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Why New Gun Control Laws Don't Work

Updated on July 22, 2014

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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    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 2 years ago from Northern California

      Hi Jmiller17. Your wish is my command. Here's a link to the article at Steven Goddard's blog. It provides links to the statistics in question.

      I have checked out both links. It is often reasonable to ask if apple-orange comparisons are being made, especially when the differences are small. But in this case, the per capita differences are humongous.

    • profile image

      Jmiller17 2 years ago from Marietta, Georgia

      Larry -- A Link would be very helpful. I am always looking to update my posts with current information.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 3 years ago from Northern California

      Hi Jmiller17,

      I agree with the main points in your hub. One more point: England, which has very strict firearms laws, has far more violent crime PER CAPITA than 'gun crazy' America. This is from official statistics published by both countries. If you like, I'll provide a link.

    • profile image

      brian 3 years ago

      I feel much safer being black.

    • AngloSaxon profile image

      AngloSaxon 4 years ago from England

      Great article, and well reasoned. I cannot understand why gun-control supporters are blind to basic common sense. Many of them cannot be reasoned with at all, and it's quite frightening that such mindsets exist.

      Thank you for linking to my article as well :)

    • profile image

      tim murray 4 years ago

      Criminals don't obey gun laws, I can attest to this. (I had a tech 9 and ak but never used them since pain = money dead = no money)

      Years ago I was A drug dealer and I can remember many times I used a bat or propane torch to beat people, or other things until they paid up. Lots of people like to think laws will fix things but they don't and never will. Nothing like a red hot pair of pliers to make a guy pay.

      I have since gone straight and gone sober but I still know what the "life" is all about.

      I find it crazy that people who have never been in the game try to say they know what the game is all about.

    • Oppeakra profile image

      Oppeakra 4 years ago from Min, USA

      Tony, you may have a good point of view, but rephrasing it and not plain-out insulting people would be more appropriate in my opinion.

    • profile image

      Tony 4 years ago

      Sorry. I pressed the submit button prematurely... Look at Australia and their gun control measures. Then write another page to rationalise why gun control worked there. In response to the first comment, I'm an extremely violent individual when it comes to defending innocent. I've been to the DRC four times to help eliminate poachers and rebels. I see how easy it is to get a gun in the us. And you are part of the problem hiding behind your trigger patiently waiting for any threatening minority to come in the sight. I am more than comfortable with killing a human with a knife. I suggest you learn the same coward.

    • profile image

      Tony 4 years ago

      The Internet is filled with too many uneducated people attempting to elicit opinions. That fact is that gun control does work. L

    • jdw7979 profile image

      John David 5 years ago from Middle America

      Right on target! Nice Hub..

    • profile image

      Jmiller17 5 years ago from Marietta, Georgia

      Noelnthly -- Thank you for your comments. I believe you have missed my point. First, when i am referring to "Gun Control Laws", I am specifically referring to an Assault Weapon Ban, Limits on Magazine Size, and more restrictions on where it is legal to carry a firearm. Society needs laws and structure and yes there will always be those that deviate away from the laws. The point I was trying to convey with this hub is that trying to pass Gun Control laws to control a violence problem doesn't make sense. As stated, people can kill without a gun, and countries will high gun control laws, have other violence problems. In light of more recent events, it is obvious that a person doesn't need a gun to kill people and cause terror, just a backpack, shrapnel, nails, and a pressure cooker. Should we ban those things as well? To stop the violence?

      You are right when you refer to the underage drinking laws and the background checks in terms of making it more difficult, however it is more of a speed bump then an obstacle. I do agree we need a more robust background check system, but remember that a background check would not have stopped Adam Lanza from stealing his mother's gun and killing her with it before he went to Sandy Hook.

      We have Gun Control laws, and if we enforced them more completely it might help. But trying to control and ban guns will only give rise to illegal underground markets. We tried to ban alcohol and all it did was lead to more drinking and give rise to organized crime that is still around today. America can't keep illegal drugs or people out of this country. It wouldn't be hard for smugglers to get illegal guns into the country either. As I said America does not have a Gun Problem, but a violence problem and we need laws to correct the violence problem and Gun Control Laws are not it.

      Off subject, I would totally love to see lawmakers put their salary to the national debt, but it wouldn't even cover 1 day's worth of debt.

    • Oppeakra profile image

      Oppeakra 5 years ago from Min, USA

      I completely agree. Since when do Criminals follow laws? Love it. Vote up!

    • Noelnthaly profile image

      Noelnthaly 5 years ago from Fairbanks, Alaska

      So basically you're saying that we should in essence forego the creation of any laws. Criminals will commit crimes regardless of the law and find ways to defeat the laws which make their actions a crime right? Therefore, any law enacted is in fact useless and should be done away with altogether. In that case, why have lawmakers? Maybe we should get rid of them too and use their salaries to pay for the national debt.

      As far as comparing guns to alcohol, the laws for underage drinking do not and will not EVER stop a teen from getting drunk but it does make it a little more DIFFICULT for them to get their hands on a 40oz. The same way more stringent background checks might make it a little more DIFFICULT for a mentally unstable person to get their hands on a rifle...

    • profile image

      An AYM 5 years ago

      That's funny, because I look at the internal logic of your assumption and see "I'm too self-centered and stupid to legitimately consider an alternate perspective".

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 5 years ago from Northern California

      All too often, images are taken to be more important than reality.

    • profile image

      Jmiller17 5 years ago from Marietta, Georgia

      Thanks Larry! I agree your assesment on the "logic" behind the control activists views. Very true, and yet very sad.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 5 years ago from Northern California

      Hi Jmiller17,

      Good job. Here's the internal 'logic' of most Gun Control advocates--at least the male ones--whether they admit it or not.

      I want others to think that I'm a good person. A part of that image is being nonviolent. And to demonstrate how nonviolent I am, I'll always vote to throw to throw you in jail if you're an icky person who chooses to own a gun. Can I get laid now?

      Voted up and useful.


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