BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today said a new report by criminologists Prof. Don Kates of the United States and Prof. Gary Mauser of Canada that shows the rate of firearms ownership is irrelevant to the homicide and violent crime rate should be required reading, especially for reporters, editorial writers and elected representatives.

Appearing in the current issue of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (pages 649-694), the Kates/Mauser report entitled “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International Evidence” is a detailed look at gun ownership and how it does not relate to the incidence of murder and violence. They conclude that “nations with very stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those which allow guns.”

“The Kates/Mauser research strips bare the claims by gun control proponents that America is more dangerous than other countries because of our right to keep and bear arms,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “What these two seasoned researchers have revealed is that some of the most violent countries in Europe are those with the most stringent gun laws. It seems hardly a coincidence that here in America, the highest crime rates are in places with strict gun control policies, such as Chicago and Washington, D.C. However, in areas here and abroad with high rates of gun ownership violent crime rates are lower.

“The authors note an earlier study by Kates that showed a declining murder rate over the 25-year period from 1973 to 1997, while overall gun ownership increased 103 percent and handgun ownership went up 163 percent,” he continued. “Yet during that period, the murder rate dropped 27.7 percent.”

Gottlieb said the timing of this report’s release in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy is significant due to the renewal of the gun control debate following the recent events at Virginia Tech.

“Kates and Mauser make a solid factual case against all the emotion-laden rhetoric from the gun control crowd,” Gottlieb stated. “While their research will obviously not close the debate, they’ve made a strong case against the traditional anti-gun mantra. Gun ownership is not the problem, and this new report proves it.”