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Suppose every criminal receives their guns via legal purchases from legal gun stores. So let’s make it harder for people to buy guns from legal gun stores, good idea right, wrong! All throughout the U.S, mainly in lower income areas, gun violence has been a drastic issue. By December 23, approximately 13,000 people lost their lives in the form of homicide, unintentional shooting, murder, or suicide. This translates to a grand total of 36 Americans losing their lives each day by way of guns (Masica). Currently, only 60% of gun sales are being subjected to background checks, leaving the other 40% of sales at gun shows and online sales unregulated by U.S law (“Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence”). While implementing more gun control laws may seem like the answer to solving the issue of gun violence, gun laws restricting US citizens from obtaining and possessing firearms should be abolished in the US because background checks will not suppress gun violence in America, the number of firearms in public hands has no direct correlation to gun-related murders in the US, and gun violence is a reflection of cultural and economic factors.
While some may have the misconception that gun control laws will remove guns from the palms of criminals, for the most part, various sources suggest otherwise stating that criminals will carry firearms either way. In an article opposing gun control, Conservative United states that, “While most law abiding citizens would obey new gun control laws, criminals would not. And with an estimated 300 million firearms in the United States, obtaining a gun will never be difficult” (“7 Reasons Liberals Are Wrong on Gun Control”). This quote signifies that while the average working citizen of the US might obey gun control laws, criminals will completely ignore these laws, obtaining them from outside illegal sources such as the black market. The black market is a system through which things are distributed with currency illegally (Merriam-Webster). This is a vital concern when speaking about gun violence in the US because it highlights the possible outcome that criminals are roaming the streets with firearms while potential targets, the average civilian, are walking gunless because it became a much longer process for the citizens to obtain and possess weaponry due to excessive background checks. While citizens are being delayed to obtain weapons for self-defense purposes, criminals are obtaining guns through underground markets. Another article from ProCon.org suggests that, “The police cannot protect everyone all of the time. 61% of men and 56% of women surveyed by Pew Research said that stricter gun laws would ‘make it more difficult for people to protect their homes and families’” (“Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?”). This conveys the idea that the police are not capable of watching over every US citizen’s shoulder so the people need other alternatives to protect themselves available at all times. This is vital because the source supplies the reader with a common sense claim that many gun control advocates overlook too often. Due to the absence of constant protection from the law, people have to look for an alternative source of assured safety that can protect from an abundance of threats. This where the people look into guns, specifically handguns. They are a light, easy to conceal, and effective weapon to ensure the safety of those you are with. It gives those who put themselves at risk when walking home from work at 3 AM in a dangerous community to fight back if a bigger, deadlier danger is presented to them. Guns allow for those adversities to perish and for those who deserve to live another day, to live another day. The quote also informs the reader that the majority of men and women questioned by Pew Research, a database located in Washington D.C., claim that guns are a vital necessity when securing the safety of one’s home. This piece of information is also important when discussing how the people feel towards guns in the average home all while providing something capable of defending against intruders and robberies. The fact that 61% of male and 56% of female surveyees agree that guns are necessary to assure one’s safety is essential because it reveals the fact that insecurity exists in people’s homes which can be attributed to them living in a dangerous neighborhood. This then opens up the argument that those who need firearms more, are being affected by gun control laws greatly because of the fact that the goal of gun control is to reduce gun violence. Where gun violence exists the most in public areas is in low-income neighborhoods, where locals fight to evade theft from neighborhood thugs or shootings due to intense criminal activity. Overall, making gun control stricter for law-abiding citizens is a misunderstanding of who gun violence is committed by and how those individuals obtain their guns.
Although stricter gun laws may seem like an answer to gun violence, statistics have shown that the number of guns flooding communities has no ties to the amount of gun crimes. In an article written by Jacob Davidson, an editor from Time Magazine, this claim is further supported with this statement, “There’s no simple correspondence between the number of firearms in private hands and the amount of gun crime… there seems to be a perception that things are worse than ever when, in reality, things are really better than they’ve been for decades” (Davidson). What this quote is trying to convey is that there is no correlation between the amount of legally distributed guns and gun crimes, signifying that lots of guns is not equivalent to lots of gun violence. The author then takes it further when he states that crime rates with guns have since improved and provides statistical evidence that follows, “we’ve have had a remarkable decrease in violent crime and gun crime in the U.S. since the early 1990s, even though the number of firearms has increased by about 10 million every year” (Davidson). So the claim the author is trying to generate is that while lots of more guns have populated our cities, crime rates inflicted by guns have significantly dropped since the large distribution of guns. This is vital when discussing the effects of guns in our communities. This is a fundamental piece of information that can be utilized because it proves, statistically, that lenient gun laws can result in a lower gun violence crime rate. The reasoning behind this claim can be attributed to the fact that those who purchase their firearms in a legal manner do so as a form of extra security to protect themselves from criminals trying to strip the innocent of something of great importance. An additional quote that further supports this theory, “A Nov. 26, 2013 study found that, between 1980 and 2009, ‘assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level’ and ‘states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murders.’ While gun ownership doubled in the twentieth century, the murder rate decreased” (“Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted”). In this quote, the author states that during the existence of assault rifle bans that took course of almost 30 years, murder rates were not affected to an extreme point at state level. In fact, the author described the change in murder rate as insignificant. Another point being pushed into the spotlight is that states which established restrictions concerning hidden firearms resulted in higher amounts of gun-related deaths. The idea the author engineers suggests that while lowering the amount of guns being distributed and carried in communities may seem like a solution to lowering gun violence, that is incorrect. Criminals that are about to commit murder do not have multiple laws running through their mind in hopes that they do not break them. They decided to commit one of the most serious crimes there is to commit, so any other law that they may be charged with is minor to them. Basically, a criminal is not going to contemplate whether they can legally hold a gun or not once they already decided they are going to take someone’s life. This justifies the point which states that criminals will most likely not obey gun restriction laws when a plan to kill someone is being enacted, therefore rendering all the gun restrictions useless. To sum up, the popular myth that less guns equates to less gun violence can be proven false when looking into specific statistics covering the correlations between gun population in our community and gun-related deaths over the years.
Advocates in favor of gun control argue that guns are rarely used as an act of self defense. ProCon.org further supplies evidence making this statement true stating that, “Of the 29,618,300 violent crimes committed between 2007 and 2011, 0.79% of victims (235,700) protected themselves with a threat of use or use of a firearm, the least-employed protective behavior” (“Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted”). What the article portrays with this statement is that less than one percent of assaulted victims used firearms as a means to defend themselves. Their purpose for utilizing this data is an attempt to show how rare guns have actually flew in to save someone’s day therefore banning guns would not make a drastic difference and would actually have a much larger impact in terms of saving lives than leaving them available to the public. Although the statistics are undeniable, those who pose this side of the spectrum overlooked one vital, groundbreaking fact. Ninety percent of criminals between the age of 18-40 claimed to receive their firearms through undocumented means, such as arrangements with gangs or gifts, according to Philip Cook, writer of Newsweek. In addition to criminals having other methods of obtaining firearms, we have to take into account how many families were saved of demoralization due to retaliation from the assaulted victim. While 1% of 29,000,000 may not seem like a lot, 200,000 families did not have to suffer at the sight of their deceased loved one. To summarize, intense gun control will only make it harder for civilians to defend themselves rather than deter crime.
In short, gun restriction laws currently delaying law-abiding U.S citizens from obtaining guns should be deleted because background checks have no major impact on gun violence, there is no simple correspondence between gun sales and gun violence, and undeniable truth that gun violence is a mirror image of culture and the community in which the crime happens. My supporting evidence lies within the statistics showing how guns overwhelm our communities leaving plenty in plain sight for those can not obtain them legally as well as gun trafficking from gangs rendering background checks useless. Another point supporting my thesis includes, while gun population has been increasing by ten million units per year since the 1990s, there has been a significant drop in gun violence, proving that the amount of guns in communities has no ties to the amount of gun violence produced. This is why the fight should not be to strip guns from the people, as it would be throwing away our only shield in the act of terror.
- “7 Reasons Liberals Are Wrong on Gun Control.” Conservative United, conservativesunited.com/7-reasons-liberals-wrong-gun-control/.
- “Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.” Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence, www.bradycampaign.org/about-gun-violence.
- “California Gun Control Laws.” Findlaw, http://statelaws.findlaw.com/california-law/california-gun-control-laws.html
- Cook, Philip. “In Opinion: Gun Control-Where Do Criminals Get Their Weapons?.” Newsweek, Dec. 2016, www.newsweek.com/gun-control-where-criminals-get-weapons-412850.
- Davidson, Jacob. “A Criminologist’s Case Against Gun Control.” Time, time.com/4100408/a-criminologists-case-against-gun-control/.
- “Gun Control’s Racist Reality: The Liberal Argument Against Giving Police More Power.” Salon, www.salon.com/2015/06/24/gun_controls_racist_reality_the_liberal_argument_against_giving_police_more_power/
- Gun Control: The Pros and Cons of the Issue. ViewCaps, 2013.
- “Gun Control: Where Do Criminals Get Their Weapons?.” Newsweek, www.newsweek.com/gun-control-where-criminals-get-weapons-412850
- “How Income Inequality Affects Crime Rates.” Financesonline.com, May 2013, financesonline.com/how-income-inequality-affects-crime-rates/.
- Mascia, Jennifer. “15 Statistics That Tell the Story of Gun Violence This Year.” The Trace, June 2016, www.thetrace.org/2015/12/gun-violence-stats-2015/.
- “Most Dangerous Cities in the United States.” WorldAtlas, 11 July. 2019, http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/most-dangerous-cities-in-the-united-states.html.
- “Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?” ProCon, gun-control.procon.org/
- “Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason.” Pew Research Center, May 9, 2013, http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/why-own-a-gun-protection-is-now-top-reason/
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