The U.S. already has effective gun laws - let them work

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I believe Rob Conroy’s frustration (“Real Gun Control Needed,” June 24 letter) stems from his awkward realization that the reason his pet legislation languishes is because our representatives understand that expanded background checks and mandatory reporting of stolen guns won’t work and are deeply unpopular with Pennsylvanians.

Mass shootings are not up. There is a perception that they are, a result of the “if it bleeds it leads” mentality of today’s reporting. In a study recently ordered by Barack Obama, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that gun violence is declining. Northeastern University criminology professor James Alan Fox has said repeatedly that it is not an epidemic.

Mr. Conroy repeats the statistic that “in 2012 more than 6 million guns were sold nationally without a background check.” This has been debunked by PolitiFact. Anyway, the same CDC report cited above says that “stolen guns and retail/​gun show purchases account for very little crime.”

The claim by Mr. Conroy and CeaseFirePA that state House Bill 1010 on expanded background checks and House Bill 1515 on mandatory reporting of stolen guns would make a difference in crime rates is also a stretch of credulity.

Of 15,000 law enforcement officers polled by PoliceONE, only 1 out of 10 supported banning private sales of firearms, with 98.5 percent opposed to “tighter limits on weapons sales and transfers.”

Even Mark Glaze, the former executive director of the anti-gun group that used to be called Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said that “when a mass shooting happens, [no law] we have to offer would have stopped [it].”

It is noble to dedicate one’s life to reducing gun crime. But pursuing meaningless legislation that will do nothing but squelch the liberties of law-abiding Pennsylvanians is unconscionable.

KIM STOLFER
President
Firearms Owners Against Crime
McDonald


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