I found an old flash drive, and while looking through it, I found a paper I wrote on banning guns. Thought it was relevant. I got a 95 on it btw
For your amusement... tl;dr need not apply:
“Guns do not kill, but people do.” I am sure most of us have heard this saying at some point in our lives. Surely, it is a statement of the obvious, but the logic behind it rings true. It may seem rational to ban guns entirely to prevent people from killing, but it is not the guns themselves that are the problem. The criminals who kill others are willing to break the law and risk going to prison for the rest of their lives to murder, yet they are expected to follow firearm laws? If a nationwide gun ban is enacted, criminals will not suddenly follow the law and reject the thought of buying a firearm on the black market. Banning all guns in the United States would be irrational because it would not lower crime or prevent firearm-related murders.
Outlawing firearms punishes the law-abiding citizens by leaving them defenseless against criminals who obtain their firearms illegally. Michael and Susan Gonzales of Jacksonville, Florida learned first-hand the importance of protecting yourself with a registered and legal firearm. According to Gia Fenoglio’s article in the National Journal
, in the early morning hours of August 2, 2000, two intruders masked in camouflage kicked their way into Michael and Susan’s home with guns drawn. One of the intruders opened fire and struck Michael in the shoulder. Susan hastily grabbed her husband’s twenty-two caliber pistol, cocked the hammer, and squeezed the trigger. She killed one of the intruders by hitting him in the neck and back. The remaining intruder narrowly escaped to his car and sped off. This is just one of many instances where firearms have helped to protect the innocent. In fact, this is one of the millions of instances each year where firearms save lives, according to Gary Kleck. Using his own commissioned phone surveys and number extrapolation, Kleck, a criminologist and researcher, estimates that 2.5 million Americans use guns for defensive purposes each year.” The Department of Justice’s own National Institute of Justice study titled Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms
, estimated that 1.5 million Americans use guns for defensive purposes every year. Had Michal and Susan not had a gun in their home, their lives may have ended that morning.
It would seem logical that the banning of firearms would lead to less firearms and less crime, but statistics show just the opposite. Washington D.C. has had a handgun ban in effect since 1976. According to John R. Lott, a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland, “after the ban, D.C.’s murder rate only once fell below what it was in 1976.” Furthermore, Washington D.C. has been notorious for being on of the most violent cities in the country. According to the Disaster Center’s website, in 1993, the murder rate there peaked at 78.5 murders per 100,000 people. For comparison purposes, New York City had a murder rate of 4.5 per 100,000 people in 2007 (Disaster Center). Not only is this the case in the United States, but the trend continues in other countries around the world. For example, after firearms were banned in England and Wales in 1997, Lott explains that “the number of deaths and injuries from gun crime increased 340 percent in the seven years from 1998 to 2005.” The claim that guns are the problem is merely a scapegoat for larger socioeconomic problems such as poverty, drugs, poor parenting, and undesirable role models.
An abundance of registered firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens acts as a deterrent against crime. The city of Kennesaw, Georgia passed an ordinance in March of 1982 requiring each household to own and maintain a gun. Kennesaw’s crime rate dropped significantly after the ordinance, and there has not been a single murder over the twenty-six years that it has been in effect. The claims that a high gun ownership results in high amounts of violence is nothing more than a fabrication. Switzerland, a country known for having one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, also maintains one of the lowest firearm-related crime rates in the world. In areas where gun ownership is high, the threat of an armed civilian acts as a hindrance against the criminal element.
I speculate that the United States will continue to see a reduction in crime in areas of rising gun ownership. A firearm ban would not stop crime and would only hurt responsible, law-abiding citizens. As long as there is a criminal element, people will always feel the need to protect themselves against a perceived threat. The second amendment was implemented by the founding fathers of the United States as a fundamental right of the people to protect themselves from all forms of tyranny. The right to keep and bear arms is deep-rooted in American culture, and it will not be going away any time soon.
This post was edited on 1/26 at 6:34 pm