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Gary Mauser

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

When the Obama administration announced it was reversing U.S. policy and would back launching talks on a treaty to regulate arms sales as long as the talks operated by consensus, the scholarly work of Gary Mauser took on increased significance. The Obama decision overturns the Bush administration opposition to such a treaty because it felt national controls were better and obviated the possibility of international interference with Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Professor Mauser has written extensively on the inadvisability of certain international restrictions on gun ownership. “When I heard Gary speak at our recent Gun Rights Policy Conference, I knew that this was the time to nominate him for the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award,” said John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Director of Public Affairs. Mauser speaks out publicly against the United Nations Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. He and others know the Program is a scam for an international body to curtail citizens’ gun rights by declaring certain of their activities “illicit.” He attacks the phony rationale used to advance the Program. “It is a myth that more civilian guns mean more murders,” writes Mauser, Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University in Canada. “My analysis of a United Nations survey of 33 nations found no meaningful relationship between homicide rates and gun ownership. It is utterly false that most murderers are ordinary people who went wrong because they had guns. The overwhelming majority of murderers have life histories of violence, restraining orders, substance abuse problems, or psychopathology. It is generally illegal for such people to have guns, but unlike good people, they ignore gun laws – just as they ignore laws against violence. “In Europe, there are very few instances of nations with high gun ownership having higher murder rates than neighboring nations with lower gun ownership. If anything, the reverse seems to be true. For example, though Norway has one of the highest rates of firearm ownership per capita in Western Europe, it nevertheless has the lowest murder rate. And Luxembourg, despite its total handgun ban, has a higher murder rate than Norway or Austria.” Mauser, who has dual American and Canadian citizenship and earned his doctorate from the University of California at Irvine, declares “bans are rarely effective. In nations where guns are less available, criminals get them anyway. After decades of everstricter controls, Great Britain banned nearly all handguns in 1997 and forced permit holders to turn them in. Yet from 1997 to 2005, both total homicides and gun homicides had increased by more than 25 percent. Despite the enforced collection and destruction of almost all legally owned handguns, the Metropolitan Police are reported as saying, ‘Gun crime is out of control.’ “Even if gun bans did work, many alternative weapons are available to would-be murderers. Eight decades of police state enforcement of handgun prohibition have kept Russian gun ownership low, resulting in few gun murders. Yet Russia’s murder rates have long been four times higher than those in the United States and 20 times higher than rates in countries such as Norway.” Married to Edelina Mauser-Wong, M.D., Gary declares “the ‘more guns mean more murders’ mythology flies in the face of history. Europe had low murder rates before World War I despite high gun ownership and virtually no controls. Severe European gun laws appeared for
political reasons in the tumultuous post-World War I era. Despite ever stricter gun laws, both political and apolitical violence has increased apace in Europe. “A review of the European experience demonstrates more guns correlating with less murder. Nine European nations, including Germany, Austria, Denmark and Norway, have high rates of civilian firearm ownership. Nine others, including Luxembourg, Russia and Hungary, have virtually disarmed their civilians. But the aggregate murder rates of those nine low-gun-ownership nations are three times higher than those of the nine high-gun-ownership nations.” Mauser states flat-out “the reason that nations or regions with more guns tend toward lower violence is political rather than criminological. Gun ownership generally has no effect on how much violence a society has. Politicians often think that banning
guns will be a quick fix. But gun bans don’t work; if anything, they make matters worse. They disarm the law-abiding, yet are ignored by the violent and the criminal. Nations with severe violence problems tend to have severe gun laws.”