Gun Control in America


Finn Grant, Staff Writer

It’s something you hear about on the news with what seems like more than ever in our country; mass shootings and gun violence. With both sides not willing to budge on any sort of agreement about what the real issue is, it’s time to take a step back and look at the facts and statistics behind what’s happening in America today. Stricter gun-control or an overall gun ban will not have any positive impacts on lowering crime or mass shootings in America.

Something we hear everyday from the media is a need for a ban on the “AR-15” and that no citizen needs a military style weapon. This is true, mostly because very few citizens own military grade weapons and an even smaller number are used in shootings. The plastic and polymer rifle sitting in millions of safes across the United States are nothing like what our troops use in conflicts, besides the cosmetic features. An Assault rifle is classified as: having selective fire, meaning a semi-automatic, fully automatic or burst option and these three firing options are available at the flip of a switch. The semi automatic design is what the public uses for sport, hunting or even home protection and doesn’t fall under the category of an assault rifle. These guns are, in many cases, no different than the wooden hunting rifle sitting in your grandfather’s gun cabinet. One major detail most people don’t know is “The AR in AR-15 does not stand for assault rifle… it comes from the manufacturer Armalite Rifles” (Miles 2). Why does this matter? The media is using terms, which don’t contain any true value to the subject, to scare people who are uneducated on the subject. When broken down and all bias aside, the facts do show that firearms and accessibility are not the problems.

Many government officials that have spoken out in favor of gun control use the examples of the Australian and British gun bans. While many claim it was an effective movement on gun crime “The drop in homicides was not statistically significant, largely because in the two countries gun violence was so low that it’s hard to tease out even sharp drops with certainty… but the drop in suicides was significant.” (Lopez 2) In fact, according to crime reports in Britain  “… there has only been one year where homicide rates involving guns have been lower than it was pre-ban.” (Bandler 3) When you break down the gun bans from past attempts they show no true improvement. Another gun ban you don’t hear about is the Washington D.C ban of 1976.Citizens were forced to disassemble or turn in their guns. The theory was that if someone wanted to shoot they were to obtain permits from the police, which were rarely issued. “After this law was put into effect homicides rose from 188 in 1976 to a staggering 454 in 1993.” (Lopez 3)

When talking about gun involved crime it’s important to look at the stats before making an argument against the second amendment. When you hear that guns kill 33,000 people a year in the United States, they tend not to include that two-thirds are suicides. When you take away the deaths involved in self defense efforts the remaining few thousand are mostly gang-related and are committed roughly 8 out of 10 times with illegally purchased guns. The real issue at hand seems to be much more than the ability to buy a gun in our country but more so related to mental health issues and lack of help for it. People hear how deadly guns are everyday and that no one needs a gun but no one realises that alcohol,which is legal is much worse for citizens in our country. “Alcohol is 650 times more deadly than guns.” (Haskins 4

What most Americans don’t realize is that areas with higher legal gun ownership usually have lower gun crime. “The law center to prevent gun violence, a group that supports enhancing gun control laws, gave in its recent report cards “F” for having laxed gun laws to five of the six states with the lowest homicide rates in our country. According to the CDC,  out of the six states with 50% of households that own firearms, four are in the top half of lowest gun control rate while the other two ranked in the top five.” (Haskins 3) This goes toward the theory that more gun ownership means less gun crime in certain areas. Criminals tend to target areas with less gun ownership because its a safer bet that there will not be a confrontation while they commit the crime on personal property.

After looking and opinion and statistics gun control is and accessibility are not the issues at hand and stricter gun control on law abiding citizens will solve nothing. Instead of looking to take away what a large portion of the population considers a necessity, maybe it would be more beneficial to look at why this murderers are doing what they do in school shootings. Everyone seems to be missing the fact that teeenagers have mental issues to the point where they want to kill their own classmates. Maybe when we start offering help to these people it might make a positive impact on what gun control won’t help.