The Government Can Only Do So Much about Guns

Nathan Bixby

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Moments after news came in of the tragic shooting at Parkland High School in Florida, after giving their condolences and prayer, most Americans swiftly scurried back into their ideological political bunkers and waged war on the other side. In this case, Democrats wasted no time conducting an all-out attack on Republicans over gun control. Without coming across as too much of an ideologue, it is important to admit that politics is a dirty game where neither side of the political spectrum shies from capitalizing on tragedy in order to push an agenda. If you are a Democrat and there is a shooting, you instinctively shout gun control. If you are a Republican and there is a domestic terror attack, you demand border security. In a polarized political climate, emotion tends to override logic. After taking a breath and stepping away from the hot mic, it is time to have an honest and open discussion about what we can truly do to prevent something like this from happening again. 

First, “common-sense gun control” is not a political position. Instead, it is a battering ram that Democrats use to beat Republicans over the head. It is Congress’ job to pass specific policies that can help prevent these shootings from ever happening again. Now, the mainstream Democrat agenda is calling for a ban on AR-15 rifles and legislating for more in-depth background checks. There are problems with these policies. AR-15s account for only two percent of gun deaths in the United States, and background checks are mostly ineffective at preventing mass shootings and often run the line of being unconstitutional by the First, Fifth, and Tenth Amendments. If Democrats are being honest with themselves, the only real policy solution that they would support to address gun violence would be repealing the Second Amendment.

Repealing the Second Amendment has been in the back of most Democrats’ minds for years. They envy nations such as Australia, Britain, and Japan, where owning a firearm has basically been outlawed. When it comes to the issue of decreasing gun deaths, an outright ban on guns undeniably works. According to studies from the Scottish Government and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, gun deaths were curbed significantly after the implementation of gun confiscation. 

Of course, this should come as no surprise to anyone because it is quite difficult to kill someone with a gun when there are, theoretically, no guns. However convenient it may be for Democrats to push these statistics as gospel, there are other statistics that have shown that gun confiscation is rather ineffective at curbing general crime and murder.  According to the Crime Research and Prevention Center, nations such as Ireland and Jamaica experienced a spike in murder rate after implementing a gun ban. So, while it is true that banning guns prevents mass shootings, it is also true that it has little effect at decreasing the murder rate. It is also important to note that repealing the Second Amendment in the United States only bans guns, in theory. After that, there are still 300 million guns for the United States government to confiscate. Good luck with that, Democrats. Lastly, it can be assured that most gun owners would not go down without a fight. 

Overall, when we are debating mass gun confiscation, Democrats and Republicans are capitalizing on two different points: Democrats argue that making guns illegal lowers the gun murder rate (which it does), and Republicans argue that banning guns has little to no effect on lowering crime and murder rates (which is true, as well). Knowing just how unrealistic and ineffective a gun ban is, we should look to other solutions. 

Taking all factors into account, the most effective legislation that Congress could pass would involve banning bump stocks and mandating that every school in America have a certain amount of armed security per student and a metal detector at each entrance. While this could make an impact on lessening the chances of school shootings, there are still deeper societal problems that the government cannot fix with the tip of a pen. As Americans, it is our job to come together as a community and unite around the values and beliefs that we all share. By doing that, we can finally begin to take the right steps in healing our nation once again.