Will Gun Ban Make the Society Safer?
On the 36th anniversary of John Lennon’s death in 2016, a substantial size crowd had gathered at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Centre Park in New York City to pay tribute to this English singer and songwriter who co-founded the Beatles. John Lennon was shot and killed by a crazed fan on December 8th, 1980 with a handgun bought by the gunman legally in Honolulu. His widow, Yoko Ono, commemorated the anniversary and posted on her nearly 4 million followers social media with an image of a blood-stained glasses which above with a harrowing statistic shows the data over 1.2 million people have been killed by gun violence since the year her late husband was murdered. According to the article, “Guns in the US: The Statistics behind the violence” by BBC, states that there are about 300 million guns held by about a third of the population in the US, and its figures shows that in 2015, 13,286 people were killed, and 26,819 were injured in the US by firearms. Such a huge number of gun ownership and gun death in the US make people become suspicious of its necessity, and the gun problem has turned to be the most controversial issue over the past few years in the US. The biggest social security risks which related to firearms, such as high level of crime rates, legal gun violence, and the useless of gun defense are considered as main reasons of people who support a gun ban. However, will it really make American society safer if all guns are banned? People need to think about it: what will be changed after the ban? Here are some possibilities: crime rates might be raised more after the ban, violence won’t disappear even if legal guns are gone, and people will lose the chance to protect themselves from unpredictable danger. This proves that, rather than making the society safer, banning guns might increase the risk of dangerousness. Instead, people should be allowed to keep their guns because they need to be in control of their protection.
One of the reasons that people are opposed to firearms is because most crimes are committed with firearms. According to the article, “Gun Violence in America: The 13 Key Questions (With 13 Concise Answers)” by Jonathan Stray, claims that America has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world, about 310 million guns are held by nearly 40% of American households, and there were 8,583 homicides by firearms out of the total number of 12,664 in 2011. Gun-ban supporters insist that it will help to decrease crime rates if all firearms are banned because of the fewer gun deals, the less possibility of obtaining guns by offenders. However, there is no guarantee to reduce crimes by prohibiting the circulation of guns. The result of a survey in the article “Sources of Guns to Dangerous People: What We Learn by Asking them” by Phillip Cook et al shows that around 40% of guns obtained by respondents are illegal, which usually get from social networks or personal connections, instead of purchase directly from gun stores. The gun ban will work for restricting all legal gun circulation, while it won’t be an obstacle for criminals because they always have ways to get weapons as long as the black market exist which usually smuggling or copying firearms. The Paris attack in 2015 told the bitter truth about the nonsense of gun control in France. France is the strictest country of gun control in Europe - nearly all kinds of firearms are prohibited with extremely narrow exceptions, which means it is almost impossible to get a gun for personal use. Nevertheless, it couldn’t stop criminals to commit crimes. According to “Paris massacre: At least 128 killed in gunfire and blasts, French officials say”, CNN reveals terrorists obtained some AK-47s, the automatic rifles which usually for military use for attacks. Such a strict gun control in France couldn’t save victims in the Paris attack. People should not expect too much to get protection from a gun ban because guns are just tools, only people kill people, and the result might be much different if French people could have guns to against the crime. It explains that a gun ban will not be the key solution to reduce crime rates of the society but keeping guns for protection.
Besides the threat of illegal guns, gun violence that caused by legal guns, especially mass shootings which troubles an overwhelming number of Americans today has been a critical issue in social security. According to “A Guide to Mass Shootings in America”, Mark Follman et al reports that over 80% mass shooters bought their guns legally between 1982 and 2012. After the Orlando shooting, the public’s attitude toward on legal guns ban “has jumped sharply after a gunman used a semi-automatic assault rifle to kill 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando”, describes by Christopher Ingraham in “After Orlando, More Americans Want to Ban Assault Weapons”. Assault weapons are becoming mass shooters’ choice to do attacks because of its lethality and legality in the US. Gun violence prevention advocates strongly appeal to the ban on assault weapons which are legal in most states, such as semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns. However, the fact is that the ban on legal guns won’t stop the violations. Criminals can turn to drugs, trucks, or even bombs to get their ways when they cannot obtain guns anymore. Gun ban will only reduce one of the capabilities of mass murders, but not a radical resolution for the violation. Moreover, the nightclub in Orlando is the “Gun-Free Zone” by state law, which does not allow people carrying and using guns. Killers keep picking gun-free zone because such a soft target is always a good choice for them to commit attacks effectively. The casualties of Orlando Shooting may not be so heavy if at least one person is allowed to hold a gun to fight back. From this, it won’t make any sense to prevent violations through banning all guns, but on the contrary, make people vulnerable and will threaten American society more. Thus, people need guns to against violence and need more chances for defense, instead of awaiting their doom when the society is changed to a big “gun-free zone” under a strict gun ban.
Gun ban could be considered a contrary of the right of Americans to bear arms for protection. According to the Second Amendment to the Constitution, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. It emphasizes the right which has such high value of freedom of Americans shouldn’t be taken away. On April 29, 1992, the L.A. Riot began and caused a serious of lootings, arsons, and civil disturbances. In nearly a weeklong, most of the stores in Korea town were looted, 3,767 buildings were burnt, and an estimate of over 1 billion of a property is damaged. No one could help the store owners who were the biggest victims in the riot because even local police could not control the situation. They had to pick their guns up to protect themselves, their families, and their businesses from this abandoned town. What if guns are banned at that time? They would lose more and even die more. London riot is a good example to compare on if the right for citizens to bear arms is sufficient. In the London Riot in 2011, people were in shaking mood to the violence, and they didn’t have efficient weapons to fight back. The only thing that those residents could do is volunteering broom armies to clean their neighborhood because bearing arms are almost impossible for them to the law, and London police couldn’t response immediately as well. Broom armies became a symbol to London residents to against the violence, but the damage and the scare caused by the riot are irreparable. If they have the same right to have guns with Americans, the loss of the riot might be less, and the frequency of riots will be reduced as well. From this perspective, a gun ban will not be a clever choice for the society, and the right of Americans to fight back should be asserted.
Banning guns will not put people away from dangers, but make the society more in turmoil. It doesn’t mean that holding guns can keep avoiding all threats absolutely, but for sure it will enhance citizens’ defensive capability. It’s undeniable that gun violence is a tough problem in the US, but the problem is that people shouldn’t only focus on certain sensational stories to negate all using of guns. The existing gun laws in America might not perfect enough to prevent all dangers. However, nothing in this world is perfect to meet all demands. The laws could be improved constantly, but applying the ban is a loss of hope. To sum up, guns should be allowed to strengthen defense and security, and people need to confront the benefit of gun ownership which provides more protection than violence.
Cook, P J, et al. “Sources of Guns to Dangerous People: What We Learn by Asking Them.” Preventive Medicine., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25937592. Accessed 17 May 2017.
Follman, Mark, et al. “A Guide to Mass Shootings in America.” Mother Jones, Steven Katz, 19 Apr. 2017, www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map. Accessed 17 May 2017.
“Guns in the US: The Statistics behind the Violence.” BBC News, BBC, 5 Jan. 2016, www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34996604. Accessed 11 May 2017.
Ingraham, Christopher. “After Orlando, More Americans Want to Ban Assault Weapons.” Chicagotribune.com, Bruce Dold, 15 June 2016, www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-orlando-shooting-assault-weapons-ban-20160615-story.html. Accessed 11 May 2017.
Stray, Jonathan. “Gun Violence in America: The 13 Key Questions (With 13 Concise Answers).” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 4 Feb. 2013, www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/02/gun-violence-in-america-the-13-key-questions-with-13-concise-answers/272727/#howmuchviolence. Accessed 11 May 2017.