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美国国会打算允许人们随处带枪

Thomas Gabor 2017年12月13日

若《隐蔽携带枪支互惠法案》付诸实施,美国各州就得承认其他州颁发的隐蔽武器携带许可。

拉斯维加斯和德州萨瑟兰斯普林斯发生严重枪击案后,美国国会本应通过强化枪支管理法律来保护美国民众免受枪支暴力威胁,而不是削弱这些法律。但情况恰好相反,在上周体现政党路线的投票中,参议院司法委员会通过了《隐蔽携带枪支互惠法案》(简称H.R.38),而这正是美国步枪协会的首要目标。

如果付诸实施,美国各州就都得承认其他州颁发的隐蔽武器携带许可,即使后者的携带隐蔽武器标准要低得多,甚至不必申请任何许可。这可能成为一项危险的法律,因为它将允许人们毫无障碍地带着枪支穿州过府,无论颁发许可证的州对持枪审批和培训有怎样的要求。

在枪支造成的死亡人数不断上升以及大规模枪击事件造成空前伤亡的情况下,此举无疑是个讽刺,这么多年来我们的第一部全国性枪支法律首先保障的是拥枪者权利,而不是提高公共安全水平。这同样似是而非,这部全国性法律并未对持有致命武器的人设定全国统一的高标准,反而保留了各不相同的州法律,并让所有州按最低标准执行。步枪协会和共和党还剥夺了各州通过实施严格的持枪许可标准来保护其居民的权力,这有悖于他们的保守派原则。

制定枪支政策的联邦机构应该考虑一下是否有确凿证据显示这样的举措可以改善公共安全状况,但相关研究清楚地表明,人们携带更多枪支几乎没什么好处,而且会对公共安全构成威胁。斯坦福大学教授约翰·多诺休指出,允许携带枪支的法律使相关州的犯罪率上升了15个百分点。美国联邦调查局研究了2000-2013年期间的160起枪杀案,结果发现其中只有一起被持有武器的平民阻止。纪实文学作品《狂暴国度》(Rampage Nation)的作者刘易斯·克拉雷瓦斯发现,对于可能或已经发生的大规模枪击案,持枪平民予以阻止的成功率为两千分之一。与此同时,美国暴力政策中心2007年以来的记录显示,隐蔽武器许可证持有者已经射杀了1100多人。

携带枪支还会提高枪杀事件中出现致命失误或混乱的可能性。2016年,在达拉斯持枪者举行的一次公开携枪运动集会上,有人射杀了五名在现场维持治安的警察。达拉斯警察局局长表示,这些公开持枪主义者妨碍了警察做出反应,让他们弄不清楚谁开枪杀了人以及是否有其他行凶者。

目前美国有12个州不要求持枪者办理许可证,约有24个州不要求持枪者接受安全持有和使用枪支培训。就算在要求进行此类培训的州,相关标准和专家的建议仍有差距。美国顶尖枪械问题专家约瑟夫·文斯指出,这样的培训应该包括心理层面的准备、法律知识、判断以及熟悉和掌握枪支。认真进行培训的州屈指可数,而且按照H.R.38的规定,它们将不得不允许人们从完全不需要培训的州把枪带到自己境内。

在枪支暴力和大规模枪击给美国民众带来巨大威胁的时候,H.R.38代表着携枪管理标准的倒退,而且它对平民培训方面的不足以及公众越发希望加强枪支管理的民意调查结果置若罔闻。国会应该否决H.R.38,并且支持一部能真正保证美国安全的法律。(财富中文网)

托马斯·加伯是一位犯罪学家,办公室设在佛罗里达州,著有《抗击美国枪支暴力》一书。

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

In the aftermath of the two deadly mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas, Congress should be protecting Americans from gun violence by strengthening our gun laws, not weakening them. Instead, in a party line vote last week, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38), a National Rifle Association (NRA) priority.

If this bill is enacted into law, each state would be required to honor a concealed carry permit issued by another state, even if the permit holder’s state of residence has much lower standards or no permit requirement at all for those carrying concealed weapons. This would be a dangerous law, as it would allow people to seamlessly carry guns across state lines, regardless of the vetting and training required by the state issuing the permit.

It is ironic that during a period in which gun deaths have been increasing and mass shootings are claiming an unprecedented number of victims, our first national law in many years would prioritize the rights of gun owners rather than enhance public safety. It is also a paradox that we would have a national law that, rather than setting a high national standard for individuals who carry lethal weapons, would instead preserve a system of disparate state laws in which the lowest standard would be imposed on all states. The NRA and Republicans also violate conservative doctrine by undermining the right of states to protect their residents through the imposition of rigorous requirements on gun permit applicants.

Asserting federal authority in gun policy might be worth considering if there was compelling evidence that such an approach would improve public safety. However, research clearly shows that increasing gun carrying offers few advantages and imperils public safety. John Donohue at Stanford University has shown that right-to-carry laws have increased state violent crime rates by 15%. An FBI study of 160 active shooter incidents from 2000 to 2013 found that just one of these incidents was stopped by an armed civilian. Louis Klarevas, author of Rampage Nation, found that just one in every 2,000 potential or actual mass shootings is successfully stopped by an armed civilian. Meanwhile, the Violence Policy Center has documented over 1,100 killings by concealed carry permit holders since 2007.

Gun carrying also raises the risks of deadly mistakes and confusion in active-shooter incidents. In 2016, an individual shot five Dallas police officers as the officers were providing security at a rally attended by open-carry activists armed with assault weapons. The police chief stated that these activists impeded responding officers, creating confusion as to who the shooter was and whether there were additional shooters.

Currently, 12 states do not require a permit to carry a firearm and about two dozen states require no training in the safe handling and use of firearms. Even states requiring such training do not approach the standards recommended by experts. Joseph Vince, a leading national expert, states that training should include mental preparation, knowledge of the law, judgment, and expertise and familiarity with firearms. Just a handful of states take training seriously and, under the proposed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, they would be forced to allow individuals to bring in guns from states that require no training at all.

With gun violence and mass shootings presenting grave threats to Americans, this bill represents a retreat in standards governing the carrying of guns. This retreat would ignore the shortcomings of civilian training, as well as polls showing the public’s increasing desire for stricter regulation of firearms. Congress should reject this bill in favor of one that will actually keep America safe.

Thomas Gabor is a criminologist based in Florida and author of Confronting Gun Violence in America.

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