Gun restrictions would help criminals and hurt law-abiding citizens

Criminals must overwhelmingly support Gov. Martin O'Malley's gun control proposals ("In gun control debate, no easy fixes to Baltimore street violence," Jan. 26). And why not? These gun control proposals will create a safer working environment with less risk of being harmed or captured. This legislation would help to define "safe" areas for criminals to ply their trade, where victims can be counted on, and where the police will be late to the party. Criminals look for easy targets with minimum risk, and the governor's bill would deliver this and more.

Bans, restrictions, permits and background checks do not apply to criminals. In fact, such measures are very helpful to all types of criminals: muggers, thieves, car jackers, kidnappers and home invasion specialists. Anarchists, political terrorists and the mentally unstable would also benefit from these bills.

Bans don't work, at least not against those intended. Supply and demand voids each and every attempt at limiting something. Prohibition and the current war on drugs are instructive examples of how well-intended bans just don't work out so well.

Bans do work however, against law-abiding citizens who do not engage in criminal activities, but rather, only want to protect themselves. Law-abiding citizens follow the rules, pay the taxes, and want to simply live their lives unthreatened by criminals. Sure, we have the police, but they are best at unrolling the yellow crime tape after the criminals are long gone.

Governor O'Malley's proposal is based on fundamentally flawed assumptions. It is great for criminals, but lousy legislation for the rest of us. We strongly oppose bans, restrictions, and permits as a response to violent crime. They just don't work as intended or promised.

Melvin Barnhart, Randallstown

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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