So-called gun violence plagues so many of our nation’s cities that it’s impossible to pretend it doesn’t exist. Over the last year and a half, we’ve seen the violent crime rate skyrocket at an alarming rate. Only a fool would be unable to recognize there’s an issue.
However, for many people, there’s only one possible solution to this crisis and that’s gun control.
One such person is Juan Williams, who wrote this over at The Hill.
Guns being fired. People running wildly.
My most chilling memory of 2021 is the night of panic that broke out around me at Nationals Park in July as baseball fans ran in every direction with fear flying through the stadium at the sound of gunfire.
The last two years have seen a furious rise in gun death. It is startling because the FBI reported an overall four percent drop in other major crime categories in 2020.
Rising crime isn’t the problem. The problem is gun violence.
But Congress refuses to limit access to guns.
Our elected representatives accept as a fact of life that more than 100 Americans die from gunfire every day on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What Williams doesn’t get, though, is that we can recognize the issue while disagreeing about the solutions.
Yes, “gun violence” can be an issue–though many reject this term because it ignores violent crime in totality, focusing on a tool and not the tool using it–but that doesn’t mean we have to agree that gun control is the answer.
After all, time and time again, we’ve seen all the evidence against gun control. As gun rights were restored all across the nation, we also saw a decrease in violent crime–something that simply couldn’t happen if guns were the issue.
However, Williams also jumps on the whole “Americans want this” train…with hilarious results.
Here is an important note: Americans want Congress to halt easy access to guns.
A September Pew Research Center survey showed 48 percent of Americans say gun violence is “a very big problem in the country today.” And more than half of Americans, 53 percent, want to tighten gun laws.
But that figure shows a drop-off from two years ago, in September of 2019, when Pew found 60 percent of Americans favoring stricter gun laws.
My guess is that people are frustrated at years of waiting, hoping for Congress to do something about gun violence.
Oh, that’s just adorable, isn’t it?
That’s not how people’s opinions on gun control works. No one suddenly stops supporting a policy simply because they don’t think it’ll happen. They may not donate money to advocacy groups or perform any activism, but they don’t suddenly stop supporting that policy in general.
No, people stop supporting a policy proposal because they’ve decided it’s not a good idea for whatever reason.
But Williams would rather spin a yarn about support for gun control dropping being the result of Congress’s inaction on gun control; as if that actually has any bearing on the matter. Hell, if anything, it just makes it clear that all you have to do is stall long enough and public support for anything will evaporate.
What happened two years ago, though, is that support was high due to emotion. The Parkland shooting had just happened that year and people were emotional. Now, they’ve calmed down and looked around and recognized that the people doing the shooting aren’t people going to their local gun store and buying firearms.
So-called gun violence is and has pretty much always been driven by people who can’t lawfully own a gun obtaining one anyway, almost always through illegal means. Making it harder to buy guns isn’t the problem and a lot of people are seeing that now.
Look, it’s not that I don’t think there’s a problem–there clearly is–I just don’t think gun control is a viable strategy since those committing these acts aren’t exactly buying guns in curb stores.
Not that one should expect Williams to comprehend that.