If you want a fair comparison of the effect gun control can have on crime, you don't compare Washington, D.C. to rural Virginia. Maybe, just maybe, big cities are trying gun control BECAUSE they have such problems? It's like saying "Since over 90 percent of people with cancer have seen a doctor in the last year, doctors cause cancer." The fact that New York has more crime now than ever should not imply that the very limited form of gun control there doesn't work; you could just as well, by the same argument, blame alternate-side-of-the-street parking.
Is it really so hard to see that each and every illegally obtained gun was at some time or another legal? Is it so easy to ignore the fact that owning a handgun is more dangerous to you and your family than not owning one? If you want a reasonably fair comparison, look at Canada. Look at just about any industrial nation that has widespread gun control. Illegal guns are hard to find because legal ones are scarce. Can you guess where the illegal ones that do exist tend to come from?
I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that your "freedom to bear arms" is killing people throughout the Americas, and, to some extent, worldwide. Oh yeah, and if you're mistrustful of the government, just ask your local gun-rights activist for a list of their top contributors. Subsidizing an industry is a lame justification for the misery we're forced to endure as a result.
Todd David Rudick
computer science graduate student