The New York Times published an op-ed article yesterday about a study which, according to them, should quiet the voices that say gun laws don't stop gun crime.
For years, the gun lobby has defeated new gun control laws partly by arguing that stronger laws do not deter crime. A study prepared by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan group headed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York and Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, should finally put that myth to rest. The study analyzed trace data for guns used in connection with crimes during 2007. The data reveal a strong correlation between weak state gun laws and higher rates of in-state murders, police slayings and sales of guns used in crimes in other states.
Naturally, the stats presented by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns are to be taken with a grain of salt, but to me they make perfect sense. What is referred to as the "iron pipeline" is responsible for a flow of illegal guns from states with lax laws to those with stricter ones.
One of the main points of contention seems to be the registering of firearms transactions. The argument against it is that it's really a transparent prelude to gun confiscation. I don't believe that for a second. I believe the reason for suggesting such legislation is exactly what they say: to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on guns.
What's your opinion? Is there something wrong with registering all gun transactions? Do you think it would lead to eventual gun confiscation? I think that's total paranoia mixed with a little grandiose victimism, but I'd love to hear your opinion.
The mayors bring up other questions which we've discussed around here. Exactly where do you draw the line on civilian ownership of weapons? Those powerful sniper rifles and the famous assault weapons are mentioned. According to the anti-gun folks, there's no legitimate reason to own those. What do you think?