Jeff Jacoby on the push for more gun laws in Massachusetts
The notion that urban gangs can be deprived of guns by laws limiting their legal sale to one a month is wishful thinking. Criminals can always get guns. They buy them on the black market; get them out of state; steal them. Almost by definition, the impact of gun-control laws falls primarily on the law-abiding. That is why gun bans don’t prevent murder, and why homicides decline when gun bans are lifted. John Lott, the economist and author of “More Guns, Less Crime," notes that the murder rate in Washington, DC, soared after the city banned handguns in 1977. Yet in the two years since the Supreme Court struck down that ban as unconstitutional, murders in DC have plummeted.
To be sure, a one-gun-per-month limit is not an outright ban, and though it’s unlikely to have much impact on criminal gangs, it’s also unlikely to hinder most honest gun buyers. Lott says he knows of no peer-reviewed study documenting a decrease in crime as a result of one-gun-per-month laws. The effect of enacting such a law in Massachusetts will be marginal at best. . . .