Gun Control: An American Economist’s Viewpoint

By Professor David Cooper

As you read this blog entry, there are three things you ought to know about me. First, I am an American. While I have never owned a gun, I have known and know many people who do. These aren’t just casual acquaintances; I have friends and family members who own guns. I don’t find the idea strange. The people I know who own guns all have rational reasons for buying them. Some want them for sport, some for hunting, some for protection, and some because they feel armed citizens limit the power of the government. You may think some of these are poor reasons for owning a gun, but they are not crazy. Living in a country where gun ownership is common and deeply entwined with the culture, it seems neither unusual nor irrational that somebody should want to own a gun.

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