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Why New Gun Control Laws Don't Work
America has had a tough weekend. We mourned the loss of 20 young elementary school children, the most innocent and precious of all of us and 6 heroic adults, who died trying to save the children they love so much. We have suffered through school shootings in the past, but none with victims as young as this. It is heartbreaking and to me personally, ranks second to only 9/11 as the worst national tragedy I have lived through. Kelly Rippa said it best when she said that: (paraphrasing)
“There are only certain things we expect in this world, and one of them is that when we drop our children off for school, they will be there afterwards to tell us about their day.”
I could not agree more. There are certain things we as humans should not tolerate and we need to work together to prevent further tragedies like this.
Before the dead had been removed from the school, before some parents even knew that fate of their child, before we as a nation had a chance to mourn and remember the lives of the innocent, before the burials even began, this event became political. Most of the media and the gun-control activists immediately, within hours, began bringing up the need for new gun control legislation, using this tragedy to fuel their cause. They are right when they say we need to do something, but more gun control isn't the answer. In the end, it may only make things worse.
The old saying goes, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. There is nothing more logical then that. Any object or device can be used as a weapon to inflict harm. Guns are not the problem, crazy, sic, mentally unstable people with guns are. Ironically on the same day as Sandy Hook, in China, a country with some of the strictest gun control laws in the world, a man walked into a school and stabbed around a dozen school children and adults. Just two years ago, another man in China killed 30 students and injured 50 more with a knife. In Great Britain, another country that has tough gun control laws, a person is 2x as more likely to be stabbed in the UK, then be shot in the US. Evil does not need a gun to manifest itself, it only needs a vehicle to be delivered in, and these vehicles come in all shapes and sizes. Timothy McVeigh needed only fertilizer to kill 168 people in Oklahoma City. The 9/11 terrorists used knives, not guns, to take over the planes used to kill 3,000 innocent people. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
People are yearning for action, for a way to prevent this from happening again. More gun control laws sound good on paper, and are an easy way out of a complex problem. If the logic used to enact more gun control legislation made sense we would ban alcohol. Alcohol leads to drunk driving, which kills over 11,000 annually. We would take Advil and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs off the shelf because they kill 16,000 people each year by themselves, most of which were accidental. Counties with tough gun laws have other problems. People die in stabbings or they are beat to death by hammers and baseball bats. Are we going to ban baseball bats and golf clubs because “they can kill people?” Is owning a screwdriver going to be a thing of the past because it can be used to stab people? Anything in this world can be used as a weapon. In counties with strict gun laws crime still happens. People still get assaulted, homes get robbed. It a sad reality of the world we live in and it has nothing to do with the amount of guns.
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants." -- Thomas Jefferson
Gun free zones do nothing to prevent crime. If anything all they do is tell people where they will find easy victims, shopping malls, movie theaters, and schools, most of which have signs that ban guns on the premise. My question to those who believe that such things work is, since when to criminals obey signs? They are criminals; they have a tendency to break the law. I have never heard of a criminal who was going to rob a bank stop and say “well shoot, if I can’t bring my gun in, I guess I can’t rob this bank” and walk away. This doesn’t happen. If people were allowed to bring guns into a bank, one could argue that less bank robberies would happen because chances are, the would be robbers would be shot. Law abiding citizens don’t commit crimes, criminals commit crimes and they don’t care if there is a sign or not banning guns on the property, they are going to bring whatever weapon they need to carry out their actions. If we ban guns and ammo, and re-enact the assault rifle ban, all we will accomplish is change the weapon of choice these individuals use. James Holmes, the suspect in the Colorado Theatre Massacre had his apartment laced and rigged with enough explosives to knock down the building. Who’s to say if he didn’t have a gun, that he couldn’t have made some homemade grenades and chucked those into the theatre instead of spraying bullets?
Connecticut ranked 4th in the US in strict gun control laws, and this latest act of violence happened in Connecticut. In Switzerland, a country with more gun rights then the US, has virtually no gun violence. In fact, by law, nearly every man is required to own a gun, and not just any gun, an assault rifle. There are 2 guns per 6 people in Switzerland, including 600,000 fully automatic legally owned military assault rifles, 500,000 handguns, and numerous other machine guns. Virtually every home is armed. Due to this fact, gun crime is not a problem. In 1997, there were only 102 attempted homicides in the entire country. In contrast, Chicago, a city with strict gun laws, probably sees that in a month. There were only 2,498 robberies in the entire nation, and more than half were from unsuspecting tourists, oblivious to the gun culture in Switzerland.
New gun control laws will not work because they are illogical. The gun control activist’s argument makes no sense when thought about with logic. The very notion that tough gun control solves violence falls apart at its core. To be successful, these laws require that people follow them. Criminals don't follow laws, those who want to inflict harm on others don't either. All gun laws do is create places where people are disarmed and vulnerable, and easy prey for a killer. John Lott, who conducted a study on mass shootings in 1999 spoke with John Fund after the Newtown school shooting and pointed out the following, "With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns."
America doesn't have a gun problem; it has a mental health and violence problem. All of these crimes, these tragedies have one thing in common. A crazy, sick, mentally ill person behind the trigger. No gun control legislation would have stopped or prevented this. These madmen would have found a way. They would have stolen guns (as many of them did), bought them off the blackmarket, used other weapons, made bombs, or etc. The fact is, no matter what law is on the books or what the sign in the window says, criminals will commit crimes. We need better deterrents to these crimes, we need better mental health policies; we don’t need more gun control laws. Gun control laws only take the weapons out of law abiding citizen’s hands, leaving us defenseless in the wake of such terror.
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