Gun Violence

Mason McCabe, Staff Reporter

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Gun violence is a very sordid topic in the current political climate. Both the people who are for gun control and against it concoct their own complex lies in order to support their ideals, but with the CDC’s yearly reports on life and death in the USA being public information, it only takes knowing where to look to get the truth.

And the truth of the fact is: gun violence has been on a steady decline since the 1990s, but not due to any law as the failure that was the Assault Weapons Ban showed and studies done over the decades have proven, the most recent one being done in 2016 and, like before, announcing that the decrease in firearm-related crimes was ‘negligible’. The USA already has a relatively minor amount of firearms-related deaths, 33,599 in 2014. That may seem like a large number, but the population of the USA in 2014 was 318.9 million people. One may think, ‘well, if we had more strict gun laws, we might be able to lower that number of deaths substantially!’, but, you are heavily mistaken. Out of that number of deaths, almost 2/3rds of them are suicides; 21,334 of them. Taking a gun away from a suicidal person would just cause them to choose another way to end themselves, so for credibility’s sake let’s remove that number from the equation. That leaves 12,265 deaths that are homicides, right? Wrong again, as that number is still an aggregate of all the gun-caused deaths in 2014 minus suicides. In reality, only around 10,945 died in 2014 of homicide by firearm. In a country that, at the time, had 318.9 MILLION people.

‘But what about mass-shootings,’ one may ask, ‘Wouldn’t gun laws prevent them?’. Well, no. Most mass shooters acquire their firearms in ways that are already heavily illegal, such as straw purchasing or off of the black market, or even through murdering someone else in order to acquire their firearms in the case of the Sandy Hook shooter. Straw purchases are where you have someone else purchase a firearm for you, and it was the way the Columbine shooters acquired at least two of their firearms through asking a friend to illegally straw-purchase them, along with buying a TEC-DC9 handgun from an adult in a parking lot. You can’t outlaw things like that. In Oregon, Kate Brown banned private sales outright, but nothing stops someone from messaging someone else online, meeting up in a parking lot or alleyway somewhere, and exchanging money for a firearm. And still, mass-shootings are already responsible for less than 99.9% of all firearms deaths in the country. Remember the gun homicide statistics in 2014? 10,945 people dead? Only 17 died in mass-shootings. 17. Out of 10,945 deaths.

Gun control advocates point to Australia as a perfect example of ‘how gun control works’. You know, a country that already historically has had remarkably low gun violence since the subjugation of the bushwhackers pre-1900? They banned outright ownership of almost ALL modern firearms in 1996, using registration papers they already had gotten from previously-legal owners of firearms to know whose houses to search, and they ended up destroying over 2 million previously-legal firearms. Why? One mass-shooting gave the government a reason to seize power and effectively disarm it’s populace of any sort of relatively modern weaponry. The crime rates for the next 2-3 years actually jumped in percentages from 9-16% in regards to violent crimes and burglary. Huh, I guess criminals now knowing their victims are unarmed actually gives them more confidence now! Now imagine if some sort of fascist government got in power and started rounding up people, something that could and has become a reality in some less fortunate countries? You’re not going to do much with a double-barrel shotgun whose location and owner is on a nice and tidy list in a situation like that.

Now tell me, if the CDC says that gun violence has been dropping steadily since the 90s with laws causing no visible impact, and if gun control in other countries has been repeatedly proven to not do much except rarely lower gun crime in exchange for upping other types of violent crime, why do people still believe in it? The answer is; it appeals to emotion. Waving bloody t-shirts and saying ‘for the children’ is a relatively effective and cheap strategy nowadays as all you have to do is emotionally manipulate people into believing what you want with little to no facts or blatantly false information. Everything that I typed in this article can be searched up through Google, to be proven, or disproven, depending on the source. But i’m not making stuff up. I’m just telling it how it is. You want to deal with gun violence? Deal with gangs, cartels, and repeat offenders. Not limiting what law-abiding citizens can have to defend themselves with for no other reason than ‘well they MIGHT do something bad’. They MIGHT do something bad? Someone MIGHT easily manufacture a submachine gun from some metal piping and springs (which happens all the time) and go shoot up a school, should we ban all pipes from anyone who doesn’t have a license? Someone MIGHT crash a plane into a school building, should we ban all private plane ownership? Maybe’s and may nots control this debate, but the bottom-line is; trust your fellow human. Don’t ask the government to restrict what other people can and cannot do because you think they MIGHT do something bad. Might as well ban trucks from a 20 mile radius of any large public gathering… which they have done in Germany by the way, because appealing to emotion is better than appealing to reality.

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Gun Violence