Rifle Painting Services in the Midwest
Gun violence and its prevention were thrust dramatically onto the public's agenda on April 20, 1999, with the shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. President Clinton and the Congress responded with proposals ranging from mandating background checks for gun purchases at gun shows to cracking down on juvenile offenders. Spurred by the tragedy, people across the country debated how to prevent young people from getting access to firearms.
However, the Columbine shootings did not happen in a vacuum. Communities throughout the U.S. were already grappling with issues over firearms availability and safety. In the Midwest in particular, over the next one to two years, every Midwest state except Indiana1 is expected to consider legislation that would require a concealed firearms permit to be issued to any non-convict who applies. This reflects a national strategic priority on the part of the National Rifle Association to weaken limitations on carrying concealed weapons (CCW) and fight other public health approaches to reducing handgun availability.
The national attention paid to the spring 1999 Missouri vote on carrying concealed weapons (CCW) is evidence of the media's strong interest in the controversy generated by this issue. Economist John Lott, the leading spokesperson for this perspective, is actively seeking and receiving significant coverage for his position that "the presence of concealed guns generally saves lives." In addition, other visible and vocal proponents of unfettered gun availability advance his perspective. In a letter to the editor published in The New York Times on April 14, 1999, a writer quoting Lott's research suggested that "criminals are deterred because they don't know which potential victims are armed."
However, a strong body of public health research reaches different conclusions. For example, one study found that having a gun in the home triples the risk that a resident or friend of that household will be killed with the gun.2 Such research details the severe detrimental public health effects of widespread, easy access to guns.
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