Gun Crime: What is the Solution?

Gun Crime: The Cost IsToo High

Canada is said to have some of the toughest gun crime laws in the world, so why is gun crime on the rise? Incidents like the shooting of fourteen university students in Montreal in 1989 and in 2006, the Dawson College, Montreal shooting, where twenty students were shot; In the USA, Columbine and Virginia Tech. massacre are images that are etched in our minds forever.

There have been several shootings in the last several weeks in Toronto. It seems like every day for the last three weeks, the media has announced another death by gun. Frankly it is getting scary and frustrating. Everyone is in edge as the memory of 2005 Summer, which was dubbed the "Summer of the gun" is fresh on our minds. Over the last ten years the number of gun crimes have been gradually increasing in Canadian cities like Vancouver,Toronto, Winnipeg, Montreal and Edmonton. The number of teenagers aged 12 to 17 accused in gun crimes rose to 32 per cent since 2002. (StatsCan, 2008) Many parents mourned the loss of their children who died as a result of gun crime. While some of these children were irresponsible, others were innocent victims of crime.

The issue of gun crime is troubling and front of mind hence I believe that addressing it though a hub is cathartic. I cannot offer a socio-political analysis of why or what is happening with the rise in gun crime. I write this hub about gun crimes from the perspective of a mother; a concerned parent who just want this killing to stop. I do not pretend to begin to understand or know what is the solution to this troubling matter. As I ponder this issue, I ask myself: Can gun control reduce the number of crime committed with guns? What will happen if nothing is done to stem the incident of crime by gun?

Proponents of hand gun band have been saying that gun control is necessary as a means of reducing gun crimes. They argue that access to guns is a major factor in domestic violence and suicide. They also suggest that legally owned guns are part of the problem and that gun owners must be held accountable for their guns. Proponents of gun control saw Bill C68 as helpful in reducing gun crimes. Other proponents, like, Const. Gary Gomez, of 42 Division, agrued that stronger border controls and tough enforcement of gun laws are one of the most effective ways to stop gun crime.(Toronto Observer).

Those who oppose gun control agrue that restricting gun ownership will not reduce the number of gun crime. They contend that banning guns to the general public increases people's vulnerability and fails to reduce violence because the law-abiding citizenry are victims of violent crime, not perpetrators. (GOA)

Regardless of what our views are, it is a no brainer that something has to be done to reduce gun crime. What is obvious is that more people are getting killed or maimed for life because of irresponsible use of guns that they can get access to easily.

According to 2005 Gun statistics in the USA, national data released in 2002 reported that 3,012 children and teens were killed by gunfire in the United States. That is one child every three hours; eight children every day; and more than 50 children every week. And every year, at least 4 to 5 times as many kids and teens suffer from non-fatal firearm injuries. (Children's Defense Fund and National Center for Health Statistics)

In Canada, an average of 1,300 people die of gunshot wounds each year. The economic costs of firearm deaths and injury are estimated at over $6 billion annually. The proponents of gun control make a convincing argument that registration and licensing are cost effective methods of preventing firearm deaths and injury. They further argue that policing, social services, community and human costs far outweigh control measures.

 

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Comments 9 comments

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for raising this important issue. I enjoyed reading your Hub. It is well written and presents a balanced view. I don't think it is the guns. It is the hearts of the people that need repair. In the USA, the cities with the most licensed gun owners have the lowest crime rates. It makes sense not to break in to a house if you think the owner is packing. Criminals always pick on the weak—or unarmed. Automobiles killed 50 times more people than guns but you never hear anybody saying, "Let's ban cars!"


DynamicS profile image

DynamicS 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

James, thanks for your comments. I certainly agree that it is people that commit crimes. While I am not for the banning of hand guns, I am all for control. Now the means of control can be personal (gun registration) as well as control of access. I suppose that means that those who make and sell guns should be heavily regulated.

I know it is difficult to monitor all our borders and ports of entry, but more efforts are required to keep illegal guns out. It is too easy for kids to get guns.

Everyone has rights but those rights have to be regulated so that all of our rights are protected. The automobile argument is a good one, but there are so many variables that determine what happens on the roads. Yes, we should ban bad drivers and we do restrict the priviledge of those who break the rules when driving - drunk drivers for example.

One thing we both agree on is that it is the people that require regulation and control. There must be a solution...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

And so we agree. Good!


Ghost32 7 years ago

I have to respectfully disagree with the view that the people require regulation and control (while being willing to defend your right to hold that view). From what I have seen thus far--which is admittedly limited to a mere 65 years of listening, reading, studying history, discussion, and personal experience--education tends to be far more effective than regulation/control while avoiding the horrific side effect of burying all of us under a slow landslide of bigger and bigger government.

That belief goes so far as to include children in the equation. I was raised on a Montana ranch in the 1940's and 1950's where nearly all rural people grew up with readily accessible, loaded guns in the house. True, when we were toddlers, the firearms were kept in a cabinet above our reach when not in use. But by the time we were four or five years of age, our parents had made certain we understood the ins and out of gun safety, even though at that point we were logically not allowed to handle them.

By the time I was eight or nine, I began shooting. Three out of five of us became active hunters as we grew older. Weapons were carried when we rode our horses to check on cattle in the mountains. Did accidents happen? Yup. I recall four separate incidents when a gun discharged accidentally--in fact, I was personally responsible for two of those incidents. Still, no one ever came close to getting hit with a bullet.

Why? Because our very first and most powerful point of communication, the number one thing we'd been taught, was to ALWAYS point the weapon in a safe direction. The ceiling caught two of those errant bullets, the floor one, and a full length mirror one, but no human or pet was ever close to being harmed.

As for the criminal who has easy access to firearms, the best deterrent to his (or her) criminal activity is the existence of armed (but law abiding) citizens in the same vicinity. I live in southeastern Arizona. In our state, it is completely legal to pack a pistol openly on your person, no concealed permit carry required. I went to Wal-Mart today and noticed one customer shopping in the store with a semiautomatic pistol holstered at his right hip. A bit later in the day, an older fellow chatting with a friend outside a convenience store showed a small pistol in a shoulder holster.

Seeing things like that in our area makes us feel extremely comfortable and makes the would-be criminal extremely hesitant to act out violently with a firearm. If he does, he might get wind up getting shot. A considerable deterrent, that.

Nor do our local law enforcement personnel disagree. They know that the citizens they see carrying pistols in the open are also the people most willing to come to their assistance should they (the officers) be in danger from a bad guy or three.


DynamicS profile image

DynamicS 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Ghost 32, thanks for dropping by and for your well thought out comment. I do agree with you about education about guns and the proper use and other safety mesaures, I however disagree that there shouldn't be any regulations.

The rural/urban difference in criminal activities is a major consideration for my disagreement. While packing a gun for hunting and defense of self and family might be the main rationale in the rural setting; in the urban settings, gun crimes are usually linked to different criminal activities. For instance, the urban gun crime is linked to drugs and gangs.

This is not to say that gun and gangs are not a factor of rural living; it is however linked to more than 90% of gun crimes that take place in the urban settings. I do not believe that any amount of education will immediately stem the problem of gun crime in urban America/Canada.

The problem that underlines gun in crime in the innercities cannot be addressed by merley educating people about guns and safety. Our social welfare network has to be adapted and adjusted to meet those who are dis-advantaged. Many innercity youth feel dis-illusioned, due to lack of proper education, jobs or the opportunity of upward mobility. They feel hopeless and trapped in their existence of poverty.

The children who are involved in gun crimes are more than 90% likely to be from a single parent family where father is absent. They most often lack adequate family guidance. The school system is not prepared to deal with them. The criminal justice system is too lenient. Unless these social issues are addressed, no amounts of gun education will work.

Maybe families and the school can start by giving hope and more guidance to the children, but what about those hardened criminal? How do we change the mind of someone who thinks he does not have another means to surive other than to sell drugs? How do we begin to give hope and opportunities to our youths, so that they will be more optimistic? In this economy, governments bail out big corporations, who is bailing out the youth?

The gun issue should be a priority of government and I strongly believe that some regualtions are necessary to address the immediate concerns of gun crimes. Educating about gun safety is secondary and a long term solution.


ObtainingAnFFL 7 years ago

Well this has been a spirited debate.I will have to side with the first Amendment crowd. I think if more law abiding citizens were carrying crime would decrease. Check out statistics for Texas. Good Post.


DynamicS profile image

DynamicS 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

ObtainingAnFFL, thanks for your input in this ongoing debate. Well we know that some of the most serious gun crimes, (Columbine, Montreal Masacre) were done by law abiding guns,taken by the children of law abiding families to commit mass murders. I am not sure how strong is the argument of 'more law abiding citizens carrying would decrease' crime. Also many law abiding citizens had their guns stolen by criminal and those guns end up on the streets in crimes against innocent citizens.

I will check out statistics on Texas. I am aware that Texas has some of the most draconian laws on the books when it comes to crime and punishment.

Thanks for stopping by...


Tackle This profile image

Tackle This 7 years ago

If gun production were to end today and law enforcement officials made an "attempt" to reel in every gun ever created, thugs would ultimately hold the upper hand. They are brilliant when it comes to not finding work and they are brilliant when it comes to finding guns. It would be W-R-O-N-G to take guns away from law abiding citizens -- even unconstitutional. *Having said that, I don't see the US constitution existing for all that much longer -- which is sad really. *****I am sure that America's founding fathers understood that the "day" that America became godless was the day their great experiment would be jeopardized. I'm also sure that they are all "turning over in their graves" and that daily.


DynamicS profile image

DynamicS 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Tackle This, you have made an important point regarding thugs doing what they do best. I am not advocating for banning guns, what I'm saying is more control is needed. Crime can be committed without guns, so gun is only one of the means that a thug has at its disposal. However, the gun is the most prevalant form of weapon used. It is definitely too EASY for children to obtain guns on the street. I even heard that a child can rent a gun. That is crazy.

I am NOT saying to take away guns from registered responsible owners, I am saying responsible owners should secure their guns so that they are not stolen to commit crime.

I am also saying the manufacturers of guns should be RESPONSIBLE and know who they are selling guns to.

I do not believe that that the founding fathers of the US Constitution intended for guns to be used by children or thugs to kill others. The defense of oneself and family and country is a different matter, but the senseless maiming and killing of young kids is REDICULOUS and it MUST STOP.

I would like to know what you think about the senseless killing of children that has occurred in recent history.

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