A study that analyzed national data over a 12-year period, and concluded that the Brady Gun Control Law had no effect on homicides and suicides, brought a strong response from Alan Gottlieb, Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation.

“So much for ‘effective gun control’ that Brady Law proponents pandered when they lobbied for passage of that legislation in 1993,” Gottlieb observed.

The study, which analyzed data from 1985 through 1997, concluded that the restrictive Brady handgun control measure did not impact homicide or suicide rates in states that had less restrictive handgun laws prior to Brady’s 1993 enactment.

Results were reported earlier this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The work was co-written by Jens Ludwig, a public policy specialist at Georgetown University, and Phillip J. Cook, a Duke University crime researcher. Both men said more research needs to be done on the subject, because their work did not study the effects of interstate gun trafficking or “secondary” sales between private citizens. Secondary interstate private sales and gun trafficking are both violations of current federal laws.

However, Gottlieb said the question is not whether private sales have much bearing on homicides or suicides, but whether the Brady Law itself has been effective in reducing deaths in these two categories.

“Clearly, the Brady Law has not had an impact,” Gottlieb stated, “That being the case, the JAMA report confirms what gun rights advocates been saying since before the Brady Law was signed. It won’t work. It hasn’t worked.

“This brings up an interesting dilemma for gun control proponents,” Gottlieb continued. “Since their law hasn’t worked, they’ll probably demand tighter controls, insisting that the new measures will be ‘meaningful.’ But They’ll actually be admitting that Brady has been meaningless, and if that’s the case, it ought to be repealed.”

While Brady Law supporters, including President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, have been claiming the law has helped reduce crime, Gottlieb suggested tougher laws spearheaded by gun rights organizations may have been far more effective.

“We created ‘Three Strikes and You’re Out’ and ‘Hard Time for Armed Crime’ legislation through the public initiative process,” Gottlieb recalled. “Both measures passed overwhelmingly here in Washington State, and subsequently swept the country. Many other states passed similar, or even stronger laws, that lock up violent repeat offenders instead of infringing on the rights of honest citizens.

“As a result of locking up recidivist criminals,” Gottlieb contended, “we’ve taken them out of circulation, ending their crime sprees. While our laws have been working, Clinton and Gore, and other Brady Law supporters have been claiming their restrictive gun legislation is responsible for safer streets. The Ludwig-Cook study proves otherwise. The Brady law remains costly, unconstitutional, and ineffective.”

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