There Should Be Greater Gun Control

Yes

  • Gun control decreases gun crime
  • Unavailability of guns prevents situations from escalating
  • Dangerous people will have a harder time obtaining weapons
  • Untrained non-professional persons will not be carrying
  • Decreases risks to bystanders
  • Makes police safer

The widespread availability of firearms in this country means that both honest citizens and criminals have ready access to firearms.  No country in the world has more guns than the United States, and no country has more gun violence than the U.S.  Simply put, the risk of deadly violence is greater when a greater number of guns are present.  Studies have shown a strong correlation between gun availability and rising homicide rates; while inconsistent, some studies have shown that gun bans reduce homicide rates.  No one wants to repeal the Second Amendment; however, strengthening gun control laws may at least make it more difficult for criminals to get and use guns.  Moreover, many of our country’s most tragic mass shootings were carried out with legally purchased weapons.  Furthermore, citizens with firearms have had very little effect on the incidence of public shootings or the damage and injury they inflict.  Finally, the existence of guns in the home results in a large number of accidental injuries and deaths each year, which could be prevented if guns were not so widely available legally.

No

  • “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”
  • The courts have ruled that the police have no obligation to protect individuals
  • Criminals are less likely to act if they know citizens can take action against them
  • Adults with carry permits are typically the most law-abiding citizens
  • Defense against public shootings and other emergency situations
  • “Gun Control” guarantees the right of a 105 lb woman to have a fistfight with a 250 lb rapist
  • To “keep and bear arms” is a Constitutional right
  • Confusing anti-gun laws can turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into felons

Police and other first responders are exactly that:  “responders.”  While the existence and presence of police officers in a community may have a deterrent effect, they cannot be everywhere all the time, and the deterrent effect is limited.  Their chief function is to respond to and investigate crimes after they have been committed.  They are rarely in a position to prevent crime, or even intervene while a crime is occurring.  Police and other first responders cannot “protect” everyone or all property from crime.  Responsible individuals with firearms, however, can protect themselves and others around them.  The presence of armed civilians (or even the possibility of their presence) is also a strong deterrent to potential criminals, who know that they may not possess asymmetrical force versus their potential victims, and who know they may be risking serious bodily harm or death as a result of the lawful self-defense of potential victims.  And in situations such as terrorist attacks, which generally only terminate when the assailant is neutralized or killed, armed potential victims can minimize the damage and injury that can occur.  Studies have shown that adults with carry permits tend to be the most law-abiding citizens in the country, and the jurisdictions that allow carry permits have shown significant drops in home invasion crime statistics.

Posted in: Point/Counterpoint

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