Gun control lacks common sense


Gina Ferazzi | TNS

Estimates of the number of incidents annually where guns are used for defensive purposes overwhelmingly outweighs how often they are used for crime.

Thomas Manor, Staff Writer

The Biden administration has proposed a myriad of “commonsense gun safety laws” which have little to do with common sense. While there is little evidence that supports a correlation between gun control legislation and a decrease in violent crime (in many cases, the opposite is true), Biden has falsely characterized gun violence as a “public health epidemic” and is using this caricature as a springboard to enact new policies that will do little to solve violent crime. Solving gun violence is a complex issue, and putting in place more gun control is not the answer.

Many arbitrary and overreaching gun control measures have already been enacted at the federal and state levels and do not historically improve violent crime rates. The number of murders and the overall violent crime rate nationally have declined substantially for decades, and although the rate of gun-owning households has declined, the number of guns owned by private citizens has steadily increased to roughly 120 per 100 people. The United States clearly does not have a “gun problem,” only a crime problem. 

A study conducted by Gallup showed that opinion polls on gun control over the years varied dramatically depending on how the questions were worded. Anti-gun activists frequently portrayed in the media are well-aware that crime data shows no correlation between violent crime and gun ownership rates, however it has become all-too-common for them to blame all gun owners and guns in general whenever a mass shooting occurs.

These activists regularly cite mass shooting events as being indicative of a problem of gun violence that can only be solved with stricter gun control, while conveniently ignoring events where guns are used in self-defense. “Defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual [defensive] uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million,” according to a study conducted by the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and National Research Council.  Although defensive gun use is not uniformly tracked, even the lowest estimates significantly outweigh the number of times when guns are used in homicides and crime in general.

Chicago, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, is already on pace to exceed last year’s homicide numbers with 227 homicides so far in 2021, according to the Chicago Tribune. Shootings are attributed to a substantial amount of violent crime in the Windy City and are unforgivably common, despite already having many of the “common sense” reforms regularly pitched as federal policy proposals. If strict gun control laws prevented crime, or even shootings, Chicago would be one of the safest places in the world. But Chicago is largely regarded as one of the most dangerous cities in the nation and certainly has not even come close to eradicating its problem of violent crime.

The reason for this is simple: criminals, by definition, do not follow the law. It is entirely illogical to conclude that establishing prohibitive laws on gun ownership will prevent violent criminals from obtaining and using guns in violent crime, the same way drug prohibition doesn’t prevent addicts from obtaining and using heroin.

Of course, while we all want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, any new gun control measures will inevitably have widespread effects on law-abiding gun owners who use guns strictly for self-defensive purposes.

It is critically important to defend the Second Amendment, as the right to self-defense is one of the most basic and fundamental human rights that also serves to protect all of the other rights we hold dearly. We should all reject Biden’s gun control scheme and any other new gun control legislation and leave law-abiding gun owners alone.