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Gun Control Isn’t the Solution

Published on December 14th, 2017 at 12:39 pm

By Ethan Nikfar

The issue of gun control has been a topic of extreme controversy with the recent deaths of people in places such as Las Vegas and Texas. From assassinations to mass shootings, every time gun violence takes place, various intellectuals across the nation begin to debate if guns are the killing machine publicized by many, or whether it’s a helpful tool in the same way it was intended to be in the United States Constitution. While some argue that we need to strengthen gun control to prevent gun shootings, there is no evidence behind this claim. The suggestion that gun control is going to put an end to mass shootings is a proposition based on nothing but emotional response.

Every year, progressives push for more and more gun control without ever considering who will pay the price. It won’t be the bad guys; they always get the guns they want. It will be good men and women who need to equal the odds in a confrontation with a dangerous criminal. A professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University conducted a study that showed that “firearms prevent anywhere from 800,000 to over 2 million violent crimes every year. The lowest estimate suggests that 100 times more violent crimes were prevented with firearms than the total murders committed with firearms” (Kleck n.p). Per capita, there are now 1.45 guns per American in the Unites States, but less than 1 gun per American in 1993. Since 1993, the and the murder rate has declined markedly. “According to data retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control, there were seven firearm-related homicides for every 100,000 Americans in 1993. By 2013, the gun homicide had reduced by almost 50% to about 3.6 homicides for every 100,000 of them” (Perry n.p). So, although there are more guns on the streets since three decades ago, there are less gun murders since then. One might say that if no one owned a gun, then everyone would be safer. Yes, and it would be nice if cake was a diet food. There are over 300 million guns in the United States, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. “A CBS/New York Times poll found that 26 percent of the public, a minority not much larger than the one that wants to ban handguns, thinks that ‘stricter gun control’ would ‘help a lot’ to stop gun violence” (Pannuru n.p). The United States has approximately 12 million illegal immigrants and if we aren’t able to stop PEOPLE from entering this country illegally, it seems a little out of reach to suggest guns can’t cross over borders as well. The point that the second amendment and all guns should be banned from people is irrational, and while in theory it may stop gun violence, the fact is there is no way to stop the influx of guns into the U.S.

Some people say, if we just remove guns, it’s going to send the crime rate down, and that’s not true. People keep pointing to Australia where there’s a big gun buyback, and “... in Australia they only removed ⅓ to ⅕ of the guns” (Tuccille n.p). In addition, the gun crime rate was already declining at a fast rate before that and the United States is NOT the same as Australia. America has far more guns and gun owners than Australia. Further, Australia has nothing similar to the Second Amendment, nor the gun culture that America has. As a result, this proposal by some progressives is irrelevant. To prevent more gun violence, we must calibrate laws that keep guns out of the hands of bad people, and in the hands of honorable people. This can be achieved through better screening for mental illness and background checks. The people who own a gun and live with another person who may be mentally unstable must be required to have their guns locked up and safe. Further, devices that can convert a semi-automatic into an automatic rifle should be completely banned. Some anti-gun advocates like to point out that without fully automatic assault rifles, gun crime rates would go down significantly. And while this view is widely accepted, “the majority of shootings in the United States have been with handguns” (Bedard n.p). Further, there are many other ways to commit mass murder than using that single weapon. A sick person could use a bomb, a handgun, or another item such as a knife. If a shooter really wanted to do harm, would it really need a fully automatic assault rifle to do the trick?

Some people who urge on gun control may point to the significant amount of deaths due to the uses of guns and point to our own conscience as a reason for applying stricter gun control. However, in a study done in 2016, “There are 30,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms. 0.000000925% of the population dies from gun related actions each year. 65% of those deaths are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws. 15% are by law enforcement in the line of duty and justified. 17% are through criminal activity, gang, and drug related or mentally ill persons. 3% are accidental discharge deaths” (Lendman n.p). So technically, "gun violence" is not 30,000 annually, but drops to 5,100. Now, if we analyze how these deaths are spanned across the nation, we can tell that: “480 homicides (9.4%) were in Chicago, 344 homicides (6.7%) were in Baltimore, 333 homicides (6.5%) were in Detroit, and 119 homicides (2.3%) were in Washington D.C. This implies that 25% of all gun crime is committed in four cities” (Lendman n.p). All four of the aforementioned cities have strict gun laws, so it is not the lack of gun control causing the issue. Rifles, semi-automatic included, have been 3% of all murders. Hands and feet murder twice as many, and “knives kill 5 times more Americans than all rifles combined” (FBI n.p). Yet, no one is seen talking about limits to knives because the good we perceive from this far outweighs its perceived harm.

There are two kinds of animals in this world: predators and prey. No one watches a lion chase down a bull and denies that the bull has the right to use its horns to protect itself from the predator. But there are people in our country who would deny that very same right to self-defense to other human beings. Such people believe that the way to stop the lion is to cut the horns off of the bull and by somehow making it easier for the predator, the predator will simply go away. This is unethical. When you make it easier for the predator, you get more predators. England has had 5 gun attacks in the past year, and it would be insane to tell someone living there about how safe they are. David Kopel, a professor of Constitutional Law at Denver University conducted a study that highlights that in the Unites States, only about 13% of home burglaries take place when the occupants are home, but in the U.K, almost 60% do. “American burglars avoid occupied homes because of the risk of getting shot. English burglars prefer occupied homes because there will be wallets and purses with cash” (Coca n.p). Very few people in England carry guns, further cementing the point.

What’s astonishing, is the attack by some on the NRA. The NRA doesn’t receive a dime of public dollar, they are an interest group. There has been a lot of talk in our country about the negative impact of violent video games. People who criticize the NRA don’t attack the head of the ACLU for their broad interpretation of the first amendment. Yet, people bag on the NRA and state that it’s their broad interpretation of the second amendment that’s responsible for gun violence. In the recent tragedy taking place in the Texas Church, a man who lives next to the church grabbed his own rifle and engaged the gunman who then dropped his gun and fled the scene. The hero who stopped the massacre evidently turned out to be an NRA instructor. Not for him, many more innocent men, women, and children would have been harmed due to the shooter’s massacre. By being able to protect himself using a legal firearm, the hero forced the gunman to flee before he was able to harm more civilians.

Many anti-gun advocates like to turn to the actual Constitution and Second Amendment. They like to point out that the second amendment was implemented to protect the people from tyrannical rule, and in the U.S, there has yet to be any threat. Yes, the purpose of the second amendment is resistance to government tyranny. That was the purpose of it in when the Constitution was written, and it remains the purpose now. The track record for democracies going bad is prevalent, and to refuse that is to not see the truth. It took place in Germany in the 20th century, it happened in Spain, it happened in Italy, and in Japan. While this might not take place in the United States during my generation, it is there to prevent against even the possibility of such a threat.

The issue of gun control has been a point of severe discussion with the sad deaths because of the use of firearms. We must realize that limiting our control to self defense won’t stop evil people from committing their terrible attacks. The claim that we need to restrict our defense system is not one backed with evidence, and only a testament to one’s emotional reaction. However, it’s important for us to realize that in the end, we all strive for the same goals and aspirations - and that’s to end violence. Left or right, liberal or conservative, we must come together as a nation to stop the menacing acts and unite as one people, under the great lights of America.

Works Cited

Bedard, Paul. “Politics.” Washington Examiner, Washington Examiner, 14 Jan. 2014, www.washingtonexaminer.com/crime-study-handguns-not-assault-rifles-used-in-most-mass-shootings/article/2542118.

Coca, Onan. “Liberals Ignore the Truth: Gun Rights Are Women's Rights.” The Constitution, 18 Oct. 2017, constitution.com/liberals-ignore-truth-gun-rights-womens-rights/.

jd-tuccille. “Australia's Gun 'Buyback' Created a Violent Firearms Black Market. Why Should the U.S. Do the Same?” Reason.com, 22 Mar. 2016, reason.com/archives/2016/03/22/australias-gun-buyback-created-a-violent.

Lendman, Stephen. “Gun Control Facts You'll Never Hear.” Gun Control Facts You'll Never Hear, Rense, rense.com/general96/guncontrolfx.htm.

Perry, Mark J. “Gun-Homicide Rate Decreased as Gun Ownership Increased.” CNS News, 10 Dec. 2015, www.cnsnews.com/commentary/cnsnewscom-staff/more-guns-less-gun-violence-between-1993-and-2013.

Ponnuru, Ramesh. “Why Gun Control Loses.” National Review, 6 Nov. 2017, www.nationalreview.com/article/453445/gun-control-never-happens-why.

Schulman, Neil J. “University Study Confirms Private Firearms Stop Crime 2.5 Million Times Each Year.” Private Guns Stop Crime 2.5M Times A Year In US, Rense, www.rense.com/general76/univ.htm.

“Violent Crime.” FBI, FBI, 6 Aug. 2012, ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/violent-crime/violent-crime.