In a new post at The Purdue Review, writer Amar Ali examines the new calls for gun control in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.
(The Myth of) Gun Control as a Panacea
In light of the horrific tragedy in Connecticut, liberals (not to be confused with leftists[i] ) have decided to take this opportunity to push a political agenda. Inevitably, this leads to dubious arguments rushed to by emotionally moved people trying to justify drastic and sometimes extreme policy positions.
What better time and opportunity to deconstruct this myth and inject a broader perspective?
The most common and tired false rationalization is that guns kills, therefore, gun control, or banning guns would lead to less deaths. Coincidentally, on the same day as the Sandy Hook tragedy, 22 children in China were attacked by a man wielding a knife[ii]. Does this mean we must ban knives or have “Knife Control”? Most would respond no. In fact, it has been shown that more people have been killed with Hammers and Clubs[iii].
Of course the common retort is that guns are different, that they can be controlled and would lead to a decrease in crime. Problem with that theory is that criminals rarely follow the law. Does a person willing to commit an illegal homicide care whether their gun is legal? And in reality, it shows as crime has increased after bans in UK[iv], [v] and Chicago[vi],[vii] and the after strict bans. Reports show that homicides in Chicago outpace that of Afghanistan[viii] and it is the only major US city to see increases in homicides.[ix]
Here gun opponents will eagerly jump up to point to Europe to demonstrate cases of “successful” gun control. Unfortunately, these are merely resorts to straw men and red herrings as the consequences sought, such as the reduction of violence, are never achieved.