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Trouble in Paradise: Small Arms in the Pacific: A Brief Critique

This paper provides a brief review of a 2003 study by Alpers and Twyford in which they claim that the availability of civilian firearms contributes to criminal violence in the Pacific region. The authors admit that they could not collect any information on illegal or smuggled firearms, but instead they chose to focus on firearms that are legally owned. Despite recognizing that the principal source of illegal arms in the Pacific is police armouries, these authors conclude that the most important next step to solving the problems of criminal violence in the region is to introduce more restrictive firearms laws and to disarm civilians. This is a stunning non sequitur as the authors merely assume their conclusion. Their study provides no empirical support that civilian ownership of firearms poses any potential for criminal or terrorist misuse.

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Professor Gary A. Mauser, Published June 2005.

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