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The Myths About Gun Control Laws in the US

Many people around the world simply can’t understand the ongoing fight in the United States to prevent gun control legislation. A lot of people in the US are equally confused by the fight, though it was important in the last presidential election and was exceptionally important in the founding of this nation. Part of the reason for the misunderstanding is that the media furthers myths since they are in favor of gun control. So what are the myths and the truths?

The second amendment to the constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms

The right is God-given, to protect yourself. The second amendment doesn’t give Americans that right, it merely acknowledges it and specifically prohibits the US Government from taking away that right and freedom.

There is a recent increase in violent crime using guns

The opposite is actually true. Shootings are actually down and this has been a steady trend for over a decade. The only places that there has been an increase in gun violence in the US, and even that has been slight, has been in gun-free zones and places that have extremely strict gun control laws. In fact, the last several shootings that involved three or more people occurred in gun-free zones. As an example, the mass-shooting at Parkland, Florida, was at a gun-free zone. In interviews of convicted felons, nearly all have said that they weren’t worried about laws or the police, they were primarily worried about citizens who lawfully owned guns. There are also an estimated 3 million people in the US who legally own guns. In most areas, a shooting is exceptionally rare.

There aren’t enough gun control laws in place

Boy is this one ever over the top. There are over 10,000 gun control laws in the United States. People who think that it is possible to walk into a gun store, buy a gun, then walk out have obviously never tried to buy a gun in the US. Background checks must take place and other laws must be followed before a person can buy a gun at a gun store or gun show, and they can be prevented from buying the gun at any step in the process. There is also often a wait involved. That is one reason that people who are planning on using a gun for the commission of a crime almost always buy the gun illegally. In other words, they ignore the gun laws that are already in place.

Guns aren’t needed for protection because the police are armed

Most criminals who threaten families and properties with guns or who intend to cause violence with those guns usually take a few minutes to commit their crimes. The average response time for police in the US is between 30 and 45 minutes. It doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out that a lot can happen before police arrive on the scene, assuming that there was even time to contact the police. Locally, on most nights, there is one deputy on call and they are based in the county seat, 24 miles from here. 

The police are against citizens owning guns

That would be an outright lie. Most police departments are in favor of legally armed citizens. In fact, even the FBI is in favor of citizens legally owning guns, based on their studies in 2016 and 2017.

The chances of being shot and killed in the US are 1 in 330

It appears that this number was pulled out of thin air. It certainly isn’t backed up by real statistics. According to the FBI, there are about 33,000 shooting deaths in the US per year. A third of those are suicides and someone who is bent on killing themselves will simply use a different way to do it if guns aren’t available. A third of that number are criminals who get shot by law enforcement during the perpetration of a crime. Yet more of the deaths are accidental. A huge number of the remaining shooting deaths are from criminals shooting each other, such as in drug deals and gang violence. The truth is that the odds of being shot in the US are less than one in 325,000 unless you are a criminal. A person has a greater chance of being struck by lightning twice in the US than being shot and killed.

Stricter gun controls result in less violent crime

The opposite is actually true, both in the US and in other countries. For example, the UK has seen a dramatic increase in violence since their restrictive gun laws went into place. Knives are the ‘new’ weapon of choice there now. Shootings still occur, too, but the point is that the violent crime rate hasn’t dropped, it has increased. In the US, the highest gun-related violence is invariably found in the places that have the strictest gun control. This shouldn’t be a shock since criminal usually don’t follow the law anyway, which is why they are criminals in the first place, so adding more gun laws or bans doesn’t stop the criminals, it only stops law-abiding people from protecting themselves. Criminals with guns are well aware of this and are more apt to focus their crimes in places where law-abiding citizens aren’t armed.

Gun ownership doesn’t prevent crime

People who believe this haven’t looked at the statistics. According to the FBI, about 90,000 reports come in every year of legally armed citizens stopping crimes, especially violent crimes, with their guns. The CDC estimates that the total number of crimes that are prevented by legally armed citizens is closer to 3 million. Most incidents aren’t reported. This includes everything from attempted break-ins and robberies to rapes. Compare even the lower number with the total number of gun-related deaths.

AR-15 rifles should be banned because they are military assault weapons designed to kill

This one is insidious. All guns are designed to kill and all can be used for assault. An AR-15 isn’t a military rifle and it never was, though. It is simply popular, but it isn’t an automatic rifle and isn’t appreciably better than any other rifle. That is why it has been used in crime; popularity. It isn’t the only gun used in crime, either. Handguns are actually used for that purpose more often than any rifle. The AR-15 also isn’t deadlier than other rifles. It might look mean and also looks similar to a military M-16, but it decidedly isn’t military and isn’t worse than any other gun. Incidentally, as far as “assault weapon”, a club, baseball bat, rock, hammer, or fork are also assault weapons if they are used to assault. This term was made up by the media in an attempt to make this rifle seem somehow eviler.

Hopefully, this will clarify some of the absurd talking points that the media likes to spout in support of taking away our freedoms. It is interesting that they don’t feel the same about other freedoms, such as free speech and freedom of the press.

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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11 Comments

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  1. I try to stay away from controversial issues and a heated debate item. But I have to say this. The Santa Fe school shooting is a prime example of what the real problem is in a lot of these shootings. The parents are not held accountable when a minor takes a gun. It is not the gun, it is the parent. I am only talking about the shootings when a minor is involved. Where are the parents? I’m just sayin’.

    • You are spot on right about that, Carol. That is part of the reason I say that fixing the problem of the breakdown of the family is so important. It isn’t something that can be fixed fast, but too often today, kids aren’t taught responsibility and with the parents aren’t held responsible, either, it just reinforces the idea that many kids have that it is okay to be irresponsible. Somehow, it has become the norm to simply blame someone or something else for issues that each one of us should understand is self-caused.

      An analogy would be telling a person not to walk across a busy road blindfolded because they might get hit by a car. They disregard that and walk across the road blindfolded. They get hit. Suddenly, though, either you are at fault somehow, or the car is. Yet, neither you nor the car caused the person to walk across the road blindfolded.

    • I know that you’d love to pick a fight, but I’m not biting. “sickest most evil thought”? I didn’t know that logically focusing on the actual problem for the purpose of saving lives was sick or evil. However, if you want to think of it that way, that is entirely up to you. This is a great example why there are so few true discussions between gun control advocates and constitutional supporters, though.

  2. It needs to be on both but the NRA has done everything possible to prevent meaningful discussion of ways to make this country safer and the gutless politicians they have bought makes it unlikely it will change anytime soon.

    • What a lot of people don’t understand is that the NRA hasn’t ‘bought’ anyone. The NRA spends very little money on lobbying or on politics. They are vastly outspent by gun control groups. If politicians were bought, it is very likely that they would be on the side of gun control. However, the NRA is made up of regular everyday Americans and a voting block of 5 million members is a large one. Nearly all of those members vote, too. Many politicians realize that they’d be committing political suicide if they went against the wishes of 5 million constituents.

      The NRA also has no objection at all to having meaningful discussions, as long as they don’t have to do with taking away the rights of the people. In fact, the NRA is having a positive impact. Most of the money that is brought in, which comes from membership fees, goes to pay for teaching people how to properly use guns, to pay for ranges used in teaching that proper use, for teaching and certifying gun safety instructors, and for fun community events and competitions. In regard to teaching gun safety, this includes teaching police officers gun safety. All of this is a matter of record.

      The biggest problem with discussions between second amendment supporters and gun control advocates is that the latter invariably wants to take something away, though common sense and statistics show that it would make no difference at all, at least in regard to lowering active shooter incidents. For instance, banning AR-15’s does nothing at all, especially since any gun can be used and the AR-15 is simply popular, nothing more.

      Gun bans and creation of gun-free zones also clearly have the opposite effect of the one they were meant to have. Most active shooter incidents occur in gun-free zones. Creating more gun-free zones simply increase the number of places the shootings are likely to occur. For that matter, the numbers show pretty plainly that the decline in active shooter incidents began at the time when gun control laws started becoming laxer and were much higher when gun control laws were stricter.

      Still, the laws that are already in place need to be enforced. Law enforcement, the FBI, the ATM, and the courts are dropping the ball on that one (in general, I mean. That isn’t meant to mean that all of them are failing to do their job all the time.)

      Right now, the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is by using a good guy with a gun.

      Still, the tools aren’t the issue. In the Texas incident, the bombs had the potential to cause a lot more deaths and destruction than the guns. Clearly, the issue is with the person committing the crime rather than with the weapons he used. That is also the challenge; how do we, as a country, figure out who is unstable and needs mental help? This would be a very strong first step toward resolving the incidents. It is a difficult question to answer, though, and there might not be a quick fix.

      For example, it is looking more and more like the issue is rooted in the breakdown of the family unit. Most of the active shooters that the media has reported on ad nauseum didn’t have a stable family and strong father figure when they were growing up. The family breakdown began roughly about the time of the “free love” movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Even if we started reversing that now, it would probably take several decades to get back to a more stable family structure.

      • The NRA has given millions to men like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz among others who have done its bidding. Basically they’ve bought them, even if you say otherwise. As for your ludicrous statements that changes in family structure and sexual mores have anything to do with school shootings, that’s bull. It’s a convenient theory to support your reactionary worldview but has no basis in fact.

        • In the first place, the NRA donated $0 to any politician. An allied group, NRA-ILA, which is a much smaller group that has to do with politicians who both support and don’t support the constitution, are the ones who’ve made donations.

          Secondly, the money for the donations of the NRA-ILA comes from direct individual donations, specifically to be used for campaigns. Some of the money went to Democrats. Again, though, the money goes to the candidates who support the constitution. The largest individual donation in the 2016 election cycle was $50,000. Meanwhile, individual donations to the Democrat party were substantially higher. George Soros, alone, donated more to Democrat campaigns than all of the money donated to both Dems and Reps by the NRA-ILA.

          The truth is that the NRA-ILA has neither the money nor the power that many liberal lobbying groups have. The NRA itself doesn’t contribute politically. Most of their money is spent for gun safety training.

          With all of that, the NRA *is* powerful, but that is because they represent millions of Americans who support the constitution and specifically the second amendment.

          I’m sorry that you want to think that the numbers compiled by the CDC, FBI, and other official agencies are bull. It is, of course, your prerogative to believe anything you want to believe and regardless if you support our constitution, which is the foundation of our republic. I’m thankful that a growing number of Americans are actually seeing the truth. That is one reason that the membership to the NRA has grown by a million and a half just since February.

          It seems that a large number of Americans refuse to relinquish the right to defend themselves. That is a good thing since the CDC also says that about 3 million crimes per year are prevented by citizens who lawfully possess guns.

    • Nope, they were attacked in a gun free zone and unfortunately, none of the teachers were armed. Shootings like this are quite rare, but they do happen, and once again, this one happened in a gun free zone where all firearms are prohibited. I guess that the criminal perpetrator doesn’t care about the laws. I suspect that he would have ignored the law even if there were even more gun control laws in place. That is a guess, of course.

      The police also found two bombs. It rather sounds like a lot more people would have died from the bombs than from the shooting, had the shooting not taken place. The bombs were also illegal.

      All things considered, it is amazing that only 10-11 people died. That fact tells me that the shooter was stopped before it could have been worse.

      The Texas shooting rather makes the point of the above article. The problem isn’t with the guns, which are mere tools. The problem is with those that want to go on killing sprees. Focusing attention on guns doesn’t do anything about the problem, except make it easier for killers to do their killing by establishing places where fewer people are able to protect themselves. The focus needs to be on the people who do things like this, not on the tools they use to do it.

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