A new UC Davis Health System study finds that handgun buyers, if they have any prior criminal record, go on to commit felonies and violent misdemeanor crimes at much higher rates than law-abiding gun owners do. Identifying individuals who legally purchased guns and likely still own them after being convicted of subsequent crimes that prohibit gun ownership could be a valuable violence prevention measure, according to the study.I think the good doctor was being a bit sarcastic when he said that last sentence. I don't find that surprising at all. In fact this is one of the common sense conclusions that reasonable people could easily agree upon, the very type that gun rights advocates insist on denying unless proof is supplied. Well, here it is.
“The United States works hard to prevent felons, domestic violence offenders and other people with serious criminal convictions from buying guns,” said Garen Wintemute, an emergency medicine physician and director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. “We looked at how often people who have purchased guns legally, then became prohibited from owning them. It was a surprise to find such a significant correlation between minor criminal records among legal handgun purchasers and their subsequent convictions for more serious crimes.”
Of course, when surveys and polls prove what any unbiased person would already agree to, the gun folks attack the survey and say it was all a trick. I'm sure they'll have no trouble disproving any study Prof. Wintemute comes up with. He is the enemy, after all.
What's your opinion? Do you think people with minor criminal records are more likely to commit felonies than people with clean records? If that's the case, do you think some or all of them should be disqualified from buying guns?
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