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4. Wouldn't it help to at least ban handguns?




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This article is from the can.talk.guns FAQ, by Skeeter Abell-Smith ab133@sfn.saskatoon.sk.ca with numerous contributions by others.

4. Wouldn't it help to at least ban handguns?

Handguns have been required to be registered since 1934 (unlike most
rifles and shotguns), yet their use has been increasing (even though the
less regulated and more deadly rifles and shotguns are easier to
procure). From the 1960s to now, the use of handguns in homicide has
roughly doubled (from 10% of homicides to 18%). [StatCan] Shotgun and
rifle use has actually dropped. If registration works, why are
criminals moving from firearms that need not be registered to ones that
must? If we ban pistols to prevent use in crime, the effect will only
be to confiscate over half a billion dollars in property from those who
legally possess roughly 1,000,000 registered pistols.

More control seems to be increasing use, one reason could be that the
now-existing smuggling infrastructure (thanks to high cigarette and
alcohol taxes) makes it trivial to "import" pistols. [Misfire: The
Black Market and Gun Control, The Mackenzie Institute, 1995] The strict
anti-gun laws make smuggling profitable.

Project Cannon and Operation Gunrunner in 1994 both found that about 90%
of pistols recovered and/or purchased "from the street" were
unregistered and could not be traced in Canada. [from the
project/operation reports]

A good reference for US vs. Canada is Brandon S. Centerwall, "Homicide
and the prevalence of handguns: Canada and the United States, 1976 to
1980," _American Journal of Epidemiology_, 134 (11), pp 1245-60, Dec 1,
1991.

Abstract: As compared with Americans, Canadians in the 1970s
possessed one tenth as many handguns per capita. To assess whether
this affected the total criminal homicide rate, the mean annual
criminal homicide rates of Canadian provinces were compared with
those of adjoining US states for the period of 1976 to 1980. NO
CONSISTENT DIFFERENCES WERE OBSERVED; CRIMINAL HOMICIDE RATES WERE
SOMETIMES HIGHER IN THE CANADIAN PROVINCE, and sometimes higher in
the adjoining US state. MAJOR DIFFERENCES IN THE PREVALENCE OF
HANDGUNS HAVE NOT RESULTED IN DIFFERING TOTAL CRIMINAL HOMICIDE
RATES IN CANADIAN PROVINCES AND ADJOINING US STATES. The similar
rates of criminal homicide are primarily attributable to underlying
similar rates of aggravated assault. (emphasis added)

 

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