A terrible event happened last weekend. Forty-nine people were coldly murdered, and many others were wounded. But what was the official government response? What were the late-night talk show hosts promoting? Gun control.
Let’s get something straight. If you think gun control would prevent all such cases of terrorism, you are sadly mistaken. The core of any horrible events such as the one that just happened was HATE…hate of an idea, hate of those different from themselves, hate of a certain religion (or lack thereof,) hate of a contentious issue, etc. That’s the heart of the issue. No amount of gun control will solve that one.
People will say, “Well, the terrorist did use guns to kill people.” Yes, yes he did. But guns are just tools. Do you think for a moment that the absence of guns would prevent mass murder? Have you ever heard of terrorist bombings? Have you ever heard of knife attacks? Have you ever heard of cars, trucks, or planes being used as weapons against people? If there were no guns, someone obsessed with hate will just find another way to carry out their terrible designs. Again, the heart of the issue is found in the heart of the individual, not in the tools of which they use.
Statistics bear this out. According to the website NationMaster in a comparison of 170 countries, the U.S. has the highest rate of gun ownership among its population at 88.8 guns per 100 people. Switzerland is not far behind at 4th in this comparison, and Norway ranks in at 11th.1 However, in a direct comparison of each county’s murder rate per one million people, the U.S. places 99th out of 194 countries, Switzerland places 182nd, and Norway places in at 185th.2 If gun ownership was directly related to a country’s murder rate, Switzerland and Norway should place near the top of the murder rate list, not near the bottom. Additionally, at the other end of the spectrum, the country with the highest murder rate, Honduras, has a gun ownership rate of only 6.2 guns per 100 people. Another striking example is Ethiopia, which places 22nd in its murder rate, but it has one of the lowest gun ownership rates at 0.4 guns per 100 people. It should be clear from these statistics that the amount of guns among a population does not directly correlate with public safety. The issue is not the guns…it’s the behavior of the people.
Instead, any political action should focus on whatever motivates an unbalanced individual to do such evil acts as the one that just happened in Orlando. More focus should be on enforcing current law, on assisting mental health issues, and on ridding society of ideology which promotes using violence against others who may disagree with them. Gun bans do nothing to get to the heart of any of these issues. They would just act like a small band-aid on a gaping wound. If anything, gun bans would only hurt those who would use guns for self-defense or for sport. Criminals who wish to harm others don’t listen to laws (including gun bans) no matter what emotional arguments are made for them, so if a bad person really wants a gun, they will find one. A gun ban would only leave the innocent defenseless. You say such bans would eliminate guns from the hands of criminals? If you think black markets are a problem now, gun bans will only exacerbate the problem. Does Prohibition ring a bell to anyone? No, gun bans will NOT make guns disappear. They will only hurt those who wish to legally use them for their own protection, and the last time I checked, emergency personnel response times are not soon enough to protect innocent citizens in many circumstances. It took the police three hours to enter the nightclub in Orlando last weekend, and unfortunately, that was too late for forty-nine innocent people.3
I’m tired of politicians claiming that gun control is the answer to a safer society. It’s time that the tired argument of gun control is no longer rolled out as a utopian solution…because it’s not.
Please take the time to call or write your politicians to support the right to bear arms.
You may need it someday.