The War on Firearms: Gun Control - Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
The subject of gun control, like most controversial subjects that involve taking away the rights of well-to-do individuals for the sake of national security, is a very touchy subject for both gun owners and those individuals who choose not to own a firearm. We all know of the fatal circumstances that can follow when a deadly weapon is put into the hands of a psychopath or a whole group of them. The question is, will banning guns STOP these types of people from obtaining said deadly projectile-popping tools of DEATH or not? Yes? No? So - what is the solution? After some research I came up with some supposed pros and cons to implementing gun control...let's take a look and decide for ourselves.
- Less violent crimes
- Less mass shootings
- Safer communities
- Increase in overall well-being for citizens
- Leaves protection and crime-prevention to the local and national police forces
- Decreases nationwide crime rates
- Increase in violent crimes on people unable to obtain firearms
- Hobbies such as target shooting and hunting will no longer exist
- Only criminals will be able to find access to guns
- Larger and more feasible gun market for criminal organizations
- Home and business owners have less protection against invasions and robberies
Do you feel gun control is an effective way to stop violent crimes?
Now, we see the "supposed" pros and cons of gun control. These points have been made by advocates and non-advocates so how can we, the neutral parties who have not made up our mind on the subject, have our own opinion on the matter? Well, let's look at the facts... here are some that I've found through my research.It is important to keep in mind, a country's total violent gun crime rate will be dependent on their population and how many gun owners there are. The important fact to focus on is whether or not gun control is an effective way to see a decrease in overall violent crimes.
Gun control or tougher legislation is an effective way of decreasing the percentage of violent crimes.
True? I think it depends on the country. Though evidence and facts may prove that countries that ban guns actually have an increase in violent crimes. Now why is this? My guess is that most people own guns in order to defend themselves from violent offenders; but I do not want to sound biased. We need to focus on facts. So, let's look at some facts...using the neighbors of the United States an ocean away in England as our first example.
In the Firearms Act of 1988, bans were placed on semi-automatic rifles, military-grade guns with explosive ammunition, sawed-off shotguns, pump action and self-loading weapons to the prohibited category. In 1997 the UK passed the Firearms Act of 1997 following the Dunblane massacre which banned ownership of pistols in order to decrease violent crimes committed using a firearm. It seems they were successful in preventing the use of firearms in these acts as the country has one of the lowest rates of gun homicide in the world; but did that decrease the amount of violent crimes from being committed and how effective were these amendments?
Overall Crime Trends in England and Wales
Murder and Homicide Rates Following Gun Bans of 1988 and 1997
Now that we've taken into account that OVERALL, crime has been on the decrease in England and Wales, I think it is important to focus on the murder and violent crimes rate...which was on a steady increase after the gun legislation was brought into place. So as it may seem, gun legislation may not have an immediate effect on gun-related homicide and violence, the long-term effects of such legislation is effective - at least in the case of England and Wales...
But Exactly How Effective in Comparison?
Sadly, not very... as according to England's own, Dailymail. Reportedly, in 2009, England ranked as one of the most violent countries in Europe. Following the 1997 legislation, violent crimes increased by 77%. England, having the 5th highest robbery rate in EU and the 4th highest rate for burglary... So, taking these facts into consideration - is it safe to say that gun-control legislation really does benefit the bad guys in some aspects? Perhaps I'm jumping the gun; but this graph will speak for itself, though it is not an end game for the argument.
Due to curiosity, I had to take a look at the effects that gun legislation had in other countries as well in the graphs below...
Effects of Strict Gun-Control Legislation In Other Countries
An Interesting Find...
I know I'm starting to seem as if I'm siding with gun advocates but I truly am neutral as the facts will speak for themselves. I know many could provide very valuable counter-arguments and I'm interested in hearing them but moreso in seeing the facts. Most countries I've examined with strict gun-legislation or prohibition have altogether very little change in their violent crime rates with an exception for Japan; but that's a whole 'nother subject when their suicide rate is brought into question...
The graphs will speak for themselves; being a little outdated, they do paint a pretty accurate picture for the effectiveness of gun control. If not, then I will use Chicago as one last example.
Chicaaaago, Chicaaago, that toddling town...
...having some of the nation's most strict gun laws coincidentally has one of the highest fatality rates of all U.S. cities for violent crime. 15.1 per 100,000 residents. According to the Chicago Tribune, there were 2,587 victims by firearms alone in 2014. A person is shot every 3 hours in Chi-City and killed every 16 hours. In this week alone (10/4/15 - 10/10/15) 6 people were shot and wounded, 39 were shot and 6 were killed. Meanwhile Chicago has the 2nd largest police force in the nation with over 10,000 officers on duty... Perhaps if the many well-to-do individuals could become armed in less than 3 months some stress would be taken off of our noble men and women in blue. I'm not saying that for certain though. Ergo, stricter gun laws seem to negatively effect the lawful since some people do not abide by the law - the unlawful.
Violent crimes in Chicago Neighborhoods - December 4, 2014
BOWERS V. DEVITO; 1982
In the case of Bowers V. Devito in 1982, a deemed madman and schizophrenic, Thomas Vanda, with a history of violence and institutionalization having attacked multiple vicitims with a knife, was released within' a year of being institutionalized and again, attacked Marguerite Anne Bowers with a knife and killed her. The institution that released Thomas Vanda within' a year of his last murder was accused of being irresponsible and reckless in releasing Thomas Vanda and if hadn't done so, could have prevented another violent incident. The judgement was in favor of the defendant with the verdict stating that the institution hadn't premeditated the murder of Marguerite and had no intention for Thomas to commit said crime. What's more, the case's text states:
"...there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen. It is monstrous if the state fails to protect its residents against such predators but it does not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment or, we suppose, any other provision of the Constitution. The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties; it tells the state to let people alone; it does not require the federal government or the state to provide services, even so elementary a service as maintaining law and order. Discrimination in providing protection against private violence could of course violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. But that is not alleged here. All that is alleged is a failure to protect Miss Bowers and others like her from a dangerous madman, and as the State of Illinois has no federal constitutional duty to provide such protection its failure to do so is not actionable under section 1983."
(Other notable and relative cases being Castle Rock v. Gonzales and South v. Maryland)
That being known...how can strict gun-legislation or complete prohibition be feasible? If the police are not constitutionally responsible for "serving the people" then why shouldn't it be constitutional for the people to serve and protect themselves? Gun control is starting to seem more and more unfair as far as legislation goes. This kind of circumstance reminds me of what happened in Nazi Germany and Stalingrad Russia back in the 1930s and 1940s after gun-prohibition laws were taken into effect. Not to mention, the outcome of the alcohol prohibition laws in the 1920s and how it positively effected the unlawful mobs and gangs of that time.
In a nation where millions of people own guns, the only outcome I see resulting from any sort of forcible executive-order for gun prohibition or the like, is a civilian uprising.
The True Cause?
The true cause behind violent crimes are mental illness (criminally and clinically insane) with a variety of causes, discrimination, segregation, intolerance, unfair treatment, abuse, anger and most of all...
Let us practice love, acceptance, understanding and open-mindedness. Then you will see that these things are more effective than any legislation, amendments or law will ever prove to be. If you enjoyed this article don't be shy - subscribe! Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.
Useful and Informative Reads
- The secret of Japan’s mysteriously low crime rate
Japan is often considered slightly odd compared to other countries. Its economic success, distinct culture and disciplined population has made Japan rather
- How Gun Control "Worked" in Jamaica, by Tina Terry
A first-hand account from a woman who experienced the effects of gun prohibition while living in a foreign country.
- Casetext: Bowers V. Devito 1982
- The problem with using Chicago to make the case against gun control
Does banning guns give criminals more power over the unarmed?