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A Call for Training for Owners of Guns

December 29, 1991

Every so often you read in the paper about a city like San Francisco or Azusa that offers money for guns as an effort to reduce crime. It is an act of desperation to give the public a feeling that something is being done to prevent crime. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The root causes of crime are so multifaceted that, like cancer, they are almost impossible to treat effectively. Poverty, drugs, social pressure, coupled with a criminal justice system that sends all the wrong messages--namely that "crime pays"--make a perfect environment to promote crime.

The very act of disarming honest people will increase crime because an armed citizenry is the most effective deterrent to street crime. Yet almost every police chief in the country, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, continues to promote this policy. I'm afraid the reason is more politically motivated than to have any real effect on crime.

If Azusa Police Capt. John Broderick were truly interested in reducing crime and promoting better relations with the public, he would get together with all of the local police chiefs in the area and begin a program for gun safety training and marksmanship.

The police train on a regular basis and have their own ranges. Opening them up to the public one day per week for safety training would not only reduce crime, but reduce accidental shootings by curious children and untrained adults, especially women.

It would also give the police an opportunity to interact with the public in a positive way, reminding everyone that we're all on the same side.

Teaching the legal ramifications of the use of deadly force would reduce the number of shootings by honest citizens who mistakenly use firearms to protect themselves and their property and inadvertently break the law.

A program similar to this in Orlando, Fla., a number of years ago dropped the rate of crimes such as rape and robbery by record levels in a very short time.

Owning a firearm for self-defense is a very serious personal choice. If you do not have the mental capacity or emotional stability to own one responsibly, then do not arm yourself with a gun. Turn it in at your local police station or sell it on consignment at a legitimate gun store.

If you do chose to own a gun, then be responsible and get some training. Your life and the lives of everyone around you depend on it.



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