Gary Kleck,a criminologist from Florida State University, and Paul Helmke, the former president and CEO of the Brady Center/Brady debate the claim:
While laws that prohibit gun ownership would reduce crimes perpetrated by criminals, that benefit would be more than offset by the foregone opportunities for defensive gun use by victims of crime.
It was an Oxford-style debate in which the audience votes on the resolution at the beginning and end of the event, and the side that gains the most ground is victorious. Kleck, arguing the affirmative, prevailed by convincing about six percent of audience members to change their minds.
Therefore, what we have here is a criminologist debating a criminal. And, as is usually the case in a fair intellectual fight, the truth wins.
I would like to suggest a series of debates with a similar theme leading up to a debate about the criminal penalties those who infringe, or advocate for the infringing of, the right to keep and bear arms. Something like:
Since the infringing upon the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms by numerous government officials has resulted in reduced ability to defend against violent predators, including the government itself, and this resulted in countless unnecessary deaths, rapes, injuries, and property loss, is the death penalty sufficient? Should the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment be lifted?
I am inclined to hold that the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment should remain in place. But I’m willing to listen if someone wishes to convince me otherwise.