A Useless Conversation
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The endless back-and-forth on gun control is doing nothing to make our nation safer.
Why Gun Control Is Not The Answer
Last week's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School shocked our entire nation. From the time that I heard the news Friday morning, it was difficult to focus on anything other than my horror at what had happened and my overwhelming desire to rush home and hold on to my daughters.
But as tends to happen nowadays, the shock had to wear off quick, as politics quickly interjected itself into a horrifying situation. Within a matter of hours after the tragic shooting, pundits and activists were demanding more gun control. "Now is the time," they say, "to have the conversation about ending gun violence in America."
But there is one simple problem: more gun laws will not solve the problem.
If gun control advocates had any modicum of honesty, they would acknowledge by now that there is mounting evidence against their position. Liberal strongholds with the most restrictive gun laws still stand as the areas with the worst gun violence in our nation...but while the typical counter-argument to that reasoning would be that criminals can just get guns from areas with less restrictive laws, and bring them into areas with more restrictions.
But that argument would not apply to England. England has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the Western world, yet gun crimes are on the rise in that nation. England is an island; getting guns into England is a bigger deal than just going to the next country over...and England has seen a rise in violent crimes since they banned guns. It was just a month or so ago that a gang rode motorcycles into a shopping mall in broad daylight and held up a jewelry store with axes.
A study published in the Harvard Law Review came to the conclusion that more restrictive gun laws do not reduce rates of murder and suicide - and, in fact, nations with more restrictive gun laws have more problems with murder and suicide than nations with more liberal gun laws. But apparently, evidence has no place in a debate such as this. Now is the time for emotion, not facts. Liberals say we need more gun laws, and therefore it must be true.
The endless back-and-forth on gun control is doing nothing to make our nation safer. Like so many other ideas dreamt up by leftists, the "gun-free zone" was implemented with the best of intentions, but has only ended up putting more lives at risk. If criminals followed laws, there would be no crime, but all gun-free zones end up amounting to is a shooting gallery for those intent on mass murder.
Just look at the mass shootings that have taken place: Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Fort Hood...all of these took place in so-called gun-free zones, and every time, it allowed the shooter to maximize casualties. The shooter at the movie theater in Aurora even went out of his way to commit his heinous act at a movie theater that had an explicit no-guns policy.
Instead of focusing on banning weapons, we should be working on getting to the root cause of this kind of violence - if that is even possible. Many of the recent mass shootings have been perpetrated by mentally unstable individuals. Perhaps states and communities would be better served by looking into expanding mental health programs. A recent mall shooting in the Portland area was cut short by a hero who, using a concealed handgun and proper training, was able to cut the shooter's spree short without even firing a shot - yet strangely enough, the national media is not interested in that story. Perhaps America's "well regulated militia" would be better served by having more responsible citizens trained and armed, prepared to step in when tragedy strikes.
It is high time that America stopped falling victim to the same political debates that do nothing to make our people safer. The evidence is in: more restrictive gun laws will only serve to put Americans at greater risk. It's time to start thinking outside the box and look to solutions that might actually solve something.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)