Sunday, December 23, 2012

More or fewer guns? The experts are divided

By James Rainey, Los Angeles Times

December 20, 2012, 5:34 p.m. Two governors, a congressman, various state legislators and a host of conservative commentators joined the chief executive of the Gun Owners of America this week in suggesting that the country needs more guns, in the right hands, to prevent mass murders like the one at a Connecticut elementary school.

Such opinions strike many blue-state Americans as absurd. Gun control advocates often cite studies showing higher rates of suicide and homicide in firearms-permissive cultures, with strikingly lower rates in nations with strict controls on weapons.

But there is no scientific consensus on the effect of gun restrictions in America, and many residents of one small Georgia town say their experience bolsters the idea that putting more guns in the hands of the "good guys" will stem gun crimes. Kennesaw, Ga., population 30,175, mandated in 1982 that "every head of household … maintain a firearm together with ammunition."

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