Will Stricter Gun Control Reduce Intentional Killings?

This article serves as a rebuttal to an article titled ‘University of Texas professor: Gun control, national security and Waco’ written by John Traphagan on http://newsok.com/

It is the Second Amendment Right To Bear Arms

It is very sad to see weekly news regularly featuring killings at movie theatres, school or college campuses or in other areas by someone carrying a gun. The nine people who were recently killed in the gunfight that broke out between biker gangs were the latest victims of violence that included the use of guns. The video of this incident has been circulating all over the Internet, especially on social media and has stirred the debate on gun control.

Advocates for stricter gun control believe that allowing people to have guns will only bring more guns into the civilian population, which in turn will cause more violence because more guns mean more violence. But as per statistics in UK, a country that has banned all handguns from civilian possession, less guns or no guns does not mean less violence. After the Dunblane massacre, in which Thomas Hamilton, a 43-year-old, went into an elementary school and killed 16 children, a teacher and finally himself, the UK government banned handguns from all civilian ownership, possession or sale in the country under second firearms act of 1997.

Now that modern handguns are illegal to have in the United Kingdom, let’s take a look at the murder rates to see what effect the banning of guns have. In the year 1996, the intentional homicide rate in the UK was 1.12/100,000, this was the year when the Dunblane massacre took place. In 1997, after the firearms act was put into effect, the intentional homicide rate was 1.24, and in 1998 it was 1.43. The rate of intentional homicide significantly rose in 2002 to 2.1 and then fell back to 1.23 in 2010. These numbers mentioned have been questioned by some as there is a possibility of underreporting of violent crime in the UK. However, the point that statistics for violent crime in the UK are making about gun control is simple – banning guns does not reduce the rate of intentional homicide in any way. Not to forget, that this is a country where even the police are mostly armed with tasers instead of handguns, making it very difficult for anyone to have a handgun. While it is easy to jump to the conclusion that more people were killed in the UK after the Second Firearms Act in 1997 was put into action because people didn’t have the means to defend themselves, the fact that banning guns has not really brought in the expected result does not change.

In 2005, there were more than 750 intentional murders, most of which were committed using knives. While banning guns have stopped shootings, it has not at all addressed the issue of people killing each other intentionally. Many have used these facts to raise the question of how many victims killed by strangulation, clubs and knives would still be alive if they had a gun to defend themselves. On the basis of the statistics from the UK alone one can argue that having stricter gun control will not reduce the number of violent crimes in the US.

Almost every shooting that has happened in the US took place in areas where the number of unarmed civilians was significantly high. It is true that most of the shooters in the end want to kill themselves, but why do they choose locations where they could cause maximum damage. The point is that not only do they want to kill themselves but they also want to satisfy the rage in them. They carry a sense of revenge, sometimes to a particular system and sometimes to everyone around them; in either case the more people they kill, the more satisfied they feel. Regardless of how revengeful or how much rage a shooter has, if the shooter was to target a church or some other institution but knew that these places will be filled with people who are fully armed and are trained to fight back, the target will be definitely changed. The Amarillo school district in Texas has exactly done that. It has armed all their staff and faculty with guns as a warning to maniacs who want to go on a shooting spree.

Right To Bear Arms

All of us including the pro-gun-control groups know that any gun-control law that will be put into motion will only be followed by law-abiding citizens and not by criminals, which means it will only reduce the ability of civilians to defend themselves. In other words, the argument to put in stricter gun control measures is futile. Perhaps its time for gun lobbyists to go back to school and relearn what our constitution and second amendment is all about.

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