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The Ineffectiveness of Gun-Control Policies

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By Sel-Diora
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The infamous fascist leader Adolf Hitler, who led Germany in World War II, once said, “to conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.” Indeed, without guns, people would be defenseless against any threat. Relevant to Hitler’s statement, criminals within everyday life endanger the people if they lack the means to defend themselves. As true to this ideal of self- defense, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows "a well regulated Militia”, as well as “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms [to] not be infringed". It is most certain that the fathers of the Constitution had the intention to order to protect our people, militia or no. And with the ineffectiveness of gun control policies combined with the diverse uses of the gun along with the people’s beliefs, it is crucial that such policies not be implemented.

    The people’s rights ought to be respected, and gun-owners believe that they ought to have and keep guns. Polls given to gun-owners show the average gun-owner believes that stricter gun laws “will lead to stricter laws that take guns away from citizens” (Pew Research Center, 2013). They also believe that “owning a gun makes them safer”, as well as that “stricter guns laws ‘give too much power to the government over average citizens’”, and most importantly, “gun rights are more important than controlling gun ownership” (P.R.C, 2013). With the gun-owners’ opinions displayed in such a fashion, it will be impractical and difficult to take away the guns from them, with a frustrated and unwilling population remaining while the criminals can obtain guns with other methods.

    Gun control advocates claim that self-defense is inefficient, one even stating that “for each justifiable gun homicide, there are 34 criminal gun homicide” (Ingraham, Christopher). However, this can be a misleading figure, because many potential murders are prevented but not reported since they never occurred. There are many solid examples too, as an expert named  Eugene Volokh listed: In Chicago 2015, a driver with concealed-carry permit “shot and wounded a gunman who opened fire on a crowd of people” (Volokh, Eugene); in 2012, South CA., a man who killed another and also wounded a man in a bar pointed his gun at the bar manager, but was shot by that manager, effectively stopped  (Volokh, Eugene); in 2009, Atlanta, two men at a party discussed killing everybody after raping the women, only stopped by a Marine acting as a citizen  (Volokh, Eugene); in 2007, Colorado, a man who brought more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition killed four people and was shot and stopped by a volunteer security guard  (Volokh, Eugene)... Mr. Volokh had numerous examples of people being able to stop potential murderers, and with those examples, he proved that people protect themselves along with others by using guns. This gun-control policy expert is only further supported through statistics--guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense, meaning 6,850 times per day--overall 80 times more often to protect than to kill the citizens (Gun Owners of America). In addition to self-defense as a commonly used tactic by citizens, hunting and sports are also a wide use for guns, with just the year 2011 alone reporting more than 3,000,000 firearm-buyers spending a total of about $3,000,000,000 (US Fish and Wildlife Service). The revenue earned from guns could not only benefit the companies, but also the government. With so much positive gain from widely allowing guns, from self-defence to recreational use to even revenue gain, there is no reason to have gun-control policies, as they would only limit all these well-deserved liberties.

    In addition to guns being able to used in self-defence, guns are actually not that often used by criminals. Studies display that more than 99% of guns bought are used for non-criminal purposes (Gun Facts). 90% of criminal violence don’t involve a gun; even in crimes in which the offender had a gun, they did not use or threaten to use the gun (Gun Facts). Adding to further simple/aggravated assaults, knives had an equal percentage of use compared to firearms (Klimas, Liz). Clearly enough, the gun control policies would be inefficient since most if them would harm non-criminals, and assault-wise, it would not truly affect those statistics due to criminals being just as easily able to use knives. Keeping this logic in mind, the following examples perfectly display precisely how gun control policies fail to keep criminals in check.

    Current-day countries with their diverse take on gun control policies strengthen the argument that gun control policies have no notable effects. Australia is famous for its “effective gun control policy”, with its take-back of guns within 1996 leading to a seemingly incredible downward trend to nearly no gun homicide rates in only about one decade (Chapman, Steve). However, no such relation in the effectiveness is shown, as the gun homicide rates were already declining before the policy took effect in 1996, and even afterwards the declination rate was still the same (Wright, Antonio). Furthermore, a study indicating “the program worked” admits that the policy may not have the same effect on other countries: "…An island nation [can] restrict illegal gun imports… the absence of any domestic gun manufacturers …meant that legal restrictions on gun ownership were more likely to 'bite' in Australia than…in countries with porous land borders” (Chapman, Steve). Clearly, the gun control policies in Australia not only had no obvious effect, even a study of its effectiveness displayed that pro-gun-control advocates were mistaken to believe Australia’s policy could easily apply to any other country.

    Some countries are similar to Australia in that they have strict gun control, however, unlike Australia, they perform completely contrary to ideal gun-control policies. Brazil has quite strict gun control, yet is the most violent nation in the world, at a massive 18.79 homicides per 100,000 people as of 2010, which rose to about 25 homicides per 100,000 people in 2011 (Taverner, Ben). Its policies failed especially due to its poorly designed police force enforcement, stressed by the failure and corruption of the federal-republic government. All firearms are required to be registered, yet of the 17 million firearms in the country, merely 9 million are registered (Taverner, Ben). Mexico is also known for extremely strict gun control, with only one legal gun store in the entire country, yet it has wide gun ownership, with only about 29% of 15.5 million guns registered in compliance with law, and following up with a 9.97 rate of homicide per 100,000 people (Kopel, David). Some opponents argue that the illegal amount of guns may be due to US smuggling, however, a study finds that only about 18% (compared to the 85-90% stated by Mexican officials) of guns can truly be said to come from the US (Kopel, David). Even then, most of the guns are about 15 years old, supporting the theory that they had been in the black market, rather than being smuggled (Kopel, David). In contrast the the previous two countries, United States has a loose gun control policy—the highest rate of gun ownership in the world, with 88 guns per 100 people-- but rather low gun homicide rates in comparison, with only 3.55 homicides per 100,000 as of 2013, which is actually even lower than the average or median homicide rate (Cookie, Charles).

    The fact that gun policies hold little to no effect makes a lot of sense; if criminals want to use violence, there is nothing stopping them. They can easily produce guns, obtain knives, or even bare-handedly threaten innocent people at point-blank. It is only logical that the criminals would do anything to get their hands on money or fulfill their greedy needs. It is similar to the prohibition of alcohol, in that nothing could stop the people from getting what they desperately wanted. With the ban of alcohol, the drinking ironically got worse. From all these examples, and supported by logic, the only conclusion is that gun policies are futile. With the people’s liberty and security being threatened by gun policy, the only solution is that gun control policies should not be put into effect.

How effective are gun-control policies? I analyze them in this essay. Enjoy!

       WORKS CITED

  • Gun Facts, "Gun Facts | Gun Control and Crime." Gun Facts. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2016
  • Gun Owners of America, "Just For Skeptics." Fact Sheet: Guns Save Lives. Gun Owners of America, 16 Oct. 2008. Web. 13 Jan. 2016. www.gunowners.org/sk0802htm.ht…
  • Pew Research Center, "Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason." Pew Research Center for the People and the Press RSS. Pew Research Center, 12 Mar. 2013. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service, “2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation”. v.gd/hunts ;
  • Chapman, Steve, "Hillary Clinton, gun buybacks and a win for the NRA", The Chicago Tribune. 14 Dec 2015. v.gd/buyback ;
  • Cookie, Charles. "Gun-Control Dishonesty." National Review Online. National Review, 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 5 Jan. 2016. v.gd/gunfail ;
  • Ingraham, Christopher. "Guns in America: For Every Criminal Killed in Self-defense, 34 Innocent People Die." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 19 June 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.
  • Klimas, Liz. "Guns and Crime: What the Statistics Really Say and How They’re Interpreted in the Debate." The Blaze. The Blaze, 7 May 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.
  • Kopel, David. "Mexico's Gun Control Laws: A Model for the United States?" Washington Post. The Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
  • Taverner, Ben, “Despite Firearm Restrictions, Gun Violence Kills Five People Every Hour in Brazil”, v.gd/braz2 ;
  • Volokh, Eugene. "Do Citizens (not Police Officers) with Guns Ever Stop Mass Shootings?" Washington Post. The Washington Post, 3 Oct. 2015. Web. 5 Jan. 2016,

 

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Chicago Tribune, “Chicago Shooting Victims”. v.gd/chicag ;
  • Gun Facts, "Gun Facts | Gun Control and Crime." Gun Facts. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2016
  • Guns and Self Defense. (2015). Retrieved December 16, 2015, from v.gd/selfdef  ;
  • Gun Owners of America, "Just For Skeptics." Fact Sheet: Guns Save Lives. Gun Owners of America, 16 Oct. 2008. Web. 13 Jan. 2016. www.gunowners.org/sk0802htm.ht…
  • Pew Research Center, "Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason." Pew Research Center for the People and the Press RSS. Pew Research Center, 12 Mar. 2013. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.
  • "Second Amendment Stuff - National Pro-Gun Organizations." Second Amendment Stuff - National Pro-Gun Organizations. Web. 5 Jan. 2016. from v.gd/2ndag ;
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service, “2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation”. v.gd/hunts ;
  • Bailey, Bill. "The Founding Fathers and the Right to Bear Arms." The Federalist Papers. 5 Sept. 2011. Web. 5 Jan. 2016. v.gd/beararms ;
  • Betsch, Michael L.Blacks Allegedly Victimized By 'Racist' Gun Control Laws”, CNS News. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. v.gd/blacks ;
  • Burnett, David. "Students Should Have the Right to Carry Guns on College Campuses." Guns and Crime. Ed. Christine Watkins. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Rpt. from "Colleges Reveal Their Plan to Keep Students from Becoming Victims of On-Campus Violence: Duck & Cover." National Rifle Association Online, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. v.gd/studsho ;
  • Browne, Harry. "Repeal All the Gun Laws." Repeal All the Gun Laws. 2000. Web. 5 Jan. 2016. www.spectacle.org/0600/browne.… ;
  • Cawley, Marguerite. "Do Stricter Gun Laws Reduce Gun Violence in Latin America?" Do Stricter Gun Laws Reduce Gun Violence in Latin America? InSight Crime, 4 Sept. 2013. Web. 5 Jan. 2016. v.gd/reduce ;
  • Chai, Barbara, “Love Your Gun? Thank the Black Panthers, Says New Book”. The Wall Street Journal. v.gd/gunss ;
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  • Cookie, Charles. "Gun-Control Dishonesty." National Review Online. National Review, 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 5 Jan. 2016. v.gd/gunfail ;
  • Good, Chris. "The Case Against Gun Background Checks." ABC News. ABC News Network, 10 Apr. 2013. Web. 5 Jan. 2016. v.gd/bckgrnd ;
  • Gordon, Claire, “Gun Control Debate Amongst African-Americans Involves Complicated History”, 2013. The Huffington Post. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. v.gd/racist ;
  • Ingraham, Christopher. "Guns in America: For Every Criminal Killed in Self-defense, 34 Innocent People Die." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 19 June 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.
  • Klimas, Liz. "Guns and Crime: What the Statistics Really Say and How They’re Interpreted in the Debate." The Blaze. The Blaze, 7 May 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.
  • Kopel, David. "Mexico's Gun Control Laws: A Model for the United States?" Washington Post. The Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
  • Taverner, Ben, “Despite Firearm Restrictions, Gun Violence Kills Five People Every Hour in Brazil”, v.gd/braz2 ;
  • Volokh, Eugene. "Do Citizens (not Police Officers) with Guns Ever Stop Mass Shootings?" Washington Post. The Washington Post, 3 Oct. 2015. Web. 5 Jan. 2016,
  • Winkler, Adam. "Why Banning Assault Rifles Won't Reduce Gun Violence."Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 11 Dec. 2015. Web. 5 Jan. 2016. From v.gd/assault ;
  • Wright, Antonio., "Australia's 1996 Gun Confiscation Didn't Work – And It Wouldn't Work in America." National Review Online. National Review, 2 Oct. 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.
  • Wright, Stephen E. "Gun Control Laws Will Not Save Lives." Guns and Crime. Ed. Christine Watkins. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Rpt. from "Anti-Gun Group Common Sense Gun Laws and Real Common Sense." StephenEWright.com. 2010. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. v.gd/nosavelive ;
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Comments5
anonymous's avatar
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I-aint-no-alien's avatar
Imma get a shotgun.....sooner or later
Or maybe I'll forget....hmm
Eremitik's avatar
I am surprised that you have not gotten yourself drawn and quartered over this opinion, English project or not.
ChicknHead's avatar
do u just do these for fun?
Sel-Diora's avatar
course not, it's my english project. XD
ChicknHead's avatar
OMG XD Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuust checking lol