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Opinion: Is More Gun Control a Good Idea?

Would tightening gun regulations really prevent violent crimes or even deter them?

In light of the recent shootings in Aurora and , the debate over gun regulation in the United States has reared its ugly head yet again. Across all forms of social media the citizens exchange opinions on firearms in the United States, presenting statistics and quotes that affirm their positions. 

We’re human, though, and we tend to make rash statements out of emotion that we normally wouldn’t make and in fact might normally find completely absurd. 

Let’s take a look at the tighter-control brigade’s position. Proponents of tighter gun control claim that clamping down on a citizen’s ability to obtain certain firearms will make it considerably more difficult for psychopaths like James Holmes to obtain such weapons and therefore may deter some violent crimes. 

What these people seem to fail to realize is that the law failed at every point in the case of James Holmes. He did have a legally purchased AR-15, but it was illegally modified for fully automatic firing capabilities. It is also illegal to open fire into a crowded theater, yet he did. Furthermore, it is also illegal to rig one’s apartment with explosives, yet once again the immutable word of the law failed to prevent such actions.  On the same note, it is just as illegal to open fire in a Mosque.

Yes, it’s true that many innocents died as a result of these malicious shootings, but tightening the noose on citizens’ right to own and carry is not a solution. It is, however, a fantastic way to add to the problem. 

Here’s a very simple truth: laws don’t stop thugs or crazies. A criminal, by very definition, is one who breaks laws. James Holmes was on a mission. In his psychotic mind, he had determined that he was going to kill as many people as he could. Look at all the effort he went through to booby-trap his house - do you honestly think stricter gun laws were going to stop him?  

The only people who are affected by gun laws are those who choose to obey them, like upstanding citizens. Disarming them will certainly not stop violent criminals, and in fact might encourage them since they’re aware that the people they’re targeting are not armed. 

There’s another point that should be made: not all violent crimes are committed with firearms. In fact, only about 1-2 percent of legally purchased firearms are ever used in violent crimes. The two recent shootings that have stirred up all this debate just happen to be two of them. Would these tragedies have turned out differently if some of the victims were carrying? After all, surveys show that guns are used in self-defense as many as 2.5 million times per year. I guess we’ll never know.    

Before I go on, take a look at the violent crime statistics for and for Chicago (you can find it in the photos next to the byline). Keep in mind that Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the U.S., something Raum Emanuel is very proud of, while Kennesaw requires that all homeowners own at least one firearm and, while I do think that's unconstitutional, the result is pretty clear.

Remember that a gun is simply a tool in a madman’s hands. A gun doesn’t kill a man any more than the toaster did in the case of the woman who bludgeoned her estranged husband to death with one back in 2002. Also, keep in mind that a lot of people are killed with blades. On top of that, in a society where citizens can’t bear arms freely, a thug would not be afraid to rob you with a knife because he knows you’re not packing. 

Would it be reasonable, then, to ban all sharp objects? People would certainly be safer. While we’re at it, why don’t we reduce the speed limit on all major highways to 10 miles per hour, thereby eliminating nearly all deaths by traffic accident? Maybe we should also make it a law that everyone has to wear padded helmets whenever they leave the house. But wait, nearly 65 percent of deaths occur in the home, so maybe they should be made to wear them at home, too. 

Look, I know I’m being facetious, but the point is we need to make sure we’re not regulating ourselves into utter stupidity, and that’s the only outcome I can see with the Feds clamping down harder on our gun rights. 

It’s usually around this point that my friends on the left like to point out that the U.K. has a considerably lower murder rate than the U.S., and they restrict guns heavily there. Well, yes, that’s true, but you have to understand two things: one, that the cultural worship of a fictitious mass murderer contributed to these violent crimes, and two, gun laws are about more than the right to hunt and defend yourself from thugs. There is a much more profound reason that we’re allowed to have them. I’ll let President Jefferson explain:

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

The right to bear arms is in place primarily to allow the citizens to defend themselves from a tyrannical government. Hitler knew this, and the first thing he did after his rise to power was make gun registration mandatory, and then he went on to seize every weapon he could from the citizens. There was one city, though, that resisted: Warsaw, Poland, where rebel Jews engaged Nazi soldiers with what few guns they had left, successfully killing around 1,000 of them before the uprising was stamped out (the number varies depending on who tells the story, but 1,000 seems to be the most common one). 

Now, imagine if all the Jews were armed and willing to fight off the Nazis. Do you think the Holocaust would have happened? Again, we’ll never know. 

What about all the women who are raped each year at knifepoint and by sheer brute force? Rape scars women for life and can cause irrecoverable emotional damage as well as a lifetime of severe trust issues. Would their being armed have prevented those tragedies?  

I’m rambling now, so I’ll leave you with this final though: always remember that the sole reason anyone wants to take your gun away is to weaken you. In the case of anti-gun citizens, it's to make you as weak as they are, and in the case politicians and police it's to make you weaker than they are, often so that they can do things to you without fear of repercussion

Adam Alexander August 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM
@Panda Donkey Of course I'm willing to consider a peaceful solution. I hope that peace reigns in all things and that I never have to use my gun against my fellow man. I also didn't say that I favor looser gun rights, although I do somewhat. I think what we have right now is a decent balance. What I mostly fear is rash legislation made out of emotion of the moment, and we know government is guilty of that. And although I hope peace does ultimately win over all, the ability to defend myself from tyranny is not something I'm willing to gamble on the promises of government. Tyranny by definition is when the government imposes its will on the people regardless of what the people want. In a more broad definition it includes the oppression of said people. I don't think that peaceful talks will solve that. As far as the military's technology over our own, don't forget that North Vietnam held against the U.S. Army, the most well-funded and powerful military organization in the world, for nearly twenty-five years until it ultimately gave up. They did this with machine guns and grenades. A few tanks, no bombers and extremely limited artillery against the U.S.'s plethora of the same.
Panda Donkey August 14, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I am aware of the definition of tyranny... Martin luther king jr.'s civil right campaign comes to mind when i speak of nonviolent methods of fighting oppression.
Panda Donkey August 14, 2012 at 01:18 AM
We chose not to nuke Vietnam, I am sure if we had dropped a few nukes on the country it would have surrendered like japan. If Hitler were rising to power in this day in age you do not think he would contemplate droping nukes on strategic locations. My point is if the government wanted to stop a revolution these days at all costs, guns will not help much.
Panda Donkey August 14, 2012 at 01:25 AM
I am not disagreeing or agreeing with your overall opinion on gun control, I am just saying that particular argument you choose seems invalid to me
Adam Alexander August 14, 2012 at 01:47 AM
I understand, and I appreciate the civility.

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