It’s not a surprise that a huge debate topic in the US is gun control – firearms indeed cause many fatalities and injuries annually. And, as if that isn’t enough, mass shootings are heavily televised by the mainstream media, and are being more and more frequently cited as justification for gun control in recent years.
This leads to extreme gun debates, as people keep trying to convince each other on what sort of gun restrictions should be placed on civilians. There are several different reasons why gun debates become extremely virulent arguments, with perhaps the single most important one being…
Many People Don’t Know How Guns Work
One mistake gun control supporters and politicians make is not understanding the way guns function. Because of this, they usually state incorrect facts about them in their arguments against gun rights supporters. As a result, gun rights supporters are really concerned that anti-gun politicians don’t know how to properly legislate when it comes to guns.
For instance, former President Obama has said that the Newtown tragedy was done using a “fully automatic” weapon. The truth is that it wasn’t – automatic weapons are heavily restricted, used in essentially no crimes. Following the Vegas shooting, Hillary Clinton stated implied that the shooter would have been even deadlier with a “silencer”…
…something that even left-leaning Politifact was forced to label as “false”, properly referring to the item as a “suppressor” – yet in both cases, there was no admission of error, just continuation of similar misstatements on guns.
If Guns Are Illegal, Only Criminals Will Have Them
This is a popular argument used by gun rights supporters. So, in other words, this will put law-abiding citizens at a huge disadvantage against those who wish to cause harm.
There is a variety of answers given by gun control to this argument, such as:
- Criminals will not be easily able to obtain guns
- Violent crime will go down
- Citizens can protect themselves adequately without guns
However, confiscating over 300 million guns in the US will be impossible, and this could lead to an increase in violent crime were it ever attempted. In the UK, violent crime is on the rise in spite of a virtual ban on guns, and items like pepper spray and collapsible batons are not adequate against a prepared criminal.
Increasing misinformation makes gun arguments on both sides far more emotional and testy.
The “Guns Don’t Cause Crime, People Do” Argument
To an extent, this argument holds some truth. There are some rare exceptions, but in general, a gun fires only when the trigger is pulled.
However, the fact is that a firearm gives criminals increased lethality. For instance, not every criminal will use a knife, and bats and other melee weapons do not provide the range and flexibility of a firearm.
However, in the end, a determined criminal will always engage in criminal behavior, with or without a firearm. The argument that an absence of firearms will deter crime is extremely suspect, at best.
With tragic events such as the school shooting in Parkland, or the Las Vegas shooting, people talk about how it’s the fault of the gun culture. Gun control advocates think that these crimes wouldn’t have been possible without the right to bear arms.
The truth is that gun control is highly unlikely to prevent mass murder. If someone wants to kill as many people as they can, they will find any possible way to do it, regardless if they own a firearm or not. As an example, in 1990, a man burned down the Happy Land social club, where his ex-girlfriend worked – 87 people died in the blaze. In Nice, France, an Islamic extremist drove a truck through a crowd, killing 86 and wounding 458.
And in spite of extremely stringent French gun control, a team of nine perpetrators used suicide bombings to divert police before attacking with fully automatic weapons (illegal even by US standards), killing 137 and wounding 413.
It’s true that there has been an increase in such incidents lately, but the rates are similar to what the US experienced in the 80s and early 90s. Also, an extremely small number of murders occur in mass public shootings. Most homicides occur in inner city gang-related turf battles – in 2014, over 50% of the nation’s murders occur in just 2% of the counties, and 54% of US counties had zero murders.
The vast majority of firearm deaths in the US occur due to suicide. While people focus on mass shootings, they seem to forget that gun control advocates use suicides to inflate their annual statistics.
Free Market Shooter in the past has noted that many nations with stricter gun laws than the US that have higher suicide rates. If someone wants to commit suicide, they will find a way to do it with or without a firearm, just like in the case of mass crimes.
Gun debates can get really heated, as both parties have strong beliefs on the 2nd amendment. Arguments such as “guns don’t cause crime, people cause crime” often fuel these debates. On the other hand, people ignorant on the way guns function add to the debate, using misinformation to unashamedly promote laws that will not deter gun violence.
Still, one of the main factors fueling gun debates is the situation with the mass shootings, and these debates often get quite heated. However, the mainstream media is adding gas to the fire – with not only their promotion of misinformation on guns, but their excessive coverage of mass shootings, which leads mentally unstable people to commit these heinous crimes in their last grasp for attention.