Banning Guns Will Not Solve Gun Violence
After the Christchurch shooting, the New Zealand Government announced a national ban on what it calls assault rifles, semi-automatic rifles, and high-capacity magazines. Leftist anti-gun lobbyists are calling for the same ban in the U.S., but a prohibition of guns might not be the best solution to stop gun violence.
Guns Save Lives
Self-defense is the primary reason for legal gun purchases in America, and these guns have been put to good use. Defensive gun use is credited for saving more than a million lives each year. The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council reported that this number could even go up to 3 million.
In 2018, close to 40,000 Americans lost their lives to guns, but that number drops to 16,000 if you remove suicides. The number of gun deaths is dwarfed by the number of lives saved by the proper use of firearms.
Ordinary Americans are fending off criminals, protecting their families, and preserving the lives of strangers through responsible use of their guns, but the media will rarely devote time for this. Defensive gun use is not newsworthy because it is normal, and it happens every day.
Relying on Law Enforcement
Gun owners will often cite the time required for law enforcement to respond to a crime versus the amount of risk that people have in that period. Police response can take 5 minutes at its best, but the usual response can take more than 6 minutes to an hour. Break-ins, beatings, or murders can be perpetrated in relatively short periods — certainly not enough time for police officers to prevent them.
Putting your safety in your hands and fending off your attackers or buying time for law enforcement to arrive can be the difference between life and death. An active shooter in school will have several minutes to wreak uncontrollable havoc before law enforcement comes, but a single armed school personnel can mitigate or even stop the threat the shooter poses.
Legal vs. Illegal Guns
The majority of gun-related homicides are attributed to illegal firearms. Eighty percent of gun-related homicides are drug-related or gang-related. The perpetrators of these homicides rarely have legally purchased guns. Gangs rely on black market contacts as well as other illegal means to acquire firearms.
When handguns were banned in Chicago, the number of gun deaths actually rose. Criminals will not adhere to gun laws. An individual committed to performing an act of violence will not be dissuaded by a gun-free zone. Ninety-eight percent of mass shootings are actually committed in gun-free zones, a clear testament that gun-free zones or gun laws will not deter a determined criminal. Banning guns will only affect law-abiding citizens, making them more vulnerable to criminals.
In the end, guns can save lives. Banning guns will only remove this safety net from law-abiding citizens while doing nothing for the criminally inclined. The government should crack down on the illegal guns that are used to commit a crime rather than the legal ones used to stop them.