In recent years the Obama administration has asked Congress to create more gun legislation in an attempt to control American citizens. Gun control, a debate that has been active for almost two centuries, is a serious topic concerning the safety of American citizens. These laws put the law-abiding people of America at risk instead of stopping the criminals that they were intended for. For this reason, gun control laws should never be strengthened.
The majority of the firearms in used in the U.S.are not used for homicides or violence, but instead for other purposes such as self defence and sport. A study by the National Institute of Justice shows that fifty two percent of firearms in the U.S. are used for hunting or sport use (NIJ). This shows that most of the firearms in the U.S. are used for self defense or sport, not for criminal activity. Furthermore, out of eighty guns used by Americans, only one of them is used for homicides or suicides (GIA). However, mass shootings in America have seemed to rise considerably since the last decades. Despite this speculation, the mass shootings in America have in fact not risen, but have instead declined since the 1900’s. Since the year 2000, there have been twenty six incidents of mass killings. This, compared to the forty two mass killings in the 1990’s, is statistically less (Fund). The chances of being killed by mass gun violence is actually minimal. John Fund, an American political journalist, states in ‘The Facts about Mass Shootings’, “The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning (Fund).” This undoubtedly shows that mass murders with guns are not very common in America. Mass murders, even if not common, can be prevented.
Almost all of these mass murders in America are carried outin ‘Gun-free zones’. Citizens should be able to carry guns everywhere for self defence purposes. Gun free zones are a target place for mass murderers. Many places including schools, movie theaters, malls, and hospitals are gun-free zones in America. Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff says in an interview, “A school is a helpless-victim zone”(Fund). Most of these ‘gun-free zones’ are just places where the citizens are unarmed; a perfect place for a mass killing without any resistance from the victims. Strengthening gun control in America would make these situations worse. In an LA Times article by Matt Hansen, A man intruded a Near-Philadelphia hospital and shot a worker inside, only to be confronted by another armed staff member. The suspect tried to run, but was tackled and arrested (Hansen). Despite claims of guns causing only violent crime, armed citizens have confronted and stopped murderers to prevent this crime. Guns are needed in case of scenarios like this, and can be used to save many lives during these situations.
Stricter guns laws only affect law-abiding citizens, not criminals. Criminals will break any laws if their motive is to obtain a weapon. A Department of Justice study shows that 78.8 of weapons used by criminals are obtained by illegal sources or by family members/friends (Olmstead). These gun laws only prevent citizens from stopping these criminals. Criminals will have weapons, but the law abiding citizens will not. This can lead to more mass shootings, as criminals will know that more innocent citizens are not armed. Gun control is not the answer to less shootings. A Harvard study showed that countries with stricter gun laws had more incidents of crime and homicide. The same study also states that Russia, a country with very strict gun laws has a four times higher homicide rate that America (Arms). This fact can also prove that when guns are eliminated, other weapons are used for murdering. Overall, gun laws are irrational. They restrict those who follow the law, and do not stop those who break it.
Stricter gun laws are not the answer to a safer America. Guns are a part of American history, protected by our second amendment. Instead of creating violence, they are needed for the safety of America’s people to prevent it. Groups like the Obama Administration should embrace the idea of guns in our society as a tool for self defense. However, strengthening the already strict gun laws will cause even more citizen deaths and keep law-abiding people defenseless. Instead of fearing the violent potential of guns in America, our government needs to realize its positive implications in society.
Hansen, Matt. “Philadelphia-area Hospital Shooting Ended by Armed Doctor, Cops Say.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2014. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.
Fund, John. “John Fund – The Facts about Mass Shootings.” National Review Online. National Review, 16 Dec. 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.
Travis, Jeremy. “Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms.” (n.d.): n. pag. National Institute of Justice, May 1997. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.
“Guns in America | Facts and Statistics about Firearms in the USA.” Guns in America | Facts and Statistics about Firearms in the USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.
“Harvard: Gun Control Doesn’t Work – Bearing Arms.” Bearing Arms. N.p., 25 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.