Greater restrictions on gun ownership not needed

Published: December 10, 2012
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Referring to the murder-suicide involving a Kansas City Chiefs football player, Bob Costas used NBC's Sunday night football as a platform for advocating that greater restrictions on gun ownership would prevent these tragedies. That claim is refuted by the FBI's Uniform Crime Statistics. These reports are available online and show the U.S. murder rate was 4.7 per 100,000 population in 2011. Washington, D.C., has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. Both guns and ammunition must be registered with the city. Guns must be kept within the home or business and can't be taken outside. It's illegal for visitors to bring guns into the city. With all these restrictions, the D.C. murder rate is 17.5, more than three times the national average.

Conversely, the state of Utah has some of the weakest gun control laws and its murder rate is 1.9. If federal authorities are serious about reducing violent crimes they have an excellent opportunity right under their noses. Washington provides an ideal laboratory for a detailed analysis to determine the underlying factors that contribute to their high murder rate. And it wouldn't be weak gun control laws.

Bill Walker, Yukon