Dear Next President,
Widely debated, is the topic of whether gun laws prevent massacres or add to them. Ultimately, what is at stake here is the safety of the public. Gun control laws are ineffective, thus no new laws should be passed, and current laws should not be enforced. This idea challenges the work of the critics who have long assumed that more gun regulation results in less violence. Limiting firearms is useless because criminals will access weapons even if it's illegal, people own the right to arm themselves, and guns are not a factor in 99% of fatal accidents.
To begin, criminals will use any means necessary to access firearms, “If you take guns away from legal gun owners, then the only people who would have guns would be the bad guys” (Bruce Willis). By enforcing these laws, the people who will be affected are those who follow the law, and use the gun for protection, not destruction. It's clear that criminals are criminals because they do not follow the law. Therefore, gun laws will not prevent an offender from accessing a firearm. So by creating and enforcing regulations, innocent people will be unable to protect themselves. Plus, there are infinite amounts of alternative weapons to fill the absence of a gun. Outlaws may turn toward bombs which can be even more dangerous, deadly, and destructive.
Yet, some readers may challenge my view by insisting that more gun regulation, results in less opportunity for delinquents to access a gun and ammo. In actuality, rather than stopping criminals, firearm regulation forces felons to illegally obtain guns. Thus, regulation won’t decrease the number of gun related accident, but may cause criminals to be more destructive because of the extra effort required to retrieve the firearm illegally. Not to mention, there is currently anywhere between 245 and 348 million guns in the United States. Therefore, if gun sales halted there would be around 300 million guns in the world for a criminal to pick from.
Here are a couple of examples of accidents that were not stopped by gun control. On October 1st 2015, “Christopher Harper-Mercer killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. He owned 14 firearms and conducted the attack with six of them, including a Glock pistol, a Smith & Wesson pistol, a Taurus pistol and a Del-Ton AR-15 rifle. All were purchased legally.” An analysis of this event concludes that any gun laws would have been ineffective in preventing the purchase of the gun, and therefore would not have prevented the disaster. What could have happened, was one of the victims could have pulled out a gun to defend them, or even scared away the criminal with the threat of a counter attack.
A second tragedy from October 24th 2014 also demonstrates how a gun law was unable to be effective against a disaster, “Jaylen Ray Fryberg, a teenager, killed four students with a high-capacity Beretta pistol at the Marysville Pilchuck high school cafeteria in Marysville, Wash. The pistol belonged to his father, who was the subject of a permanent protection order. That should have prevented the purchase of the gun but the order had not been entered in the system and so his father passed the background check. The father was later found guilty for knowingly purchasing six firearms he could not legally possess.” The inability of gun laws to prevent this accident is just more proof that they are a waste. There are just too many flaws and loopholes in the system to have any effectiveness.
Furthermore, because of the second amendment, people possess the right to own and carry a gun. To take away guns from citizens would be taking their rights away. Plus, many people use guns for recreation or sport, not to commit federal offenses. That would be similar to making it illegal to drive a car. Almost everyone owns a car, many people obey the rules of the road, but then there are those who are reckless. You can’t take away the general public's right to drive because of others actions. Although on one hand, I agree that criminals should be denied the ability to buy a gun, because they have lost their rights, I still insist that citizens who have not committed felonies have full access to guns. It is not right to deny someone access to guns, because they are speculated to be a threat. If completely ridding of gun laws is not plausible, then in my mind, the only acceptable law, is one that regulates who and how many people possess assault rifles or other guns that can fire many rounds at once. But meanwhile allow access to guns with single rounds, like most hunting rifles or handguns. Therefore it is possible to hunt or defend yourself, but it is a lot harder to commit acts of violence against large crowds of people.
Additionally, the ability of citizens to carry weapons for self-defense is effective in preventing accidents. It gives those who obey the law a chance to defend themselves, or even prevent criminals from attacking them. A 1982 survey of male felons in 11 state prisons dispersed across the U.S. found that 34% had been scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim. Additionally, 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun. Furthermore, 69% personally knew other criminals who had been scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim. These statistics further prove the ability of armed citizens to protect themselves, and prevent tragedies.
Last but not least, guns are not even close to the leading cause of death in the U.S. According to a study of deaths in 2014, there were 586 fatal firearm accidents, and 136,053 total fatal accidents that year. That adds up to .4% of deaths in 2014 resulting from gun accidents, equivalent to 4 out of every 1000 deaths. Don’t get me wrong, 586 deaths from firearms is not a miniscule number, but maybe instead, the U.S. should focus on the 30% of people who died from poisoning, the 25% who died from due to a traffic accident, or the 24% who died from a fall. Gun violence is definitely a problem in our society, but the U.S. has so many other concerns that are significantly more important. So instead of fretting over something so small, the bigger picture needs to be set into focus.
So upcoming president, please take my advice, consider the facts, and do not continue to enforce gun laws. By doing so, you will create a less dangerous environment. Remember, guns aren’t even a huge killer when it comes to Americans, and it is the right of citizens to carry them. But the single biggest reason why gun control is ineffective, is because it affects those who abide by the law, but not the people who must be stopped.
Fact Checker: Marco Rubio's claim that no recent mass shootings would have been prevented by gun laws https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/12/10/marco-rubios-claim-that-no-recent-mass-shootings-would-have-been-prevented-by-gun-laws/
You know less than you think about guns: the misleading uses, flagrant abuses, and shoddy statistics of social science about gun violence https://www.thefreelibrary.com/You+know+less+than+you+think+about+guns%3A+the+misleading+uses,...-a0439682509
Stricter Gun Laws Remain an Ineffective Way to Address Crime http://www.huffingtonpost.com/connor-pfeiffer/stricter-gun-laws-remain-_1_b_1856265.html
Book: Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms (Expanded Edition). By James D. Wright and Peter D. Rossi. Aldine De Gruyter, 1986 (Expanded edition published in 1994).