NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Administration Should Clean Up Anti-Gun Rhetoric

July 22, 1999

President Clinton and Vice President Gore are using false and misleading arguments in their efforts to push anti-gun legislation, says firearms-policy expert John Lott Jr.

  • Both Clinton and Gore contend that 13 children die every day from guns, evoking in media ads the images of innocent elementary school children -- but 11 of those 13 deaths per day involve 15-to-19-year-olds, primarily homicides involving gang members.
  • They say guns purchased illegally for resale to criminals account for between one-third and one-half of guns used in a crime -- but their figures assume guns that were both sold and used in a crime within three years were purchased for such illegal resale, and their figures purposefully exclude most gun crimes.
  • They contend that the Brady law reduces crime -- yet the only academic research conducted on the Brady law established that the national waiting period had no significant impact on murder and robbery, and was actually associated with a small increase in rape and aggravated assault.

Lott says that when law-abiding citizens are made more dependent on government for their protection, the most vulnerable -- the poor who live in high crime urban areas, as well as women and the elderly -- will pay the ultimate price.

Source: John R. Lott Jr. (University of Chicago), "Shoot Down Anti-Gun Plans," Investor's Business Daily, July 22, 1999.


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