Yesterday, three unidentified suspects shot up an office party at the Inland Regional Center, a facility that serves people with developmental disabilities in San Bernadino, California. And while the bodies were still cold, politicians were doing what they do best- politicizing another awful tragedy.
Every time something like this happens, more talk of gun control comes up, and politicians begin begging for you to give them more power so they can take even more of your rights away. They use the same talking points over and over again, claiming that if we only had more gun laws, then these tragedies wouldn’t happen. I guess no one told them that California has the strictest gun laws in the entire United States.
A common rebuttal to this is that it’s because this is a state law and not a federal one. However, there are many countries that do have strict gun laws at the national level, yet still maintain a high rate of violent crime. The media tends to cherrypick countries that fit their narrative, without actually looking at the world as a whole. For instance, they usually bring up countries like Canada and Britain, which have more gun control but less homicides than we do. But they don’t like to talk about countries such as Switzerland, which has very relaxed gun laws, yet a very low crime rate. On the contrary, Mexico has very strict gun laws, yet high rates of crime. Brazil also has very strict gun laws, and their homicide rate is three times higher than the United States.
Since liberals like to use Canada as their model for gun control, let’s talk about Canada. In the 1920’s, before Canada adopted any form of gun control, their homicide rate was 7% of the U.S rate. By 1986 when gun laws were adopted, Canada’s homicide rate was 35% of the United States.
If you’ve noticed a trend, violent crimes such as rape, assault, and burglary tend to be higher in countries that have stricter gun control, while nations that have more relaxed laws tend to be safer. It is plausible that this phenomenon occurs because citizens who follow the law are able to obtain a gun legally and use it to protect themselves against these violent criminals.
We can see that there is no direct correlation between strict gun laws and lower rates of homicide and violence around the world. The truth is antithetical to this narrative. The media tries to pull up countries that are supposedly more “developed” like us but in reality have little in common with us when it comes to diversity and often times geographical size. All countries are different and have different cultures. Laws often do little to change one country’s culture and social environment. Criminals will get their hands on guns some way or another, and if not guns, they will find another instrument to kill with.
Strict gun laws in many ways hurt law abiding citizens. There have been numerous incidents such as Carol Bowne’s case. She followed the law to purchase a gun legally to protect herself from an abusive ex-boyfriend, yet the waiting periods in New Jersey were so long to get a gun that she ran out of time. Her ex ended up stabbing her to death in her driveway.
People want to keep guns away from the mentally ill. It seems like a reasonable stance, but how do we determine who with a mental illness is a severe threat and who is not? 18.5% of Americans, almost one fifth of the population, have some sort of mental illness. There are many people who have a mental illness who don’t feel like going to shoot up a school. Are we really saying that we should deny 1/5th of Americans their constitutional rights because of a diagnosis? Also, leftists want to make it harder for people with felonies to get guns. Again, this seems like a reasonable stance, but sometimes kids make stupid mistakes that then lead to their rights being taken away as adults. For example, getting caught with a fake ID is a felony. There are plenty of teenagers who have fake ID’s, a very nonviolent crime. They shouldn’t be denied their right to self-defense because they disobeyed a silly law in the first place.
“So we do nothing?” is a statement I often hear when I tell these facts to leftists. They say it in a tone as if somehow those who are against gun control somehow don’t care about these mass murders. We all acknowledge there is a problem. Isn’t it funny how most of these mass shootings happen in “gun free zones”? Criminals don’t follow laws, so obviously gun free zones don’t mean anything to them. If anything, gun free zones provide criminals with a greater incentive to do harm, since they can count on their subjects to be defenseless.
Allowing more citizens to be able to legally conceal and open carry could allow, and in many cases have allowed, for these killers to be stopped. When seconds count, remember that the police are just minutes away! Police usually take 10-15 minutes to arrive to the scene of a crime, and who knows how many people a murderer could kill in that time. A good guy with a gun could stop this person in the meantime and prevent unnecessary deaths. So yes, I do think that these mass murders are a problem and shouldn’t be taken lightly. I am not however in favor of more oppressive and useless gun laws that take the rights away from law abiding citizens that just want to protect themselves.
An earlier version of this article appeared on Kaci’s blog, Politically Incorrect Princess