12/00 Social Costs Of Not Owning Guns

Social Costs Of Not Owning Guns
Larry Pratt

The steady barrage of fear-based propaganda against private gun ownership would have us conclude that we would all be better off if we got rid of our guns.

They want us to believe that we are many times more likely to be harmed with our own gun than to kill a home invader. Some of the anti-self defense crowd appear to actually believe that an act of self defense has not occurred unless the perpetrator has been killed.

In the real world, almost all self-defense uses of firearms do not involve firing a shot. Research by award winning Florida State University criminologist Dr. Gary Kleck has found that we are 2.5 times more likely to be injured when we offer no resistance than if we use a gun against an attacker.

Another line of attack has been to point to all the health care and welfare costs engendered by taking care of the victims of criminals who use guns. Not only are those costs grossly exaggerated, the research of Dr. John Lott, now of the Yale University Law School, has shown that gun control has actually increased crime.

Not only do gun owners have nothing to apologize for, truth be told, those who have all the explaining to do are those politicians who have disarmed victims and thus made the criminals’ job environment safer.

It is where armed gun owners are able to legally exercise their constitutional right that violent crime rates are lower. This automatically lowers health care costs because there are fewer wounded or dead victims and criminals alike.

Moreover, as crime goes down, there is less need for the police, thus allowing smaller police forces. This could result in huge savings in the anti-gun cities which have the highest murder and violent crime rates.

So, the most compassionate policy, the one designed to save social expenditures on health, welfare and police, is to repeal gun bans, repeal gun free zones, repeal restrictions on people carrying concealed firearms and in every other way make it so that the good guys can walk and drive and study and worship securely.