This past Wednesday the Des Moines Register ran an editorial calling for more gun control as a way of saving medical costs. Interestingly, while the editorial was accompanied by a video talking about drug gang violence, the editorial completely ignored the issue of drug gangs. The Des Moines Register published our letter on Sunday, September 3rd.
Dear Letters Editor:
The online version of your editorial on gun violence and gun control is accompanied by a video of Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert discussing drug gang violence, but your editorial ignores the relationship between gangs and gun violence [Taxpayers foot bill for gun violence, Aug. 30]. The Obama administration estimated that up to 80 percent of crime in communities across the U.S. was gang-related. But there isn’t a lot of hope of stopping drug gangs from getting guns, no more than there is of ending the illegal drug trade.
Gang members can’t go to the police to ask for help getting their drugs back from other gangs. Gangs need guns to protect their valuable property, and they can bring guns into the U.S. as easily as they bring in their drugs. Unfortunately, too often gun control laws merely disarm the law-abiding.
If you really want to put an end to drug gangs, you need to take away their profits. Possibly the only way to do that is to legalize drugs. There will be more drug use and accompanying problems, but there will be less gun violence.
John R. Lott, Jr.
Crime Prevention Research Center