On February 14th, 2018, tragedy struck Stoneman Douglas High School as a gunman open fired killing 17 people. Footage shows that the then school resource officer, Deputy Scott Peterson, did not enter the building to confront the shooter. Many people became angry with his inaction and called him a coward. Peterson retired shortly after the incident. However, the Parkland sheriff has formally fired him.
Without a doubt, mass shootings are a major issue in the United States today. Too often, a gunman opens fire and kills innocent people. As a result, many American citizens and officeholders alike are calling for drastic increases in gun control. They believe that doing so will help to reduce gun violence in America.
To defend this point, two figures are often touted; that there is nearly a mass shooting a day in America and that our country is a radical outlier in mass shootings and violence. Ultimately, though, neither of these points rings true. Both reside on a faulty foundation that involves manipulating the facts.
Indri Schaelicke | United States
In January of 2016, speaking at a New Hampshire campaign event, Republican Presidential hopeful Senator Marco Rubio reaffirmed his pro-gun right stance. “I believe that every single American has a Constitution—and therefore God-given right—to defend themselves and their families,” Rubio said. The statements he made at this rally were clearly politically motivated- he was attempting to build a base of voters in a state with a strong commitment to gun rights, especially among Republicans. And it sort of worked- he received 10% of the vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary and came away with 2 delegate votes.
By Teagan Fair | United States
On Friday, Jerry Brown, Governor of California, signed bills advancing gun control within the state. A notable piece of this is a law that will raise the minimum age for buying rifles and shotguns from 18 years old to 21 years old.
It is a bit over seven months since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 14 students and 3 teachers, injuring 17 others, using a Smith & Wesson M&P15, which is an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle. This event launched the left into a full out attack on the second amendment and gun rights. Three weeks after the shooting in Parkland, California passed laws that raised the legal age to purchase a gun, banned bump stocks and allowed police to bar a mentally ill person from owning guns for up to a year if judged to be mentally ill by a court.
Seven months later, California has passed laws that will be put into place on January 1st. The minimum age to buy a rifle or a shotgun will be 21 years of age. These laws also ban firearms for those convicted of serious domestic violence and those who have been hospitalized due to their mental health more than once in a year. Another bill governor signed by the governor will make it easier for both family members and police to seize guns and ammunition from those who are ‘threatening and potentially violent’.
Like all of these proposed gun control laws, raising the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21 is ridiculous. Of course, you can join the military at 18 and kill people for the government. You can invade countries, attack people you’ve never met and destroy or take lives of innocent people if it’s in the name of the government, but you cannot defend yourself from people trying to attack you unless you are three years older than the minimum age to do previously mentioned activities. If it’s not in the name of the government, of course, it’s sinister now. You can vote for who will represent you at 18, but owning a tool used to defend from criminals, private or government, is somehow malicious. More people are killed by cars than guns each year, yet you can drive at 16 years old.
Not to mention the fact that putting a law on it will likely prove useless, as is true for most gun control arguments. For this particular case, if someone has their mind fixed on committing murders, they will 1. Do so whenever possible, whether that time is when they are 16, 18, 21, etc. and/or 2. Kill by any means necessary, whether that is doing so by gun, knife, car, chemicals, a bat, a sharp stick, jabbing a spoon into someone’s throat, etc. Additionally, if someone is actually fully willing to commit mass murder, they will not be scared of the fact that they are not allowed to buy a gun, considering the fact that it’s incredibly easy to purchase guns illegally, and no law will change that. It’s pretty hard to imagine a mass murderer thinking, ‘Man, I really want to go into a vulnerable area and kill as many defenseless children as I can in cold blood, but apparently I’m not allowed to go and buy a gun. Wouldn’t want to do anything illegal, because it’s not like I’m prepared to kill vulnerable teenagers!’ Obviously, if one does not fear mass murder, they will not fear buying a firearm illegally.
This rule can go for most legislation, including all of the previously stated laws coming into place starting in January. People convicted previously of domestic violence, will obviously not be afraid to illegally obtain a firearm if it supports the much worse crime they are already planning and not afraid to commit. Any future mass murder does not fear gun control laws. Yes, Governor Brown, even if they are mentally ill. Law abiding citizens, on the other hand, who have no interest in murder, hence why they are considered law-abiding citizens, are the only ones who will likely be affected by such laws, leaving them defenseless and in a worse state than before.
Governor Brown’s laws are foolish, both morally and practically. There is no excuse for us to sit and watch as our rights are gradually taken away. I advocate for those who wish for these rights to be protected to stand up to those enforcing these laws on law-abiding citizens so that we can attempt to protect our liberty.
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By Casey Ward | United States
These days there are more states than ever adopting arbitrary gun laws. Essentially, these only make people feel better, rather than actually saving any lives. Amidst all the discussion, one thing is missing. How far are gun control advocates willing to go to enforce these laws?
To fuel the discussion with those willing to create more legislation:
- Do you support gun control and how much?
- What is the purpose of gun control?
- How do you think that those weapons would be confiscated?
- How many out of the 55,000,000 gun owners are you willing to kill in order to enforce these laws?
When answering the first question, most will say assault weapons are bad without even defining what an assault weapon is. The problem here is that when given vague wording, it is on purpose to slip in more restrictions without contest. The average restrictions supporter would describe an assault weapon as “full auto” even though full auto is next to impossible to get right now, so unless you have $10,000+ just for stamps and other legal fees.
The next most common restriction is bump stocks. Then, there are mental health and the terror watch-list restrictions. In both of these, many harmless individuals are listed due to a false positive in the system. It is also worth noting that poor mental health does not mean someone is violent. Depression and anxiety are the two largest mental illnesses in America, yet seldom cause violence towards others. Still further are laws regarding those with restraining orders Mental health, the terror watch list, and restraining orders completely violate due process, effectively making them guilty until proven innocent.
In response to the second, question gun control advocates will likely claim restrictions are to reduce gun violence. Along with all of the school shootings in today’s media, there is also some conjured up belief that banning guns will magically make kids stop killing each other. This simple is not the case. Using Australia as a counterexample, it is clear that violent crime does not fall when the state creates more laws.
Typically, the proposed method to confiscate these guns is through some sort of voluntary buy-back. However, if it fails, policemen with guns will have to fill the role of enforcer. People will not just hand over their weapons, as proven in New Jersey, Denver, and Massachusetts. Sending the police to someone’s home is considered attempted murder, but where is the line? Is it only attempted murder when kids online do it Does it count when adults proclaim something illegal and beg armed killers to do their dirty work?
Surely, many are willing to use gun violence to stop gun violence. Thus, the veracity of trying to stop gun violence goes out the window. Though this is perhaps the most ironic instance of police coercion, it is far from the only one. Every new law requires an increase in coercion to enforce it. Ask these questions and see, is it really worth the lives that will inevitably be lost?
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