United States justice statistics show Americans need firearms for defense of life and property, says gun law expert. Washington, DC 20036 August 7 2006 “An analysis of crime figures released Sunday by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that law-abiding Americans should continue to enjoy legal access to the possession and use of firearms,” gun law expert John M. Snyder said here this morning.
“If anything, this access should be strengthened for the good of citizens and the safety of society,” he added.
According to the justice report, 56 percent of the violent felons convicted in the nation’s 75 most populous counties from 1990 through 2002 had a prior conviction record, 38 percent had a prior felony conviction and 15 percent had been previously convicted for a violent felony.
Thirty-six percent of the violent felons had a least one active criminal status at the time of their arrest, including 18 percent on probation, 12 percent on release pending disposition of a prior case and seven percent on parole.
“What these numbers show, for the umpteenth time,” observed Snyder, “is that there is a violent criminal class in our country. Law-abiding people have to be able to protect themselves and their families and their property from these thugs. In order to be able to do this, they need access to the tools with which to do it. There is no better self-defense instrument than a gun, in particular a handgun.
“People who seek to deny citizens this access, no matter how well-intended they may be, and whether they come from political, academic, professional, business, media or ecclesiastical backgrounds, in reality work against the true interests of law-abiding citizens and in favor of the nefarious interests of the criminal class. To be blunt, they are allies of the violent criminal class. At some point, they’re bound to get what’s coming to them.”
Snyder pointed out that, “at present, there are a number of proposals in Congress and in state legislatures to loosen current legal restrictions on the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes. One of the most significant of these is a congressional proposal to free law-abiding residents of our Nation’s Capital from the draconian gun control system to which they have been subjected for 30 years. It’s time to overturn the D.C. gun law and allow law-abiding citizens in Washington, D.C. to own and carry handguns to protect themselves and their loved ones from the reign of violent crime that hand-wringing local officials seem incapable of effectively confronting.
“There are a number of other proposals on deck at various stages for congressional consideration, including more than one to prohibit the use of federal funds for confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens during times of public disaster. Congress should act favorably on them.”
“Guns save lives,” Snyder said, “and a number of scholarly studies, such as one conducted by Gary Kleck of Florida State University, and another conducted by John Lott of the American Enterprise Institute, clearly demonstrate this. Easing legal access to firearms for law-abiding private citizens correlates with precipitous decreases in rates of violent crime. It’s time public policy reflected this truth.”
A former Associate Editor of The American Rifleman, official monthly journal of the National Rifle Association, Snyder is Public Affairs Director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Public Information Officer of the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens, Treasurer of the Second Amendment Foundation, and Chairman of the St. Gabriel Possenti Society, Inc.