Firearms play a key role in self-protection, and home security.
Firearm Law was first introduced in the United States of America in 1791, when the American Bill of Rights was passed. Common sense requires the understanding that a firearm is a powerful instrument that must be regulated and controlled. Appropriately so, governments throughout history have implemented said rules and regulations regarding the ownership, usage, and storage of firearms; more commonly known as Gun Control.
Leftists and Liberals alike would have one believe that firearms are evil and destructive, serving no purpose in our society. They demand tighter control of guns; referencing homicides, gang violence, weapons trafficking, and other shootings to forward their agenda. But is gun control as lenient and irresponsible in the United States as they claim?
Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, it is illegal to sell or dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person if they believe that such person to have been:
1)Convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding a year
2)A fugitive of the law
3)Addicted to or abusive of a controlled substance
4)Committed to any mental institution previously
5)Not an American citizen or has renounced their citizenship
6)Discharged from the military dishonourably
7)Convicted of any domestic violence, harassment, or similar misdemeanours.
Also, depending on the state, there are usually more laws implemented upon a potential buyer. The majority of states in the U.S. have implemented a minimum age, varying between 18-21 for one to purchase a handgun. (Obviously a valid background check, and completed paperwork must take place before any purchase). However, this procedure does not include automatic weapons. Most states require a specific license, as well as a local Police Chief to inspect and sign-off on any weapons’ permits; a system even more vigorously thorough in preventing guns falling into the wrong types of hands.
And yet despite all of these procedures and requirements, time and time again Democrat politicians will spurt unsupported, belligerent lies about purchasing a firearm. President Obama, while speaking in Columbia, South Carolina, on March 6, 2015, proclaimed “It is easier to buy a firearm than a book”. He also claimed that Chicago citizens “go to Indiana to a gun show…load up a van, open up that van and sell them to kids and gang members”. Yet in the state of Indiana, at every gun show, a background check is required under the Gun Control Act of 1968. Now after considering all these strict gun regulations practiced within the United States, the question lies, how come there are so many gun related incidents?
The fact is that between 77-97% of all guns used in crime are not purchased legally according to United States Justice Department (May 2013), and Politifact. Creating stricter gun control is not going to change how easily these illegal guns are distributed. Instead, these strict laws inhibit law-abiding citizens from buying a firearm. By making it harder for guns to be acquired by law-abiding citizens, the government essentially provides criminals with an upper hand in acquiring a firearm that could be used in a home invasion or homicide. Strict laws for responsible gun owners could prevent said citizens from having the instruments needed to defend one’s property from an armed assailant. The perception that a household could own a firearm deters robbery and invasion, because criminals like any human, fear the idea of being shot. However in “gun free zones” like a school for example, a shooter would not feel deterred, as he or she knows that there is no firearm present that could defend against an attack. If a licensed security officer or teacher had been carrying a gun on the property, countless lives could have been saved in multiple school shootings. This should serve as a possible lesson for the future; schools should be protected, not made into “gun free zones”.
Dr. Kates and Dr. Mauser, professors at Harvard University, conducted a study determining that banning firearms will not solve the murder and violence problem. Their research shows that in Luxembourg, handguns are illegal and gun ownership is extremely low, yet it holds a murder rate nine times higher than neighbouring Germany, which has one of the highest gun ownership rates in Europe. Similar patterns can be observed with Austria and Hungary. Hungary has a murder rate nearly three times that of Austria, but Austria’s gun ownership is eight times higher. Norway, Greenland, and Finland are also areas that share similar demographics. Time and time again it is demonstrated that countries with higher gun ownership, have less murder rates. Restricting a law abiding citizen from obtaining a firearm, is leaving them defenseless to the assailant and their illegally obtained firearm.
According to American Police Beat, the average response time for an emergency call is 10 minutes. This leaves 10 long minutes between the time one calls 911 and the time police can assist. During this time the assailant could, rob, rape, kidnap, or kill. Having a firearm on the premises can deter the assailant away and keep everyone safe. This is the same ideal for having security guards at events. When there is something that could be a target to criminals, security measures are implemented to respond until the police can arrive. Similar to obtaining a gun to defend one’s family until the police arrive.
The gun ownership in a country directly correlates to the amount of property crime committed in a nation as well. In Canada, which has much stricter gun control, arson is 40% higher than America, and 30% more break-in and motor thefts, than America according to Statistics Canada. If more Canadians owned firearms, property theft would decrease due to the deterrence of thieves being afraid of getting fired upon.
On the issue of responsibility, the person operating the firearm is responsible for the firearm and their actions regarding said firearm. But what if that person is not ‘stable’? Mental Illness is quite prevalent in current society. If the person that is in possession of the firearm is mentally unstable, their actions can be horrendous and unpredictable. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) conducted an experiment connecting mass shootings and mental illness saying “Four assumptions frequently arise in the aftermath of mass shootings in the United States: (1) that mental illness causes gun violence, (2) that psychiatric diagnosis can predict gun crime, (3) that shootings represent the deranged acts of mentally ill loners, and (4) that gun control won’t prevent another Newtown (Connecticut school mass shooting). Each of these statements is certainly true…”. Mental Illness is not treated or maintained up to societal requirements anymore. Many no longer have the option of full-time care or institutions, but simply have a prescription drug that is commonly misused or incorrectly taken. Sue Abderholden of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Minnesota) stated “In 1957 across our nation, there were about 565,000 people with mental illness in psychiatric hospitals or institutions.” “Today, the number of people with mental illness living in hospitals or institutions is well under 40,000.”. New medications have arrived making it no longer needed for some people with certain conditions to require full-time care. However many illnesses such as: schizophrenia, paranoia, hypo-mania, and other severe conditions have shown to be unstable occasionally with a community.
The best way to prevent gun violence is not with the strict gun control laws implemented in previously mentioned countries like Luxembourg and Canada, but the enforcement of law regarding unrestricted firearms and the possession of a firearm in the hands of the mentally ill. There is simply no reason for laws to inhibit gun possession for ordinary, law-abiding, mature citizens. An ordinary citizen is much more likely to be a victim of crime than commit one. Disarming and hindering these people becomes counter-productive to eliminating crime and gun violence on the streets, as it makes the already vulnerable more vulnerable to criminals.