Debate: Gun Control Experiments
Over the last several decades, America has seen several gun control experiments. Obviously, when people turn on the news, it’s apparent these so called attempts to control guns have not been effective. The U.S. has still experienced deadly shootings, such as the Virginia Tech Campus, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Luby’s Cafeteria, University of Texas at Austin, Post Office in Oklahoma, Columbine High School, Fort Hood, Navy Yard Complex in Washington D.C. and the Aurora movie theater.
How can these deadly incidents be prevented? The answer isn’t in limiting the Second Amendment but focusing on the criminals and mentally ill who obtain weapons. Highlighted below is evidence of how controlling access to guns for law abiding citizens does not solve the problem of mass shootings.
In 1988, the Massachusetts legislature passed a zealous gun control campaign. Banning semi-automatic weapons, they imposed harsh new licensing rules, prohibiting anyone convicted of drug trafficking or a violent crime from ever owning a gun. It also enforced strict penalties for anyone storing guns in an unlocked area. The result: legal gun ownership plummeted. Within a mere four-year period, the number of active gun licenses had gone from 1.5 million to under 200,000 (1998-2002). This effectively meant that gun control didn’t restrain criminals, but was so rigid on law-abiding citizens that most didn’t bother to renew their gun licenses. Additionally, between 1998 and 2011, robberies that used firearms climbed by a startling 20.7-percent, with aggravated assaults increasing by 26.7-percent. The murder rate increased by 122 murders in 2011, with 1998 only recording 65. Essentially, this meant that when victims are less likely to be able to defend themselves, criminals are more likely to act.
In return, politicians blamed neighboring states for not enacting tougher gun control, believing that guns were being brought across state lines. But in reality, this argument is ineffective, because the result is that Massachusetts is now one of the most dangerous states in the nation.
For those still not convinced, reports highlight information that anti-gun laws actually helped to facilitate the deadly Fort Hood terrorist attack. Why? Because gun bans disarmed innocent people, which resulted in them being slain.
Jamaica enacted a handgun ban in 1974 and now they have one of the highest murder rates in the entire world. The same studies show time and again – such as those in Washington D.C. and Chicago – that when law abiding citizens cannot own guns, crime increases.
Our forefathers enacted the Second Amendment for a reason and purpose. While they may not have seen the future of high velocity weapons, they most certainly saw the importance of self-protection.