AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File
I get that not everyone agrees with me on guns. We live in a world where people can’t even agree on what color a freaking dress is from time to time (I still say the damn thing was white and gold and even after all of this time, I’m not changing!), so how can we agree on something as complex as guns?
But I’m getting sick of this notion that gun control equals caring.
What this stems from is an article that’s running in several places.
Titled, “New Zealand is bringing in gun control after one mass shooting. Why doesn’t America value its citizens in the same way?” it makes the case that refusal to pass gun control is somehow less caring, that our country doesn’t value its citizens because it doesn’t take away our rights.
However, let’s take a look at some of the arguments.
But nearly 30 years later, the gun conversation in America is very different. Including suicide deaths, over 40,000 Americans die each year due to guns. We can make many valid arguments about the need for better mental healthcare for veterans when 22 commit suicide a day, or even for combating gang violence in inner cities nationwide. These are undoubtedly very important issues. But what they have in common is the way in which they are exacerbated by the unrestricted availability of guns to criminals, domestic abusers, violent felons, and violent men in our country.
Except all of those people, those demonstrated actually to be those things, are restricted from owning guns. Seriously, those laws have been on the books for years.
They just don’t work. We know that the laws don’t work. How?
Because they’ve been on the books for years and the bad guys keep getting guns, even in states with universal background checks.
Those who oppose responsible gun legislation claim that gun laws won’t work because criminals will still find a way to get guns. By such logic we shouldn’t have any laws at all because, after all, criminals will break them. I’ll ask such critics to consider that no one law is perfect, however we can enact meaningful legislation to ensure criminals have a much more difficult time acquiring a gun — while the rest of us law-abiding citizens can still access them as the Constitution guarantees. Who can honestly claim that domestic abusers and violent felons deserve easy access to firearms?
No one is.
However, the problem here is the logic that precedes the question. You see, the reason gun control’s failures should disqualify it as an option is simple. You see, laws like murder and robbery apply to all. They’re there so they can be used to punish the bad people who break those laws. They don’t have any impact on law-abiding people who wouldn’t do those things anyway.
Gun laws, however, don’t work that way. We already know criminals will continue to get guns. We have the Department of Justice’s study to show that. They’re going to get guns.
But gun laws inhibit the law-abiding citizens’ ability to get guns. You know, the people who haven’t done anything wrong and wouldn’t do anything wrong?
That’s where the difference lies. A difference anti-gunners like to ignore.
Meaningful gun laws work, and the world is the evidence. After the 1987 Hungerford mass shooting left 16 dead, England enacted meaningful gun reform. England has experienced one mass shooting since.
And how many did they have before that one?
Zero. Not a single one.
Before 1987, there wasn’t a single spree-style mass shooting anywhere in England. To claim the laws enacted by the British work is to ignore the fact that precisely as many mass shootings have occurred after the law was passed as occurred before its passage.
None of that touches on the rising violent crime rate in the UK. After all, now the criminals don’t have to worry about armed citizens fighting back.
After the 1995 Port Arther mass shooting left 35 dead, Australia enacted responsible gun legislation. Australia has experienced zero mass shootings since.
You mean other than the Hunt family murders where a man killed his wife and three children? After all, if we use the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s definition of a mass shooting–three or more killed in a single location–it qualifies. It looks like someone’s selective with their definitions so that they can cherry pick data.
There was a similar mass shooting just last year as well. That’s two.
And that doesn’t even touch the 2014 Sidney Hostage Crisis that left three people dead. I’m skipping that one because one was accidental and one was the gunman.
After the Dunblane Primary School mass shooting left 18 dead, Scotland enacted meaningful gun reform. Scotland has experienced zero mass shootings since.
And there hadn’t been one before. It’s impossible to look at the response to an isolated incident and claim that the laws are why no other events have happened. They weren’t exactly common before, now were they?
And after the 2009 Winnendon school shooting left 16 dead, Germany enacted responsible gun legislation. Germany has experienced only one mass shooting since.
And again, they weren’t exactly common, though more common than in Scotland. For example, there were also mass shootings in 2002, 1983, and 1964.
To say the law has stopped them is probably a bit premature.
In other words, there’s no evidence this response worked. These laws were knee-jerk reactions to relatively isolated events, and the lack of subsequent attacks doesn’t automatically validate them.
Gun control isn’t “caring” or “valuing” citizens. It’s treating them like children who can’t be trusted with a toy because someone else did something wrong.
Stop pretending like you have my best interests at heart. You don’t. You want to turn people like me and me into criminals so you can feel better about yourself so that you can feel morally superior, but I refuse to roll over and allow it.
Nothing shows that gun control works except for one thing: Outright lies.