I recently read an opinion piece called "Why We Need Gun Control Now" by Ally Graham, in which she claims that she wants an open conversation about gun control. So that's where I come in. I am pro-gun myself, so I’m more than happy to discuss the issue.
First, it’s important to go over some basic gun terminology. Semi-automatic may sound scary, but really what it means is one pull of the trigger equals one bullet fired from the gun. While it’s hard to say for sure, it’s likely that 80% or more of the guns in the U.S alone are semi-automatic. So a ban on these weapons in the U.S. would be impractical and unconstitutional, as ruled in D.C. V. Heller.
Graham also discusses the recent New Zealand law banning "assault-style weapons", which is incredibly ambiguous. The legal definition of assault weapons dates back to the 1980's in California State law. And again, it was ambiguous. The legal definition of assault weapon, however, does not refer to any actual function of a firearm. Mainly it refers to various features of the weapon.
Graham also discusses a recent spike in “mass shootings”, though there is no agreed upon definition what a mass shooting is. But for the most part, it refers to a shooting that involved four or more people. Though if you look at the data, in over half of the shootings, no one died.
Statically speaking, mass shootings are rare and the likelihood of you dying in one is low and they make up less than 1% of all gun violence in the U.S. And according to the FBI, knives kill more people than rifles. Additionally, according to the CDC, guns save far more lives than they kill and that's not just people shooting criminals, that includes people just brandishing guns or cocking a shotgun to scare off any would-be criminals. Not to mention the overall trend of crime rates lowering over the years. The majority of gun crime/violence in the U.S. is either drug or gang related.
I believe gun control laws are largely ineffective, and to prove this, it’s helpful to compare the U.S. to the U.K. The U.K. has much stricter gun laws than the U.S. And knife crime is far more prominent in the UK than it is in the U.S. In fact, many British MP's are proposing knife control laws. Same with so called "acid attacks" and MP's proposing laws to control certain cleaning chemicals.
You can buy the ingredients for mustard gas at most retail stores in both the U.K. and U.S. My point is that evil always finds a way to do evil.
Did you know that the majority of break-ins in the U.S. happen when the victim is not at home? And the majority of break-ins in the U.K. happen while the victim is home. A likely explanation is that because would-be criminals in the U.S. know the victim is likely to be armed, the robber picks a time when they will be safe from this risk.
Some may also cite the Australian gun buyback as a success, but it was not. After the gun buyback, crime decreased at the normal expected rate.
Graham also says that the New Zealand Prime Minister’s actions were " brave and rational". My question is why? How does taking away people's liberties make people safe? To quote Benjamin Franklin, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." I believe that rights come first from principles, meaning they come from a higher power or can be reasoned to by any person.
There is no right to "feel safe in public" like Graham claims. If you feel unsafe, why not buy a firearm to protect yourself? You have the right to do so after all. Why take away my right and why not expand yours? How will laws that criminals don't follow and will always find a way around keep me safe? The majority of gun criminals get their guns illegally.
There is no legal solution that will work to stop mass shootings. You can never fully stop evil, you can only mitigate it. So why not let people prepare for evil by arming themselves?
There are two main reasons that are theorized to be the cause of most mass shootings. The first is social isolation. In many instances, the perpetrator of a mass shooting was a loner who felt isolated, so they become bitter and resentful. As a result, they want to cause as much harm to the world that wronged them as possible.
The second is fame. Shooters know they will have an impact on the world and will be recognized internationally. It is suggested to every major news outlet to never publish the name and face of the shooter for this reason.
At the end of the day, I support better and stricter enforcement of the gun laws we currently have on the books, but that is a fairly big task considering that there are so many guns in the U.S.
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