We are well past the point of needing common-sense gun control laws in this country. The tipping point should have been Sandy Hook, when our young children were slaughtered in an elementary school classroom and forced to pay for our sins. The news of yet another mass shooting almost fell on deaf ears as the country was already reeling from an endless news cycle and an upending mid-term election.
After all the thoughts and prayers have been exhausted and the “now’s not the time to politicize this” statements are made, we still have to live with the fact that we’ve done nothing to make Americans safer. In fact, in the wake of these events, we see the automatons come out in force with their inane arguments for why gun control won’t work or why it’s un-American to even suggest it. I’m going to look at some of these arguments a little closer to dispel each with more detail.
Our 2nd Amendment rights can’t be infringed
I hear this one a lot and I can’t tell you how infuriating it is. First, let me get this out of the way: it’s just not true. Any surface level scan of this argument would find that it’s complete bullshit.
Yes they can. Let me explain.
The idea that the rights given to us in the amendments to the Constitution can’t be restricted is completely incorrect. The Supreme Court has already ruled over and over that these rights cannot impede on the basic rights of others, such as the right to life. This is why we have free speech (as protected by the first amendment) but cannot go into a crowded theater and yell “fire!” without consequence.
In fact, we have ample proof that the 2nd amendment can be restricted. The National Firearms Act of 1934 mandated strict guidelines for the creation and ownership of fully-automatic machine guns. In 1986, that law was expanded by the Firearm Owners Protection Act, which banned the possession and transfer of new automatic firearms. While you can still buy a machine gun (just not a new one), they are incredibly expensive and requires anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to get the permission to own one.
In 1994, Bill Clinton signed an assault-weapons ban, which outlawed guns like the AR-15 and other semiautomatic rifles. Unfortunately, that ban was a temporary 10 year ban and the guns became legal again in 2004.
These laws have held up to repeated court challenges.
I’ve also seen people argue that creating gun laws is a “slippery slope” that will ultimately end up in all of our rights being taken away. Let me be clear: this argument is stupid and ignorant. There is no “slippery slope” in our country. We are governed by laws that can be as specific as we want them to be. The idea that passing a law will lead to other rights being taken away is nothing more than a mindless scare tactic and ignores the very core of how our system of government is formed.
Gun control laws don’t work
Yes, they do.
Remember that 1994 bill I mentioned above? A study was done on the number of mass shootings before, during and after the expiration of the law. The results were staggering.
Compared to the 10-year period before the ban, gun massacres fell 37 percent and the number of people dying from gun massacres fell 43 percent. After the law expired, there was a 183 percent increase in massacres and a 239 percent increase in massacre deaths.
What about the heavy restriction on fully automatic machine guns? Since the 1986 bill was introduced, machine gun deaths have become incredibly rare. It’s become so rare, that people forget that machine gun deaths were legitimately an issue in the US. In the early 1980s, Miami was known as “machine gun Mecca” because of all the machine gun based violence it experienced.
I won’t bother talking extensively about the gun control laws in countries like Canada and Australia, but a quick google search will show that their gun deaths per capita are almost nil compared to the US. If you want to learn more, google it.
While there are no “perfect” laws that will stop all crimes, the idea that they don’t work is just false.
Just arm more people
In many of the recent shooting, cops have been injured and killed responding to these incidents. These police officers were highly-trained (definitely more so than civilians) and knew exactly what to expect when they showed up to the scene of the crime. Yet, with that extra training and knowledge of an active shooter situation, these brave men and women were still injured or killed.
The good guy with a gun solution is a myth, and it’s a dangerous one.
First, civilians simply don’t have the time or resources to be as highly trained as police officers. These men and women dedicate themselves to public safety and service. Your weekends on the ranch shooting tin cans from 30 feet away does not make you the next gun hero. Additionally, firearm skills degrade. Officers have to stay on top of their training every single year to fight against this.
Second, drawing a gun in an active-shooter situation actually makes things worse for the police that do show up. They are trained to shoot any armed person they see and instead of being a hero, you are now a target.
Third, you are not an action-movie hero. Statistically, the overwhelming majority of shots you fire will miss your intended target. Depending on how far away you are, that percentage can vary between 1% to 10%. In actual gunfights, trained officers have just an 18 percent hit rate. That low percentage is for someone specifically trained for an active shooter situation. In fact, if you begin firing in an active shooter situation, there’s a better chance you’ll shoot someone other than the actual perpetrator. Additionally, unlike what you see in the movies, a single bullet rarely stops an active shooter. Unless you can land multiple critical shots, there’s no guarantee you’ll effectively stop the shooter in his tracks.
Fourth, these shooters do not come into a room to announce their bad intentions. In fact, most of the damage done in a mass shooting is done within the first 3 seconds that the gun is first fired. By the time you even know that you need to respond, the incident could already be over.
Check out this video for a realistic look at what a “good guy with a gun” would accomplish:
We need guns in case we need to overthrow the government
LOL, ok. Good luck using your AR-15 against a drone that can hit you with a precision missile shot from 2 miles away.
As a gun owner, I do believe in our right as private citizens to own firearms. However, that right does not have to be absolute and unchallenged. We can safely own firearms while also putting common-sense laws in place that makes it much harder for people to perpetrate these crimes. We just have to get past the inane arguments and work towards real solutions. Sitting on our hands and doing nothing can no longer continue. The lives of our children are at stake.