LETTER: Gun bans won’t stop mass murders

Dear Editor:

Last week John Arendt posted a column titled Good people, bad people, and guns.

John made the statement that if the weapon used had been banned that the outcome of the Christchurch, Ecole Polytechnique, and Quebec City mosque shootings would have turned out differently.

But would they?

READ ALSO: COLUMN: Good people, bad people and guns

The Christchurch shooter, Brenton Tarrant, was caught with two bombs as well as his firearms.

In his manifesto, the shooter lists a number of highly lethal methods he might have used to carry out the act of terrorism, but he chose firearms “for the effect it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the effect it would have on the politics of the United States and thereby the political situation of the world.”

Even without the weapon John thinks is responsible the Christchurch massacre, Tarrant would have still carried it out, just using other means.

The Ecole Polytechique shooter has always been referred to as Marc Lepine but his birth name was Gamil Garbi, son of a wife beating Algerian immigrant. He grew up learning to hate women from his father.

Once again the specific weapon wouldn’t have made a difference. (www.mcleans.ca/general/excusing-the-men-who-ran-away/.)

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Vehicles have mowed people down for several years now.

The Tsarnaev brothers (Boston Marathon), Timothy McVeigh, and the Irish Republican Army all used bombs. Twenty-nine people at a Kunming, China train station and up to 1,000,000 Tutsi in Rwanda were killed with long knives. The 9/11 terrorists used airplanes.

To paraphrase a popular saying, “Where there is a will they will find a weapon”.

There is evidence that the weapon used is a matter of personal preference for the perpetrator in ideologically motivated killings and banning guns won’t stop that from happening.

Will banning guns make a population safer in general as our government is suggesting? It hasn’t in any of the countries it’s already been tried in.

There is no evidence that the gun laws the Liberals implemented in 1995 ever did anything but waste $2 billion taxpayer dollars.

Australia banned many types of guns in 1996. Although homicides stayed the same, armed robberies increased 59 per cent.

READ ALSO: New Zealand Parliament votes to ban semi-automatic weapons

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The UK banned handguns in 1997. Murder rates doubled in the next seven years.

Jamaica banned all guns in 1974 and murder rates quadrupled.

Ireland banned most guns in 1972, murders increased five fold by 1974 and stayed 30 per cent higher than pre-ban (from garymauser.net.)

Not only is there no data that shows gun bans reduce violence, there is strong evidence that they actually make people less safe.

What about the opposite situation where there are lots of guns?

It’s interesting to note that the worst gun violence is in gun free zones. Chicago has the most homicides in the U.S. and it’s a gun free zone.

Since U.S. schools became gun free zones in 1990, 92 per cent of all mass shootings have been in gun free zones.

Honduras is a gun free zone and it has the highest murder rate in the world.

The Kates/Mauser report of 2007 showed a strong correlation in European countries between high gun ownership and low crime/homicide rates.

And then there is the special case of Kennesaw, Georgia. In 1982, Kennesaw passed an ordinance which required every household to have a firearm and ammunition. The crime rate went down the day the ordinance took effect.

Crime dropped 89 per cent and has stayed low since.

All the evidence points toward gun control and gun bans as being extremely counterproductive in terms of safety.

Charles Lopez

Cherryville

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