The arrests of two suspects on Oct. 24 may bring to an end a three-week shooting spree around Washington, D.C., in which a roving sniper killed 10 people and seriously injured three others. Yet the manhunt for the killer, during which the police at times seemed almost desperate for clues, again raises questions about whether having more information about guns and gun owners might help head off crimes or solve them faster -- and thus save lives.
What's your opinion? That's the subject of this BusinessWeek Online Reader Survey, which as usual is unscientific since anyone who wishes to can participate:
Keep a gun for self defense
Own guns for hunting and sport shooting
Own a gun but never use it
Not own a gun
Worry often about being attacked by someone with a gun
Hardly ever worry
The U.S. Constitution protects the right of citizens to bear arms, and firearms are widely available via every distribution method from mail order to discount stores. Do you think the availablity of guns in America is:
Should be somewhat restricted
Should be limited to gun shops that are closely regulated
Do you think that it would make sense for anyone who buys a gun to have to register it at regular intervals, similar to the existing state-based system for registering motor vehicles?
Do you think that it would make sense to license gun owners at regular intervals, just as car owners must renew their state operating licenses every two or three years?
Do you think it would make sense to have "ballistic fingerprinting," in which records would be kept of the distinguishing marks a gun leaves on bullet casings in hopes of more easily tying a criminal to a crime?
Which do you think is the best way to cut down on crimes involving guns?
Better police work
Having more information available on guns and gun owners
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