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Gun control doesn't work [Letter]

Is it fear of Maryland's law-abiding citizens actually figuring out the truth that prompts the liberal media to pass on more flawed studies as fact? The Sun's recent editorial ("Gun control works," Feb. 20) attempts to convince us that "cherry picked" data provides clear proof that gun control works. I find a few problems with this conclusion myself.

First of all, this study was performed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. We all know that one of Michael Bloomberg's key objectives is advocating for stricter gun control, so why would we expect anyone at the school to perform an unbiased study? Why did the study choose to look at just Missouri? There are many other states that have enacted stricter regulations and checks over the last 30 years, yet they were not included in this study or "cherry picked" to be the focus of the study. The reality is if data from other states were included there would not be a correlation between stricter gun regulations and a decrease in murders.

If we choose to look at just one state which enacted stricter laws, we can then take Massachusetts to use as an example. In 1998, Massachusetts (similar to what Maryland did just last year) enacted some of the strictest gun control reforms banning semi-automatic "assault" weapons, imposing strict licensing rules, etc. In Massachusetts, the data shows that the firearms murder rate has almost doubled from 65 in 1998 to 122 in 2011. If we really want to inform the public about the effects of gun control then we need to give an unbiased and complete picture of what really happens when laws are loosened or tightened regarding firearms. The reality is if data is cherry picked, it can be manipulated to move agendas along.

Since the Firearms Safety Act of 2013 was enacted last year, there has been no decrease in firearms related murders in Maryland. In fact, 2014 is starting out as one of the most violent in recent history with murder rates continuing to rise. The reality is Maryland's violent crime increase will not be solved by more gun control. Providing Maryland's citizens with flawed studies in an attempt to sway public opinion will not make anyone safer and is counter-productive. The fact is before the passage of the Firearms Safety Act of 2013, Marylanders already had to provide identification, pass a background check and go through a waiting period before being able to purchase a handgun. Forcing law abiding citizens to adhere to ever stricter laws and restricting what firearms they can use to protect themselves does not address the real problem; criminals do not follow the laws.

If we really want to make the average law abiding citizen of Maryland safer, we should stop providing bogus firearms data, loosen the restrictions on who is allowed to carry a firearm and get tougher on the criminals that are committing these violent crimes.

Joseph Graves, White Marsh

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