Guns don’t kill people; People kill people. Half of the people who read that first sentence nodded their head in agreement and the other half rolled their eyes and probably thought “how cliché!” Therein lies the biggest obstacle when discussing gun control and ownership; the inability to see that the argument against gun control is that of people and actions. People buy or sell guns, use them to hunt, or as a form of sport, and sadly sometimes to commit violent illegal acts. The key factor here is PEOPLE.
It is a person’s state of mind that controls how they to use a gun. A person determined to use a gun to kill will not be deterred by gun control laws because their state of mind is not focused on the gun, but is focused on the kill. When those who are anti-gun are able to take an objective view by focusing on the state of mind of the criminal and not on the tool they use, it will become apparent that gun control does not solve the problem of gun violence.
Many argue that the need to ban all guns, but not other tools of the trade, like knives, cars, baseball bats, etc. is because guns have the capability of causing mass casualties while knives do not. The major flaw with arguing that guns cause mass causalities is that other tools do as well,
yet those items have not been banned nor have they been argued as something that should be banned. Recently there was a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada where a single gun was used to kill 58 people (Mass Shooting, n.d.) There was an immediate outcry for an absolute ban on guns. In contrast, there was also a recent attack in New York City where a driver plowed a truck through a congested area made for cyclists (Baker, Mueller, & Rashbaum, 2017) This attack killed 8 people and injured 11 others.
In the days after this massacre, there was no outcry for the ban of cars and no argument for creating stricter vehicle regulations. These two events indicate the flaw in the logic used when arguing that guns should be banned because they have the ability to cause mass death.
The common factor between these two events is that there was a person behind the weapon who wanted to commit the terrible act of causing the death of others. What society has failed to acknowledge is that a ban on guns is not going to change the amount of mass shootings or murders that occur, nor will it change the criminal’s state of mind.
The biggest change will come from educating people about gun safety. Even if we tried to ban ALL guns, there is no way to possibly rid the world of guns. They would still exist and the criminals willing to use them would obtain them illegally via the black market. A better alternative to gun control is to educate people about the proper way to use guns and not to fear
them. This is one definite way to protect people from accidentally harming themselves or others.
The majority of gun owners use proper protocols and safety measures in order stop harm from occurring. The gun-related deaths we hear about via the media are not associated with legal use of guns to protect and defend, but instead are about the illegal use of guns, which in turn causes society to attach an emotional pain to the use of an inanimate object.
A gun that is placed on a table can sit there for hundreds of years and never cause injury. The problem is that injury only occurs once a person decides to pick up that gun and use it. Just like making murder illegal doesn’t stop people from killing, making it illegal for anyone to own a gun will not stop criminals from using guns to murder. There are thousands of
laws to control and restrict gun use. These restrictions have never solved the problem of illegal gun-related murder. Those with anti-gun arguments need to remove their finger from the
metaphorical trigger pointed at the weapon itself and instead need to point it at the person behind the gun.
Clark County Coroner Releases Names of Deceased from Oct. 1 Mass Shooting. (n.d.).
Benjamin Mueller, William K. Rashbaum and Al Baker. (2017, October 31). Terror Attack Kills 8 and Injures 11 in Manhattan. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/31/nyregion/police-shooting-lower-manhattan.html?ref=oembed