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Bill Sargent, Mark Mansius and John Gay are writing columns on important issues for today.

The Impact of Gun Control Legislation

The Three Musketeers suggest reducing or eliminating "gun free zones" because those who would misuse weapons often do so in places where they won't find armed resistence.

Assalt Rifles on Table - AP PhotoSeptember 2, 2013

Last week we wrote about the Second Amendment and why it was drafted.  This week we want to focus on efforts by various state and federal government, efforts to restrict access to guns and whether gun control laws actually work.

First, why do some want to impose stricter requirements for getting guns?
Their stated goal is to reduce gun violence.  Pro gun control advocates will tell you if you restrict the access to firearms then there will be fewer weapons on the street and therefore less gun violence.  Unfortunately, this has not turned out to be the case.  The evidence shows that the places that have the strictest gun control laws have the most gun violence. Chicago has one of the strictest gun control laws on the books and it also has the dubious honor of being the city with one of the highest murder rates in the country. 

Second, where have we seen the most instances of mass gun violence? 
As mentioned in last week’s column over the last 30 years most mass shootings have happened in “gun-free” zones (places like Aurora, CO; Newtown, CT; and even Fort Hood].  Why?  Because shooters don’t want to face armed resistance.

Third, what has been the response by law-abiding citizens?
A recent report in the New York Daily News says that gun permit applications are on track to double those from last year in Newtown, Connecticut.  Some would contend that this is because the citizens of the city want to be able to protect themselves and their families. And the surge in gun purchases has not been limited to just Newtown, it is a nationwide phenomenon.

And finally, what’s been the response by gun manufacturers?
Recent reports show that major manufactures of firearms are moving out of states where strict gun control legislation has been enacted.  As this happens, these states are losing jobs in an economic time when most of them cannot afford to do so. It is becoming clear that there is an economic price to pay for enacting strict gun control laws (e.g. manufacturers in Colorado and Connecticut are moving their facilities to more gun friendly states like North and South Carolina and Texas).

In addition there may be a political price to pay.  In Colorado two state senators who supported stricter gun control measures are now facing expensive recall elections brought on by citizens who do not want their second amendment rights infringed upon. These recall elections are scheduled for next week.

So, where does that leave us?   
First, none of us want criminals or those with mental issues to have weapons to use against law-abiding citizens.  Second, we should enforce the gun laws that are already on the books (e.g., you commit an offense with a weapon, our courts should make sure you pay the price). Third, allowing concealed carry permits for men and women who have been trained on the proper use of firearms is a good thing. And finally, just perhaps we should consider reducing or eliminating “gun-free-zones” because those who would misuse weapons often do so in places where they won’t find armed resistance.

Bill, Mark and John