It’s been non-stop since the tragic shooting in Oregon took the lives of nine people. Before the smoke had been given a chance to clear, Obama had already taken the stage to denounce firearms in America and Twitter was on fire with pro vs. anti-gun fights.
Politicization has become a common theme every time some mentally ill person picks up a gun and decides to take innocent lives, and it’s during this politicization that some very common talking points are thrown around, typically by gun control advocates. I should know, because I seem to have to answer these questions a few times everyday.
Photo by Stephanie Frey / Getty Images
Allow me to list them, and tell you why they won’t work.
1. ”If we didn’t have guns, we wouldn’t have gun deaths. Let’s get rid of them.”
I’m starting with the biggest fantasy first, and that fantasy is the thought that somehow we could get rid of all the guns in America. It’s a popular sentiment from gun control advocates, and the basis of pretty much every argument they throw out. On Monday, Vox said as much, and suggested that we should start working toward a cultural shift.
Santa Clause riding up on a unicorn and handing you a talking puppy is more likely to happen than Americans willingly giving up its guns, especially to the government. 1 in 3 Americans own firearms, and how many they own is sometimes information they aren’t willing to give up. Our very founding included a constitutional amendment that allowed people to be ready and able to protect themselves from being ruled over by an oppressive entity, be it a foreign government or our own. Our founders knew how governments could get, and didn’t want to leave it to chance that ours would behave. Guns are an engrained part of our culture, and this country’s foundation is partly made up of gunpowder. We’re not going to suddenly, or even gradually, forget that.
Furthermore, many make the argument that if guns were made illegal, then they would eventually disappear. The pro-gun side will argue that only law abiding citizens would turn in their guns, thus leaving only criminals in possession of firearms. The pro-gun side is correct, but not that correct, and they know it. Even if a nationwide gun ban was passed, how many upright American citizens do you think would acquiesce to the law? The answer may not surprise you.
I can guarantee you that the majority of pro-gun Americans have had a conversation with friends or family about how they would keep their gun safe should a ban ever be passed. I know for a fact that some of the people I know have very detailed plans. It’s also telling that the moment a shooting happens, gun sales shoot through the roof. Americans fear that with every tragedy, a ban is right around the corner, and so go out and purchase what they can. That way if a ban does manage to get through our system of checks and balances, Americans will still be armed.
And let’s not forget that technology has progressed to the point where we can now print a gun out.
A gun free America is pure fantasy.
2. “Okay, maybe not a ban, but we need stricter gun laws!”
Like what? Background checks? We have those already. Not that it matters, because 70% of criminals who use guns got it from family members or social acquaintances. Stop people from purchasing guns through a proxy? Already a law. Have people register their guns? Been there. Done that. Both New York and Chicago proved that idea is a bust. Most people don’t want others to know they’re packing, or just how much they are.
Create more gun free zones? That’s where people are dying.
We can’t get much more strict on guns than we already are in this country. As you can see, the tougher the law the higher the chance it will fall flat because it went too far, and criminals and law abiding citizens alike ignored it.
3. “Well, in other countries, their strict gun laws are saving lives!”
The trend lately is using Australia as a model for gun bans. Even Obama likes to tout the island nation as the example we should follow. Surely if they can do it, we can too, right?
Wrong. While homicide rates did go down, Australia’s numbers aren’t as great as it’s cheerleaders would have you believe.
“…according to the Australian government’s own statistics, a number of serious crimes peaked in the years after the ban.” says Stephen Gutowksi. “Manslaughter, sexual assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, and unarmed robbery all saw peaks in the years following the ban, and most remain near or above pre-ban rates. The effects of the 1996 ban on violent crime are, frankly, unimpressive at best.”
What’s more, Gutowski points out an interesting fact that gun control advocates fail to mention. “But at the same time Australia was banning guns and experiencing a decline in gun homicides, America was more than doubling how many firearms it manufactured and seeing a nearly identical drop in gun homicides.” he says. “That throws a bit of a wrench into the idea that Australia’s gun ban must be the reason for its decline in gun crime.”
So while Australia was getting rid of guns, America was making more, and becoming just as safe. In fact, America just keeps getting safer the more guns it owns. According to PEW, gun homicide rates are down 49% since 1993.
But as Charles C. W. Cooke points out, if you’re going to praise Australia’s gun model, you’re praising an all out ban and confiscation. As we covered earlier, this just won’t happen in America. We aren’t Australians, and we would sooner defy these laws at risk to ourselves than begrudgingly go along with them. That’s just who we are.
4. “Well I don’t see YOU suggesting anything.”
Actually, those who hold up the 2nd Amendment have suggested a lot of things. The problem is, most of these things don’t involve us being stricter on guns, and so gun control advocates reject it out of hand and dismiss that it was even an idea in the first place. Ideas differ from person to person, so I’ll just give you mine.
The first order of business is to get rid of the progressive’s coveted “gun free zone.” 92% of mass shootings since 09′ have occurred in gun free zones, and we still haven’t learned that they aren’t safe? Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is? Logic follows that if a person who walks into a room with the intent to shoot people is met with a group of people who are fully capable and ready to shoot back, innocent death will be minimal. If a killer walks into a school that has armed security, or where trained teachers are also ready to protect their students with a healthy dose of led, children will be going home to their families. This is not rocket science.
As the FBI has reported, more guns results in fewer crimes. It’s a trend that has even gotten the attention of Panama, who is now following our lead and becoming lax in its gun laws in order to curb its crime problem. So why aren’t we encouraging more gun ownership? It would appear that it definitely keeps crime down. Kennesaw GA is a great example of this. In Kennesaw, households are required to own guns. This has resulted in a much lower crime rate than its surrounding areas.
Lastly, let’s stop sinking time and money into promoting just how dangerous and scary guns are. Believe me, we know. No one understands just how dangerous and scary a gun is more than an educated gun owner. Let’s redirect that time and effort into education on how to properly use our firearms. Not only will it train people in how to defend themselves, it will likely help accidents with firearms decrease as well.
We should be teaching people how to respect their firearms, not blindly fear them.