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[Kennesaw, Georgia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennesaw,_Georgia#Gun_law) is a city of about 30,000 with a mandatory gun ownership law, and saw a direct, unidirectional reduction in crime across the board since the law was enacted in 1982. It is considered one of the safest cities in the US, and was one of the “10 best towns for families,” in 2007. There are other areas throughout the country that have seen correlations between increased gun ownership and reduced crime. I’m not advocating this be implemented everywhere, obviously there are places where this would likely work against us; but it is proof in concept that gun advocates are not “flat out wrong.” Ignoring these examples can only harm us, as this could possibly be a useful crime reduction tool in certain populations.
You also can’t ignore the fact that gun culture is deeply ingrained into the lives of certain people in the US, and they make up a significant percentage of the population. Forcing a sudden, drastic set of regulations on them would result in heavy opposition. Some of them have been storing arms and ammunition all their lives and have a healthy distrust for the government as is, so it is not unfounded to worry that they might retaliate violently, resulting in many thousands of deaths. If it’s our ultimate goal to reduce violence, than direct, immediate gun restrictions are not the way to go.
Finally, though it might be easier to restrict guns (I would disagree for reasons stated above) than to provide adequate healthcare and change the culture of violence in this country, it is just a band-aid to cover up more serious problems. Even if you were to somehow remove every legally owned gun in the United States, there is still a massive number of illegal weapons, and though there *may* be a reduction in gun-related violence, there would still be much more violence than in most other developed countries. It might be more difficult, but by working to correct the underlying problems (which we are), we can reduce violent crime more than we could by removing guns, and without needing to take away what millions of Americans consider to be a right.