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Gun control

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A gun. Careful: this image could be the last thing you ever see.

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Gun control is the restriction of those who can legally obtain firearms. It attempts to make it more difficult for a nut to pick up a gun somewhere to use against an innocent life, such as yourself, your family or anyone you care about. On the other hand, it could also make it harder for you to pick up a gun somewhere to defend yourself should the need arise.

Frankly most other western nations have stronger gun controls than the United States. An exception is Switzerland, and it has a relatively low rate of violent crime (though, unlike the US, it has quite strict gun policies). Vermont has some of the strongest gun rights in the nation, and it has one of the lowest rates of violent crime as well. (While gun control is an important factor in affecting rates of violent crime, it's far from the only one; they depend on a lot of other sociological factors as well, which is why Chicago , for example, has such a high crime despite strict gun control.)

Would making guns easily available reduce crime?Edit

Gun control tries to reduce the possibility that a child will be able to get a hold of an unsecure firearm and use it against his family, peers or classmates. The idea behind gun control is to make it harder for potential murderers to get guns and kill wound or maim people. However, it is unclear that banning guns outright would reduce crime. Everything people try to ban just creates a black market.

On the other hand, going the opposite direction, increasing the availability of guns, could theoretically reduce crime. Suppose there was a town in which everyone carried a gun with them at all times, and was willing to use that gun should the need to defend themselves arise. If someone tried to commit a violent crime, they could easily be killed on the spot. Criminals would avoid this town, or alternatively would make sure they had stronger fire power than typical citizens of that town. The shootout that could lead to doesn't bear imagining. As a result, crime rate could decrease greatly — along with the town's population.

TyrannyEdit

There are some legitimate arguments in favor of gun rights. Some may argue that strong gun rights protect us from tyranny. All this presupposes that the supporters of the would-be tyrant don't have stronger fire power than the opponents. With the proper checks and balances in government, this will not be a problem, but proper checks and balances may not be put in place.

Strong gun rights can theoretically prevent tyranny. They make it easier for the people to rise up and crush their oppressors. Despite this, in practice, would be tyrants (or criminals) can usually get better firepower than ordinary people. Furthermore, this only works to prevent tyranny, not destroy tyranny that is already in place. If society is already totalitarian, guns would have been taken away long ago. However, if tyranny starts to emerge, a revolution can occur before guns are taken away. All this presupposed the military supports the rebels, ordinary citizens are at a disadvantage against trained military. If the military supports the rebels the dictatorship will be crushed anyway.

Strong gun rights also make it harder for other countries to invade said countries with strong gun rights, such as the United States. If the United States were invaded, an armed populace could fight back against the invaders to a significant extent but the trained military of the invaders would have stronger fire power than ordinary people and would also know how to use weapons better.  This also ignores the almost 2,500 active nuclear warheads the US possesses. 

Self-defenseEdit

Some also argue that if everyone carried a gun with them at all times, murderers would be shot soon after they start shooting, and gun rights prevent crime. On the other hand, people do not always think rationally. Think of every time someone is drunk, using drugs, or is extremely angry. Now imagine if they have a gun while this is happening. Shooters may be stopped more quickly, but there will be far more people who engage in shootings. And even if a gunman is shot soon after he starts shooting, one or more people are likely to be killed before the gunman is stopped. All and all, gun rights don't prevent crime.

In some cases, people carrying guns with them would prevent crime. This is the case when people commit mass shootings, such as Anders Behring Breivik. However, if a murderer is only trying to kill one person, this will not work. The murderer will try to kill people in situations where there are no other witnesses, and the person who will be killed is unaware of their fate.

Even if guns were successfully taken away from everyone, that would still not prevent murders. It may prevent mass murders, like what Breivik did, but it would not prevent single murders. Theoretically, anything could be used as a weapon. If someone wants to murder someone else, they will use knives, axes, and other items rather than guns.

It is sometimes argued that gun rights will stop robbers from robbing one's house. However, adequate robbers try to rob houses when no one is home. Robbers don't rob houses when someone is clearly at home. If the robbers know they are going into a house where people are present likely to be armed, the robbers will bring guns with them.

Sometimes, gun ownership supporters refer to Switzerland as an example of a nation with a high rate of gun ownership and a low crime rate, implying that gun ownership has little relation to the crime rate. What they often miss is that Switzerland actually controls gun ownership quite strictly: instead of an army, they rely on the conscript-based militia, members of which have to pass mandatory training and follow strict rules -- which contributes to a more responsible gun culture[1].

SuicidesEdit

Using a firearm is the most common method of committing suicide. People who try to take their own lives with guns sometimes survive with permanent brain damage or other injuries/disfigurement. [2]

Most suicides happen because the victim is so desperate and unhappy that he/she can't think clearly and can't find ways out of whatever causes the unhappiness. There are rare situations when suicide is reasonable, for example when a person is terminally ill. Despite this, most people who survive suicide attempts afterwards find solutions to their problems or ways of living with their problems. Most people who survive suicide attempts are afterwards glad to be alive. If suicide is too easy this causes unnecessary deaths among people whose lives could become worth living again.

Domestic ViolenceEdit

Guns also increase the occurance of domestic violence.  The risk of a woman being murdered by her husband or other intimate partner increases more than seven-fold if there is a gun in the house. [3]

Studies have shown that even when people buy guns to use on burglers/crazy murderers who invade people's houses, the guns are more often fired by accident or in trivial arguments[4].

Logistics and OutrageEdit

It would be very difficult for the government to make it so the populace are unable to obtain guns. If the government were to go around and take people's guns, it should be remembered that those people, obviously, have guns. If the people have guns that the government is trying to take away, a few people might use their guns against the government. Since using guns against duly appointed officials in this way would inevitably lead to long Prison sentences most people would have enough sense not to do this. If people with guns are taxed, some people will take action to keep their guns secret. Again those who were discovered with secret guns would face heavy fines or prison which would deter at least some tax evaders.

If the 2nd Amendment were repealed, there would be outrage across the country. Guns are a treasured item for many who want to keep their guns even when children are killed because guns are too easily available. [5] Because of this, the odds of a 2nd amendment repeal are extremely unlikely.

Black marketsEdit

There is also the possibility that a black market will emerge, like what has happened with alcohol during the prohibition era and illegal drugs today, as well as other goods in the Soviet Union. However, guns do not have the addictive potential that many illegal drugs have, and are less useful than the aforementioned items. Because of this, guns are less likely to cause a black market than drugs and other items. A black market is still a distinct possibility, though.

Many liberals realize that a profitable black market could be created if guns were completely banned. Some liberals want to set intermediate controls used in many industrialized countries. Even if strict gun control was enacted in every country, that still would not prevent people from illegally manufacturing firearms.

There are liberals who want guns to be completely banned, but the ultimate goal of liberals is not to criminalize responsible gun owners; it is to prevent those who are clearly unstable and have a questionable past from stocking up on arsenals and using them.

Conservative sillinessEdit

Conservatives like to claim that gun control will lead to the rise of Nazis in America. In truth, the Nazis softened the gun laws enacted by the Weimar Republic. These included lowering the age from 20 to 18, raising the permit lengths from one year to three years, and exempting party members.

Others shallowly argue that because cars and bathtubs are dangerous, they should be banned if guns are too. However, they ignore that we need a license to drive, and that bathtubs weren't designed to kill people. These same conservatives also claim that all liberals want to ban guns period, instead of just setting limits on these lethal things, like we do with cars, alcohol and trans fat. This is not true.

See Strawman.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "What America can learn from Switzerland..."
  2. Attempted Suicide Horrors
  3. http://www.womenandpolicing.org/gunban.asp
  4. http://www.minnpost.com/second-opinion/2012/12/health-risk-having-gun-home
  5. Guns and the Courtier’s Reply

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