A 2007 research study conducted at Harvard University hardly the center of the vast right-wing conspiracy, concluded that most popular assumptions about the correlation between gun availability and gun violence are predicated on false premises.
From the study:
"There is a compound assertion that (a) guns are uniquely available in the United States compared with other modern developed nations, which is why (b) the United States has by far the highest murder rate. Though these assertions have been endlessly repeated, statement (b) is, in fact, false and statement (a) is substantially so."
The researchers conclude that there is a correlation between gun ownership and murder, but it’s precisely the opposite of what the conventional wisdom would have you believe. Where gun ownership increases, violence and murder decrease. It seems those who are stymied by gun laws are not the ones who willfully slaughter children. In addition, monsters tend to thrive in so-called “gun-free zones” because they know they will not encounter any opposition from the law-abiding.
This does not mean that there are not common-sense gun regulations that are both constitutional and necessary. Certainly felons have forfeited the right to gun ownership, and the mentally ill should be prevented from owning guns for the safety of others and themselves. But taking guns away from responsible gun owners doesn’t do anyone any good.
Nathan Oman, a law professor at the College of William and Mary, wrote a column on this subject in the Deseret News:
I am not a gun owner or a hunter, but I have friends who are members of the American gun culture in good standing. These are people who gleefully take a buck home every season, raise their children to use firearms, own handguns for self-defense and pledge symbolic allegiance to the Second Amendment and an armed citizenry ready to violently resist tyranny. They have been raised in a world of guns, and they live in a world of guns. These also are not the kind of people who start shooting innocent children, nor does their culture encourage such things. They imagine the gun owner as a defender of the weak and a provider for the family. They do not exalt the nihilistic tough guy mowing down innocents with automatic weapons. The soil from which that cultural image springs lies elsewhere.
All of this is true, but none of it is emotionally satisfying. We all see the horror, and we all want the horror squashed, destroyed, and vanquished forever. That’s why banning guns feels good. It feels like it will make guns go away and save lives. But feelings aren’t facts. Gun bans don’t save lives. They exacerbate the very problem they are designed to solve. Shouldn’t that make a difference in how we approach this problem?