As lawmakers debate a new version of the assault weapons ban, gun rights advocates and criminologists are pointing out that many statistics show gun ownership actually decreases instances of crime.
Banning the type of assault weapons used in massacres similar to the one last December in Newtown, Conn., may cut down on the number of casualties in mass shootings but won’t necessarily prevent them, according to Fox News.
"The best empirical research on the matter finds that, where gun ownership levels are highest, in fact, homicide rates are far lower," said Tomislav Kovandzic, a criminologist at the University of Texas.
A report by Mother Jones pointed out that in most of the mass shootings over the last several decades, an armed citizen was not able to stop the attack, though there are examples of it happening.
"There is no evidence to support the argument that arming good guys is a good idea," Mother Jones reported. "We studied scores of these shootings and in the last 30 years, not a single shooting has been stopped by an armed citizen. Conversely, there's evidence it is a bad idea."
Kovandzic, who studies defensive gun use, said that while there are statistics which show the benefits of preventing crime that come from an armed citizenry, as well as the lack of prevention of mass murders, lawmakers must consider the full range of gun-related violence when enacting any new restrictions or laws.
"Mass public shootings probably account for 1/10th of 1 percent of all murders and to focus on that 1/10th of 1 percent to understand the role of defensive gun use is really not the way you want to go about it,” he said.
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