Pro Gun Control: Banning Guns Is Worse For The People

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In recent years, gun control has been an issue brought to the public’s eyes. After tragedies such as the one in Parkland, Florida, many have called for a ban on guns. Of course, no parent, student, or teacher should ever have to experience a situation like that. Although on the surface, a ban on guns seems like a logical solution, it is very corrupting. Pro gun control advocates believe stopping the production of “assault weapons” and banning certain firearm modifications will help stop mass shootings. Contrarily, areas with gun control, such as Chicago and Baltimore, have extremely high crime and homicide rates. Despite many people thinking gun restrictions may help societal problems, it actually creates an unsafe environment, increases crime rates, and infringes upon the freedom of owning guns.

Many argue that in the case of a government takeover, that being either your own government or a foreign one, armed citizens have no chance against modern weaponry. That was not the case in Vietnam. The United States had more military support compared to North Vietnam. A navy, air force, advanced weaponry, etc. The fact of the matter is that the North Vietnamese were armed and dedicated to fight. “The US army had no chance against a country that was not industrialized and an army that deployed tactics such as North Vietnam” (BBC). The weapons used in war are irrelevant when you do not know who you’re fighting. Our own government would not be able to take over our country if they do not know who they are fighting. They can’t nuke an entire country, obviously, so we as an armed nation are a protected nation. Of course, the Vietnamese had foreign support and many other factors in their favor. The moral of the story doesn’t change, an armed nation is very dangerous and what every American should want, especially looking back to the Vietnam war. A nation that is armed has the ultimate form of checks and balances with the government. Consequently, more gun control gives more power to the government. Protection from a tyrannical government is one of the main reasons the second amendment was created. “The Founding Fathers, having just broken away from Great Britain, understood the new federal government they were ratifying might one day become just as tyrannical” (Martinell).

Additionally, the second amendment is not only for protection from a tyrannical government, but also for self-defense. Criminologists Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz published a study in 1995 concluding that guns were used between 2.2 and 2.5 million times in defensive situations annually (Raphelson). The Weapons Substitution Hypothesis, developed in 1958, states that the amount of firearms in a specific area have no effect on violent crime. The reason being is that criminals and people who have the intent to violently harm someone, will do so no matter what. If guns are harder to access, they will use whatever is available.

Ronald Reagan once said, “As long as there are guns, the individual that wants a gun for a crime is going to have one and is going to get it.” Banning guns will create a large criminal revenue because it will surely generate a black market for guns. Firearms are a very important piece in self-defense. Weaker individuals rely on firearms and have no other means of self-defense besides guns (Messerli). In 1993, 5000 households were surveyed about guns. About 250 of the households had members who had used a gun for self-defense during a scenario in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they had “not used a gun in the situation.” This ended up being around 160,000 times per year (Justfacts.com). In areas with more gun accessibility, crime rates and murder rates drop. Switzerland and Iceland are two countries with very open gun laws and have an extremely high gun to people rate in their countries. Iceland hasn’t had a shooting murder since 2007 and Switzerland hasn’t had a mass shooting for 18 years (Brueck). Meanwhile, in 1982 Chicacgo passed a ban on handgun ownership. Chicago’s homicide rate is just below 20 in every 100,000, having one of the highest homicide rates in the country. This disproves the fact that less guns equals less violence. The real reason homicides and crimes happen could actually be because of strict gun control. Criminals will always be able to access firearms. Restricting this right from law abiding citizens is unfair.

In spite of recent tragedies, such as the one in Parkland, Florida, many have pushed for a total ban on guns. Apart from the previous points I made on its inefficiency, just looking at the amount of firearms in the United States makes that impossible. There are more weapons than people in the United States. It would be nearly impossible buying all those guns back and maintaining a country with zero access to guns. American civilians own roughly 100 times more guns than the U.S. military. Secondly, areas with higher gun control have higher crime and murder rates than places without guns. And on the point of banning certain types of rifles, most homicides are committed with handguns (Cooper). The point is that if crime and homicide rates are better or equal in places with less or no gun control, then there is no reason to restrict the access to guns besides doing so for political gain, control, etc. The mass shooting problem we have in our country needs to be addressed. Banning guns is not the solution. Guns are not the problem. There are many solutions such as, a higher level of security at schools, an increased focus on mental health, and increased background checks. The University of Kansas crime rates dropped after concealed carry was allowed for students and faculty members (Williams). This not only shows that open gun laws can lower crime rates, but that schools and students can safer with the addition of concealed carry.

The right to bear arms is a moral right as well. In 1768, an English jurist named Willaim Blackstone said self-defense was “justly called the primary law of nature”. The Declaration of Independence states that all men are born with certain unchallengeable rights. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (Cooke). Heller v. District of Columbia somewhat clarified this issue. A 5-4 decision stated that the second amendment meant that people had the right to own guns for lawful reasons.

Gun control at a minimum can’t hurt anyone, right? There is evidence that shows bans on purchasing guns for mentally ill people and criminals reduced assault rates and robbery rates (Kleck). Along with background checks, many gun stores take extra cautionary steps in making sure firearms do not end up in the hands of the wrong people. Although gun control does seem necessary in the time period we’re in, gun control has no effect on crime rates. A research article written in 2016 found that gun laws are “as likely to imply violence-increasing effects as violence-decreasing effects”. A series of analytical tests were done proving 19 major types of gun control laws had no effect on crime rates in cities with a population of 25,000 or more (Kleck). Coupled with gun control having no positive effect on crime rates, gun buybacks have even less of an impact. In 1996, Australia launched a country wide buyback. Gun ownership temporarily dropped, yet there are more guns in Australia today than before the buy back (Kingsbury).

Banning guns is not only an infringement of natural laws, it is also irrational. Places with more gun restrictions have higher homicide rates than places with less restrictions. Gun control in the past has been shown to lead to be ineffectual. If gun control was a real viable solution, the United States should be the first country ineligible just because of the amount of firearms in this country. Buybacks have been proven to not work, especially in a country built on guns with 400 million currently circulating. Taking away guns not only takes away a natural right, but also the means of self defense for many people, including women, college students, teachers, etc. Any government is capable of violating human rights of its people, including the U.S. The simple fact is that correlation does not mean causation. Multiple factors lead to tragedies like mass shootings. Apart from being statistically very rare events, a lot of times mass shootings involve people with mental disabilities and criminal records.

Works Cited

“2nd Amendment: Original Meaning and Purpose.” Tenth Amendment Center, 16 Sept. 2016, https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/09/22/2nd-amendment-original-meaning-and-purpose/.

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COOKE, CHARLES C. W. “Self-Defense And the Second Amendment.” National Review, vol. 67, no. 24, Dec. 2015, pp. 26–27. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=111741536&site=ehost-live.

COOPER, MARC. “Gun Control Is a Misfire.” American Conservative, vol. 15, no. 2, Mar. 2016, pp. 12–20. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=khh&AN=112932301&site=hrc-live.

Gun Control – Just Facts, https://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp.

Kingsbury, Alex. “It’s Too Late to Ban Assault Weapons.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 9 Aug. 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/09/opinion/ar15-assault-weapon-ban.html.

Kleck, G., Kovandzic, T., & Bellows, J. (2016). Does Gun Control Reduce Violent Crime? Criminal Justice Review, 41(4), 488–513. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734016816670457

Messerli, Joe. “Gun Control (Pros & Cons, Arguments For and Against, Advantages & Disadvantages).” Gun Control (Pros & Cons, Arguments For and Against, Advantages & Disadvantages), https://www.balancedpolitics.org/gun_control.htm.

Raphelson, Samantha. “How Often Do People Use Guns In Self-Defense?” NPR, NPR, 13 Apr. 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/04/13/602143823/how-often-do-people-use-guns-in-self-defense.

‘Ronald Reagan: Quote on Gun Control.’ World History: The Modern Era, ABC-CLIO, 2019, worldhistory.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/337673. Accessed 29 Oct. 2019.

“Why the USA Lost the War in Vietnam – Revision 4 – Higher History – BBC Bitesize.” BBC News, BBC, https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z342mp3/revision/4.

Williams, Rose. “After Concealed Carry Allowed on Campus, KU Hired More Safety Officers and Crime Fell.” Kansascity, The Kansas City Star, 5 Mar. 2018, https://www.kansascity.com/news/article203516929.html.

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