It’s almost become a gut-wrenching caricature: another school shooting occurred recently, leaving behind a young man’s life, and many torn families. Earlier this week, Kendrick Castillo sacrificed himself as he lunged toward a shooter who was rampaging a high school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Given that this senseless loss followed another shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, invariably, most people have called again for stricter gun control.
In theory, I understand this gut reaction. If we could implement sound gun control, we should be able to stop these tragic murders. Almost any dangerous activity requires registration and multiple other control mechanism. To buy a gun in most jurisdictions, you merely have to show proof that you are above a certain age threshold. In other words, if you’re breathing, you can buy a gun.
But as much as we need to talk about gun violence, a much-more productive discussion is the source of violence: psychological issues, the breakdown of the traditional family unit, a lack of early development and moral guidance. Here are three factors to consider before jumping on the anti-firearms bandwagon:
Stats Supporting Gun Control Are Deceptive
Recently, The New York Times ran an op-ed about firearms-related violence. It cited a shocking statistic:
In a typical year, more American children ages 4 and younger die from firearms (110 in 2016) than police officers do in the line of duty (65 in 2016).
Such stats make the U.S. appear more violent than it really is. However, note that this soundbite doesn’t take into account the circumstances of the children’s deaths. Very likely, a majority of these incidents stemmed from accidents, not gun violence.
I’m sure I can raise other stats, such as children dying from kitchen utensils or some other mechanical device. In such cases, the fault lies not with utensils or equipment, but rather, a lack of oversight and care. As difficult as it is for some people, we should extend the same intellectual courtesy to the gun-control debate.
Even if the Democrats win the White House next year, they’ll run into an uphill battle with gun control. The reason? We have more guns than we do people.
The government has enough problems as it is. Anytime a presidential administration attempts to bring wholesale changes to the system, they either fail or suffer intractable difficulties. Rolling out Obamacare is one recent example.
But this is much worse than Obamacare. We’re talking about firearms oversight and possibly confiscation. First, that’s not going to sit well with legally-armed citizens. Second, the logistics to carry out such operations would be too costly and onerous.
Gun Control Already Exists…and They Don’t Work!
Some Democrats call for rational forms of gun control. These include registration procedures, criminal background checks, and a waiting period for purchase. Like registering and insuring a vehicle, I think such measures are quite reasonable.
Here’s the problem: they already exist in states like California. More critically, they don’t work.
The Golden State has some of the strictest laws regarding gun control. They also suffer some of the worst gun violence. We only need to look at the San Bernardino terror attack to realize that these nutjobs acquired guns through legal channels.
The law didn’t prevent the terrorists from purchasing firearms. They certainly didn’t prevent the duo from wreaking havoc on a quiet neighborhood.
As the old saying goes, criminals don’t obey the law.