Gun Control: The 5 Biggest Myths About Gun Laws


1. Gun Control Laws reduce violent crime. 

In 2003, a Center for Disease Control Task Force report found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes.

A 2004 study by the National Academy of Sciences reviewed over 200 journal articles, 99 books, and 43 government publications evaluating 80 gun-control measures. Researchers were unable to find empirical evidence that restrictive gun laws and regulations reduced violent crime, suicide, or accidents.

2. Guns cause crime. 

This myth presumes an otherwise law abiding individual will decide to commit some violent crime simply because they are exposed to a gun. There is no evidence to support this idea. 

3. So called "assault weapons" with high-capacity magazines are responsible for higher body counts in rampage killings. 

Based upon an analysis of rampage shootings, rampage murderers shoot/attempt to kill a victim between two to seven times per minute. The higher rate of seven victims per minute, or one attempt every 17 seconds, is well within the capability of an unskilled amateur with a single-shot firearm and a pocket full of loose cartridges.

4. The most effective way to stop a rampage killer is with more gun control laws. 

The Columbine tragedy occurred during the height of the assault weapons ban. The murderers violated of a dozen existing firearms laws prior to their attack. Most rampage killings tend to occur in locations designated as "Gun Free Zones," or very restrictive gun laws. In fact, an analysis of numerous incidents indicates that the most effective way to stop a rampage killer is with proactive armed resistance. Also, see Myth 1.

5. Lawfully carried firearms pose a significant danger to the general population. 

There are currently between four and five million citizens in the United States who have licenses to carry weapons. The number of licensees who have been charged with assault, murder, attempted murder, or any other violent crime involving a firearm is less that one tenth of 1%. 

Since any new, more restrictive gun control laws potentially impact an individual's right to self-defense, as well as the current Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment, these proposed new laws should be held to the "Strict Scrutiny Standard" that they will most certainly face in the Supreme Court. Their proposals should be required to establish a compelling government interest, they should be narrowly tailored to achieve their goals, and they should represent the least restrictive means to achieve their goals. The Strict Scrutiny Standard would require that they pass all three tests.