Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The truth on background checks

by John Lott

Gun control "deserves a vote," President Obama said time and again in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday. Sadly, the measure Congress is most likely to pass — beefed-up background checks — may cause more harm than good.

First, checks obviously won't do anything about gun crime in cities like Chicago or New York, which revolves almost exclusively around illegal guns.

But they also wouldn't stop the mass killings Obama mentioned. The Newtown, Conn., shooter stole his mother's guns, while the Tucson, Ariz., and other killers didn't have records that a check would've spotted.

John Lott is a former chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission; his new book, "At the Brink," is due out this week

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