Firearms control doesn’t work

In the wake of the weekend’s tragic shooting in Arizona, USA TODAY is once again bent on blaming millions of law abiding gun owners for the actions of one depraved individual.

Among other things, the Editorial Board wants to ban self-defense magazines that hold extra ammunition. While such a ban would not stop thugs like Jared Loughner from getting them, it would impact good Americans who don’t like breaking the law.

The problem is, a magazine that holds lots of ammunition is exactly what one needs when the police are not around and you are faced with mob violence. This was the situation during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Korean merchants used firearms with large magazines to defend themselves against violent looters — and it was their stores that were left standing while other stores around them burned to the ground.

We’re being told now that more gun control is needed. Really? Let’s not forget that Loughner bought his firearm from a gun store and submitted to a background check. He had a clean record. The background check was supposed to save us from gun violence, but no amount of gun control will stop people like Loughner from getting guns.

So what can be done?

Well, Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., put his finger on the solution. He has a concealed carry permit, but confesses that he had stopped carrying his firearm last year. “Now I know I need to have (my gun) on me,” Shuler said.

Is this too simplistic an answer? Consider that in 2007, a gunman entered the New Life Church in Colorado Springs intending to perpetrate one of the greatest massacres in U.S. history. He was armed with a thousand rounds of ammunition. Unfortunately for him, he was only able to kill two people.

The reason? He was met by a woman with a gun. Jeanne Assam is a concealed carry permit holder, and she used her firearm to fatally wound the gunman, thus saving hundreds of lives at this church.

The lesson? Gun control never stops armed criminals; law abiding citizens with guns do. 

This article appeared on on January 10, 2011