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With regard to the terrible tragedies of madmen with guns [Maximum freedom, minimal responsibility, Ken Trainor, Viewpoints, Aug. 1], I would offer some pragmatic thoughts:
1) These murderous persons attack only where they know all people will definitely be unarmed.
2) As concealed-carry licensing continues to grow in 49 states (not in Illinois), violent crime is down about 50 percent in the past 25 years.
3) Ownership of firearms by law-abiding citizens has quadrupled during that same time period. (Remember when we were told increased guns in our society meant crime would explode and we would all fear each other?)
4) Over 10,000,000 citizens now are potentially legally armed and many hundreds of thousands of citizens have not been injured because criminals fear such citizens.
5) Having "off limit" places where law-abiding citizens cannot potentially carry concealed are the places where the murderers will continue to strike.
6) Psychologists have said for years it is not the weapon but the twisted will to do the murderous rampage that is the guiding factor.
7) Concealed-carry licensees have an extremely minor record of firearm abuse (your armed neighbor will not shoot you).
8) Like it or not, the evidence points to "More Guns, Less Crime," the title of John R. Lott's book, now in its 3rd edition, which in exhaustive analysis makes it clear: criminals, including mass murderers, are really nasty bullies.
9) To stop bullies, the rule remains the same: the bully must fear the honest, stand-tall person — no other way. Ask a police officer who knows crime usually occurs when he/she is not around and no one at the crime scene stands tall.
Conclusion: Mr. John Lott is right. What should we do about it? If you cannot see the only viable answer, go back and read these nine points again. And try to really use your brain to follow Dr. Lott's simple thesis: Intimidate the bully — don't let him intimidate you.