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Readers Respond

Criminals undeterred by gun laws

There he goes again. The foolishness periodically advanced by Dan Rodricks that more stringent gun laws will somehow cause a reduction in gun crimes ("Adapting to the newest form of gun insanity," July 24) is belied by history, common sense and the real world.

Even Draconian gun control regimens imposed by governments of all kinds since the invention of gunpowder have failed to make a dent in the acquisition of arms by those intent on criminality, be they drug traffickers in Mexico or East Baltimore, madmen in Norway or Colorado, terrorists in almost every country in the world, insurgents, justified or not, of all kinds, and those motivated by more mundane factors — lust, greed, envy, revenge, etc.

Very few of the huge number of public shootings in Baltimore each year are committed by those who acquired their weapons legally.

Especially in these tough economic times, criminals can hardly be expected to go without the tools of their nefarious trade and thus become voluntarily unemployed just to comply with some new gun control measure. Murderers, by definition, have little concern for compliance with any laws.

At the same time, those who lawfully possess and those who have been issued permits to carry guns commit very few crimes with them. Moreover, a number of studies have shown that an armed populace of law-abiding citizens serves to deter and prevent violent crime.

In the feel good world of Mr. Rodricks, all that matters is doing something, however ineffective, about the problem. Most of the rest of us want results.

Barry C. Steel, Phoenix

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