Archive for February 14, 2013
There is about to be a war in America. The war will be waged in gun control articles and those will often be fearsome, exaggerated and occasionally hostile. This gun control debate will be conducted as the majority of Americans demand our leaders pass legislation banning assault weapons, requiring background checks for gun buyers and generally strengthening our gun laws. The opposition to the majority will be a small fraction of irrational citizens who are blind to the facts of gun violence. The debate will often be steered to the 2nd amendment. It is fair to call these folks irrational because any gun control debate must be based on facts. The facts of the issues are well established but they have been deliberately distorted, mischaracterized or lies substituted for truth. In addition, all manner of illogical argumentation techniques will be used in the coming gun control debate. For example, gun control statistics will be responded to with claims about the 2nd amendment. It is irrational in a gun control debate to respond to the facts of gun violence with an argument about the 2nd amendment and the right to bear arms. The Supreme court has ruled many times on the 2nd amendment. They have found that gun ownership is legal and protected. However, they have found that the 2nd amendment also protects the government’s right to regulate guns. What is gun control? First, it is not about taking away people’s guns. This would likely be impossible. Rather, it is about changing American culture to end the perverse worship of guns and gradually make their use understood to be a symptom of a social disorder rather than a point of cultural pride. Gun control is also about making the acquisition of guns more difficult and ensuring that anyone who should not have a deadly weapon does not get one. Finally, it is about banning weapons that are most effective when used to massacre groups of people and reducing the number and ease of handguns. Why are these worthy goals? Any sound gun control debate must include relevant gun control statistics. Here are some from a recent gun control article on gun violence toward women in America: * In 2010, nearly six times as many women were shot by husbands, boyfriends, and ex partners than were murdered by male strangers. Guns do not make women safer. * A woman who has been a victim of an abusive partner is more than seven times more likely to be killed by her abuser if he has access to a gun. Access to guns is a terrible risk for women in abusive relationships. *Women in states with higher gun ownership rates were almost five times more likely to be murdered by a gun than women in states with lower gun ownership rates. The more guns; the more gun violence.
Gun control statistics are regularly looked at by people on both sides of the debate. Some individuals may used them to defend the 2nd amendment. Others may believe that they give more than enough reason to further restrict the right to bear arms. One of the reasons why gun control statistics are used by both sides is because like most kinds of statistics, they can be interpreted in different ways. It all depends on who is looking at them, and what they are using them for. Some people who look at gun control statistics to argue for the continued ownership of “assault rifles” will go on about how the highest percentage of gun crimes in the United States are committed with handguns. After that, they will point out how so many of them take places in cities like Chicago, which already have some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. Like so many other kinds of stats however, people can take gun control statistics and turn them right around, and still seem to make sense. Recent gun control statistics have also shown a high concentration of shootings taking place in suburban schools and colleges over the last decade. While these represent a relatively low percentage of overall gun injuries and deaths in the country, most people will agree that even one such incident is too much. Whether someone gets their gun control statistics from an independent researcher, or from the FBIs own website, the one thing they will see is that there are thousands of gun deaths each year. In order to put things into perspective, people should always make sure to separate violent crimes and murders from accidents. With new gun control statistics coming out every year, only time will tell if the new laws coming on the books will be enough to make an impact for good.