MCSM Responds To Lt. Governor's Anti-Gun Claims



Commentary


In the November 17th, 1997 issue of the Metropolitan Times, an article written by Susan Freitag entitled "Gun laws get credit for decrease in crime" says that state officials claim the decrease in violent crime is because of their new gun laws which are among the toughest in the nation. Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is quoted as agreeing with this assessment. The article goes on to quote some statistics that officials say support their conclusions. Sarah and Jim Brady is said to have "praised Maryland's results and said "it was just the beginning of benefits from Maryland's tough regulations. Parris Glendening is also quoted as saying "the new gun law is one of the key components in making our communities safer."

Among government officials, no one seems to be concerned that the new laws seriously infringe on Constitutional rights.

Below is MCSM's response to the Lt. Governor's comments...


TO THE EDITOR

Metropolitan Washington Times
3600 New York Avenue N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002


Ladies and Gentlemen:

One scarecely knows how to comment intelligently regarding the latest attack upon citizen firearm owners by Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, (D) Maryland, as revealed in your story of November 17, 1997 entitled "Gun Laws Get Credit for Decrease in Crime". But us citizens of Maryland must continue to try.

Apparently, Ms. Townsend tries to link her 1996 bills restricting firearm ownership and transfer to a decrease in crime in Maryland (with some help from Sarah and Jim Brady of Handgun Control Inc.). They are wrong, tragically wrong. Most respected criminologists such as James Q. Wilson, Peter Rossi, Gary Kleck, James Wright, and others, trace decreases in crime to demography and slowing down of 'revolving door' sentencing (in Maryland and elsewhere). That is, more of the bad guys are locked up for longer periods, as a result of the campaign by victims-rights organizations and the National Rifle Association.

Moreover, Professor John Lott of the University of Chicago has completed a statistical analysis of all 3054 counties in the U.S., and concludes the jurisdictions that allow more citizen self-defense have reduced crime. Maryland politicians still seem to be caught up in warring upon citizen owners of firearms, and even citizens who may wish to purchase and carry mace or pepper spray (Ms. Townsend delivered an hysterical call for such bans at the House of Delegates last year, but did not get most of her agenda passed by the legislature).

Fortunately, the Glendenning administration is still unable to repeal the Natural Law of self defense in the Free State of Maryland. But they continue to try.


Sincerely,


C. Stuart Broad
Legal Counsel





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Most recent revision August 1999