One of the prevailing myths regarding gun control is that it has been shown to reduce crime rates in foreign countries. In reality this is a false assumption and research has demonstrated this to be inaccurate. One of the major misconceptions regarding gun control in foreign countries is that it greatly reduces the murder rate. While statistical evidence demonstrates that many countries where stringent gun control has been enacted do have relatively low murder rates, it’s also accurate that the murder rates in these countries was already low before the gun control mechanisms were enacted. In these regards, gun control had no real impact on the murder rate in these nations. An even more startling fact is that despite gun control in many nations, the murder rate has often risen; this again demonstrates that there is no direct correlation between gun control and reduced murder rates.
When considering the statistical correlation between gun control and increased or decreased crime rates, there are a number of startling facts that demonstrate gun control is an effective policy. One of the most prevalent such examples of these trends occurs when statistically comparing Canada and the United States. In both 1991 and 1995 Canada enacted increasingly stringent gun control laws, while the United States largely held onto a liberal policy regarding gun control. Rather than demonstrating a reduction in crime relative to the United States, this period witnessed an actual rise in the rate of theft and violent crime throughout Canada (‘Gun Control Fact-Sheet.’). Similar statistical trends have also been demonstrated in European countries. In 1997, the United Kingdom passed some of the most stringent anti-gun laws in the Western hemisphere. In the wake of these regulations, it was demonstrated that in large part violent crimes rates did not increase but rose by as much as forty percent (‘Gun Control Fact-Sheet.’). Some other important elements related to the United Kingdom gun laws indicate that despite restricting guns, citizens in the U.K. are now more likely to be victims of violent crime that their counterparts in the United States. These results have been confirmed by the United Nations in 2000, as they indicated the United Kingdom now actually experiences higher crime rates than sixteen industrialized nations, including the United States. In fact, statistics demonstrate that over the last seventy-years the United States has experienced noticeably lower murder rates than the United Kingdom. While the lot of this statistical evidence is open for interpretation, a general qualitative analysis demonstrates that rather than decreasing crime, gun control laws allow criminals increased levels of freedom as they can now commit crimes unhindered by the threat of lethal self-defense. In these regards, firearms can substantially be seen to be prominent self-defense mechanisms. In developing increased gun control laws countries are in-effect reducing citizens abilities to effectively defend themselves.
In addition to the statistical evidence that demonstrates a correlation between gun control and increased crime rates, general quantitative and statistical research has demonstrated that in large part gun control laws are misguided. One of the most prominent research elements related to gun control considers it in relation to self-defense. While this essay has earlier demonstrated that the use of guns for self-control can be inferred from rising crime rates in nations that implement stringent gun control laws, further research attests to the actual use of guns in these self-defense actions. In fact, guns have been implemented in self-defense over 2.5 million times annually (‘Myth #3: Gun Control Has Reduced The Crime Rates In Other Countries’ ). When one considers this from another perspective, it indicates that more than 6,000 times a day guns are used for self-defense. Within the United States itself quantitative research has examined the Brady Law in regards to crime rates. The Brady Law is legislation that was enacted in the United States in the 1990s that put into place some of the most stringent gun control laws the country had ever experienced. Rather than reducing crimes rates, however, these gun control laws have been shown to have no noticeable effect on gun or suicide rates in the country. Another prominent target of gun control lobbyists are the ease to which individuals are able to obtain guns at gun shows. In response to such arguments, statistical research demonstrates that gun shows constitute an extremely minimal portion of sources where criminals obtain firearms. In fact, in 1997 the National Institute of Justice reported that as little as 2% of criminals obtained their guns from gun shows (‘Myth #3: Gun Control Has Reduced The Crime Rates In Other Countries’ ). The collection of this statistical research demonstrates both the inefficiency and the inability of gun laws to have any substantial effect on the crime rate within countries that implement these policies.
While statistical research clearly demonstrates that gun control laws are ineffective, there also exists a general philosophic argument that argues gun control laws go against the very values that the United States is founded upon. One of the foundational documents of the United States is the Bill of Rights. Within the Bill of Rights the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. While not all gun control laws attempt to restrict the outright ability of gun-owners to carry firearms, a strong argument can be made that in attempting to further restrict gun rights, lobbyists and politicians are encroaching on this fundamental aspect of American governance. Another argument within this spectrum of understanding considers the nature of the United States as a nation founded upon the use of guns in counteracting the oppressive British regime. When one places gun use in a historical context then, it’s clear that permitting guns in the 18th century greatly contributed to the ability of Americans to achieve the freedom they desired. While in the 21st century America is over two-hundred years removed from its revolutionary period, questions of government oppression are both latent and prominent issues in many citizens minds. While few individuals condone militant cult-like extremism, it’s clear that the thought of losing access to guns is a right that many individuals living in a nation founded upon their use are not ready to give up.
Gun Control Fact-Sheet. ‘Gun Owners of America.’http://gunowners.org/fs0404.htm
‘Myth #3: Gun Control Has Reduced The Crime Rates In Other Countries’ Gun Owners of America. http://gunowners.org/sk0703.htm