen sharply from the peak reached in 1991.

-- The Second Amendment got a second look. In 1983, a San Francisco lawyer named Don Kates published an article in the University of Michigan Law Review arguing that, contrary to prevailing wisdom in the judiciary and law schools, the Constitution upholds an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Numerous legal scholars, spurred to examine the record, reached the same surprising conclusion. Before long, even some liberal law professors were coming around.


Chapman believes, and I agree, that the second look by the legal scholars was crucial to changing the opinion and it worked its way into Scalia's opinion.

The big city mayors and police chiefs still are frightened by the exercise of this right, but the results of the concealed carry laws should encourage officials to reconsider. When they rewrite their existing prohibitions they should put in a requirement for a gun safety course and license the purchasers, if they are concerned about how the weapon will be used. Criminals will still have to obtain their weapons through illegal means, but at least potential victims are no longer disarmed.


  1. potential victims are no longer diarmed my f*cking ass, if there are no guns there are no victims, if there are more guns there are more potential victims end of story!


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