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In some cases gun control may be favored even if the price is more death Consider for example H Laurence Rosss review of Gary Klecks book Point Blank in the American Journal of Sociology Klecks book was awarded the Hindelang Prize as the most significant contribution to criminology in the last three years Ross praises Klecks meticulous research and analysis and Klecks debunking of many of the myths surrounding the gun issue And Ross does not deny Klecks conclusion that because handguns are frequently used by law-abiding citizens for lawful defensive purposes the availability of handguns to law-abiding citizens results in a large net saving of innocent lives every year even after accounting for the large number of handgun murders and suicides Yet saving lives according to Ross is not the most important goal But despite the masses of data and the cleverness of his analysis and argument Kleck has missed the point To accept Klecks viewpoint is to embrace a society based on an internal as well as an external balance of terror The social order is seen to rest adequately on masses of potential victims using the threat of gun violence against masses of potential armed criminals The spectacle is one that ought to disgust rather than cheer the civilized observer Not only is Ross willing to sacrifice the protection of innocent life in order that civilized persons will no longer need to feel disgust at crime victims using force for protection Ross actually looks forward to more criminal gun violence as a spur to further controls After noting the fate of James Brady confined to a wheelchair after being struck by a bullet intended for President Reagan Ross notes approvingly that Bradys tragedy provided impetus for attempts at broader control Ross looks forward to the spur of more incidents more heinous ones with more tragic or important victims to develop the necessary determination for society to progress beyond narrow controls to
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