I was born into a family where guns were prevalent. As expected, I grew up shooting firearms regularly. It became a game to see who was the best shot with the air rifle in the backyard and then eventually transfer to a competition at the shooting range. We would see who could shoot the farthest and who could hit the most targets, see who could shoot the fastest and the most accurate. Shooting was always fun, but before I ever even held a firearm I learned safety. I learned where the muzzle should always be pointing: down range. Also I learned about the safety on the firearm itself, and to never trust that it should work, but to always use it regardless if the gun is loaded or not. Shooting is and was a big part of my life. I did not grow up in fear of guns. I learned that inanimate objects did not have the capability to harm you by themselves. I still always use precaution, however, when using them. I understand that accidents can happen, but most can be avoided. For instance my dad and I would hear about stories of people accidentally shooting their friends while putting on a deer drive. Accidents like these are easily avoidable. We make sure that every shot we take is a good shot, meaning that we know exactly what animal and exactly where we are hit that animal. Whether it be shooting for competition or hunting deer in the late fall, firearms are engraved into my life. A countless number of memories have been and will be made with firearms. Not only do I myself have a personal connection with firearms. Many more prior to me have had this same connection, and many more to come will have that same connection. Without firearms I would not be the same person I am today, and restricting law abiding citizens, like myself, from owning and using them is the wrong approach to decreasing gun violence.
In recent times many disputes have occured, one being guns. Media conveys their views on guns by providing their customers with all of the horrifying things done with guns, like school shootings, rather than showing a dad and son making lasting memories while competing at a shooting range. A hate for firearms has erupted due to this. Consequently, people are pushing for more gun control without being aware of the current gun laws, and the people creating these laws are not educated in how firearms work or on the benefits the have. Gun control is an ineffective way to attempt and reduce gun violence within a community. A more effective way to deal with gun violence would be gun safety.
Laws can be put into place and then can just as easily be broken. Firearms, legal and non legal, are prevalent throughout this entire nation and to even think that it would be possible to rid the United States of all firearms is foolish. To put guns into perspective, we can simple look at something widespread in this country: alcohol. Although the problem with alcohol is, in itself, it’s own problem, there are many comparisons to be made between alcohol and firearms due to the prevalence of both of them. As you may recall from history the government attempted to fix the problem of alcohol embedded within our country by prohibiting alcohol. You may also recall that this failed horribly (O’Neill). With guns being extremely common, much like alcohol, increasing gun control would increase the problem of gun violence. Also, just like there is illegal alcohol, there are illegal guns on the streets, and they are also prevalent (O’Neill). No matter what laws are put into place, they are bound to fail when dealing with a major topic, especially something as big as guns.
Getting rid of guns or enacting laws to prohibit law abiding citizens from obtaining them is not a viable solution to the violence within the United States. However teaching society about gun safety is a much better approach. With increasing suicide rates gun safety would work to decrease these rates. For example, “About two-thirds of these gun-related deaths are suicides¨ (“Gun Control”). One may be questioning why so many of these people have access to guns, but the real problem is that some of these people did not have the understanding of gun safety and they were clearly in need of help. If perhaps these people had been educated with the consequences that a gun can pose, then maybe some would still be here today.
Gun safety can be and should be applied to all aspects of life. Classes on gun safety could teach students to be aware of the fact that there is no respawning in life, unlike in violent video games. Students should also be educated by their family about gun safety. While “more gun control is not needed; education about guns and gun safety is needed to prevent accidental gun deaths” (ProCon). Accidental deaths are, perhaps, one of the easiest to avoid, but gun control will not fix these accidents. Distributing gun safety would actually decrease a number problems associated with guns.
Gun safety could decrease the amount of crime that occurs with guns. Rather than gun control, addressing “… the educational, employment and family problems that are the root causes of crime¨ would be a much more effective program to decrease gun violence (Polsby). Addressing the causes of the crime rather than what is used in that crime will decrease gun violence (Polsby). This would be a major component of gun safety because people could be deterred from committing violent crimes if aware of gun safety.
Crime prevention is a key component in decreasing gun violence within a community. Gun ownership actually can deter criminals from committing crimes (LaCourse). For instance, when questioned, sixty percent of criminals stated that they feared an armed civilian over the police, and also fifty seven percent of criminals questioned said that they were scared off by an armed citizen (O’Neill). Gun ownership plays a significant role in crime prevention.
Gun control will not prevent crime and could, in turn, have damaging effects on criminal deterrence. Gun control would decrease the availability of guns to the public which would decrease the amount of crime deterrence (Polsby). Opposite to decreasing gun availability, areas with allowance of gun permits have “…a very strong relationship between issuing more permits and a further drop in violent crime” (O’Neill). With an increase of guns within a community there will actually be a decrease of violent crimes within that community. During the twentieth century gun ownership more than doubled and inversely the amount of murders decreased shortly after the increase in guns (Polsby). Gun control is again an ineffective way to deal with gun violence.
Regardless of any attempts to end violence from occurring, there will always be some people that will break the law. These people are called criminals, and for good reason. Criminals commit crimes, and laws do not mean anything to them. Criminals will break the laws of gun control, because laws do not apply to them (O’Neill). No matter the laws, there will always be criminals, and that is something we have to accept. Just like how gun control laws fail to deter crime they also “… will not prevent criminals from obtaining guns or breaking laws ¨ (ProCon). Laws affect law abiding citizens, and do not affect criminals. Therefor gun control laws will only hurt the good people of the community.
Gun control laws have failed to prevent crime and also deter criminals, and a perfect example of this failure would be Chicago. Chicago is a city known for crime, but what makes it unique are the gun control laws in place. Not only do they have laws on guns, but they actually banned things like “…gun shops, shooting ranges, assault weapons, and high capacity magazines” (ProCon). Many people would find this a beneficial law added to decrease crime rates in Chicago, however it does not work. For instance, “… in 2014 Chicago had 2,089 shooting victims” (ProCon). Gun control is proven to have failed and Chicago is just one example of its’ failure. Another region that would surprise most people to have have strict gun laws is Mexico. In fact Mexico has one the most rigid set of gun control laws in the world, but like Chicago these gun control laws fail. Just in one year alone Mexico had over eleven thousand murders involving guns (Rogers). Gun control laws are an ineffective way to decrease gun violence and areas with strict gun control laws still have gun violence.
In contrary to areas that have strict gun laws, there are places with much less laws and with more gun ownership but have less crime. These areas are clearly handling the issue of gun violence much better than others. One area in the world that is like this is Israel. Unlike Mexico, Israel has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world. They actually have forty percent less murder than that of Canada, and Canada has a very low gun ownership (O’Neill). By observing multiple areas with and without gun control it can be concluded that gun control is ineffective in reducing gun violence.The difference between places like Chicago and places like Israel is simple: less gun control and more gun ownership.