The Conservative View on Gun Violence
Third Period A.P. Government
October 10, 2018
As mass shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida and the recent Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania become more relevant in the media, the topic of gun violence and solutions to the problem always surface. Many of the solutions to help reduce gun violence proposed by liberals have been shown to be ineffective and infringe on the American people’s right to bear arms. In contrast, the conservative stance on gun violence keeps guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens and supports laws that will reduce gun violence without hindering citizen’s second amendment rights.
Gun violence can be understood to mean any act of violence that occurs with a gun. There are the most obvious sources of this violence like homicide and suicide, but gun violence also refers to accidental shootings and crimes involving guns as intimidation.[footnoteRef:0] The two biggest contributors to gun violence are suicide and homicide respectively.[footnoteRef:1] Liberals claim that there is a strong correlation between suicide and gun ownership, but correlation doesn't always mean causation.[footnoteRef:2] According to The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, American suicide rates lag far behind countries like Japan, which has much stricter gun control laws. This helps provide evidence that suicide has more to do with culture than the convenience of killing one’s self. The other main contributor to gun violence is homicide. With mainstream media sensationalizing many of the mass shootings happening today, it may seem like these mass shootings are a big factor to homicides, but in actuality they are extremely rare and only make up about .2% of total gun homicides. [footnoteRef:3] The vast majority of gun homicides can be attributed to gang related violence. For example, from 2010 to 2011, out of the 11,100 gun homicides, 8,900 of them were gang murders. [footnoteRef:4] [0: Hemenway, D., and D. Azrael. "The Relative Frequency of Offensive and Defensive Gun Uses: Results from a National Survey." Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports. November 15, 2000. Accessed November 13, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11200101. ] [1: Bilchik, Shay. "Section I: Gun Violence in the United States." 4. Provide Opportunities for Children and Youth. 1996. Accessed November 13, 2018. https://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/gun_violence/sect01.html. ] [2: Kiewra, Karen. "Guns and Suicide: A Fatal Link." The Nutrition Source. April 23, 2014. Accessed November 13, 2018. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/guns-and-suicide/. ] [3: Heritage Foundation, The Heritage Foundation. "The Current Gun Debate: Mass Shootings." The Heritage Foundation. March 12, 2018. Accessed November 13, 2018. https://www.heritage.org/the-constitution/report/the-current-gun-debate-mass-shootings. ] [4: Hoyert, Donna L., and Jiaquan Xu. "Deaths: Prelimin...