Malley wrote:...and if successful cases of lawabiding gun owners USING their arms legally recieved as much attention as criminal misuse, there would never be another gun control law proposed. Ever.
And where do you suppose these guns come from that kill store merchants and five year old kids who happen to be sitting on a mailbox at the wrong place and wrong time ? (They don't buy them at Cabelas). Often times, they get them from these "law abiding gun owners", often who carelessly safeguard their weapons, in house breaks. Less handguns in the hands of the civilian public = less handguns in the hands of criminals.
If we're going to make likelyhood of theft dictate how we determine if people are allowed to have something, we'd better be prepared to insist everything from jewelry to VCRs be 'locked up', as housebreakers turn these items into drugs and/or guns as well. Places with really restrictive gun laws still have the highest crime/murder rate, and while I won't dispute that there are other demographic issues at work, it remains true that lots of guns does not equal high crime/murder. It is also true that the gunnies I know lock up their arms in dark, ugly safes rather than displaying them proudly, as was once the norm. I suppose we could make using a safe mandatory, but how we would enforce it I cannot imagine. That's what's wrong with almost any gun ban/control proposal; to make it even marginally effective, most of the Constitution would have to be ignored.
As regards the effect of gun laws in Europe, there are several ways to look at it. By every standard, save murder, crime in England is much worse than it is here, particularly things like muggings and home invasions (that is, burglary of occupied homes). Handguns are now banned entirely in Great Britain, but the gun crime/murder rate has increased since the ban. Even the overall murder rate may be approaching that of the US, as the 'civil servants' have been torturing the numbers. GB's crime problem is compounded by a not particularly effective poice force, an unwillingness to punish perpetrators, a willingness to prosecute anyone who fights back against the criminals, and an absence of any reasonable way to fight back.
As regards overall number of murders/rate, allowing for some overall peaks and valleys, the trend has been going down, not up, in the US.
What it all boils down to is comfort level, not disarming criminals. Some of us are more comfortable with guns, while others would be more comfortable if at least some of the populace was disarmed, regardless of any negligible impact on criminals or crime.