Strict Gun Laws Lead to Higher Gun Crime Rates



Last week, some of the survivors of last winter’s Tucson shooting spree lobbied Congress in hopes of getting stricter gun control laws passed. In January of 2011, mentally unstable Jared Loughner opened fire at a political rally, killing 6 people and wounding more than a dozen others, including Representative Gabby Giffords.

The proposed legislation was authored by Senator Chuck Schumer, is supported New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Manino, and aims at gaining stricter restrictions when purchasing firearms. The bill would require states to submit more comprehensive mental health and criminal records to federal databases used for background checks on gun purchasers. 

So, apparently it’s ok to sell guns, no questions asked, to Mexican drug cartels on the taxpayer’s dime, but we really need to get into someone’s private business if they want to purchase a weapon. That seems just a tad messed up.

Restricting access to firearms by requiring that hoop upon hoop be jumped through is a bad idea. It’s already illegal for felons to own guns; and there’s a system in place to help dealers easily determine whether or not someone’s record is clear. By adding mental health issues and petty crime offenses to the list of unacceptable behavior for gun ownership, we put ourselves on a slippery path towards disallowing any citizens from owning guns.

Bad things happen when ordinary, law-abiding citizens are kept from packing heat. How might the Tucson shooting have turned out differently if the bystanders had had pistols in their pockets? Heck, if Loughner had been worried about the possibility of others in the crowd having weapons, maybe he wouldn’t have gone on the rampage at all. 

More than 80 people died in Norway last summer over the course of several hours, when one crazy dude just walked around and picked people off. Incidentally, Norway has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. How many lives could’ve been saved had someone been able to fight fire with fire and shoot that SOB?

It’s been proven over and over that strict gun laws don’t work. In fact, the opposite is true: More gun crimes exist in areas where gun ownership is the most restrictive. It makes sense when you consider that criminals, by their very definition, don’t follow the rules. 

As Robert Heinlein once famously stated, “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”


Image via kcdsTM/Flickr

crime, in the news, law, politics, terrorism


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Colet... Colette923

I completely and utterly concur.

nonmember avatar Jaivest

Really? You think the possible presence of armed citizens is enough to deter a shooter with a mental health condition? Guess you haven't heard how many people have tried to take a shot at former presidents who, by the way, are surrounded by some of the best trained armed body guards in the world. You sound like a Republican so you should remember Ronald Reagan who was what? Shot by a man wielding a gun.

Before you start ranting about how people wouldn't shoot off guns if they think everyone's packing, also consider the skill of those same folks and picture yourself getting hit by those citizens who can't aim. Even trained police and soldiers have a difficult time shooting at another human and your untrained neighbors are more likely to shoot wide an hit a bystander than they are to hit the gun wielding madman.

nonmember avatar Liz

You failed to mention this sentence from the very article you are citing: "Perhaps because the laws are already so strict and gun crime is relatively rare, gun control is not generally considered a political issue in Norway." Hmm I wonder why a country with some of the strictest gun control laws has "relatively rare" gun crime.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

Is this a joke? Maybe the mentally unstable man with a gun would think twice about using it if more people had guns?

Im really not going to get into a debate about the right to bear arms because it goes on forever, but I think its safe to say that certain people shouldn't be a thllowed easy access to weapons. The mentally insane for example... Why? Because they're freaking mentally insane! You're trying to use rational arguments on people that are incapable of rational thought. Do you honestly think they would stop and make a pro/con list of opening fire in a crowd of people?

nonmember avatar JZ

Clearly, there is an ammunition-control problem.

Guns don`t kill people, bullets kill people.

nonmember avatar Sara

THANK YOU! I totally agree. I've always said that if it becomes more difficult for the public to buy guns, the only ones with them will be the criminals. And that is not a situation I want to be in.

brebay brebay

Get real - Correlation does NOT equal causation!

fave82 fave82

I'm all for people being able to buy and carry a weapon. But I do think that it should be harder to get them. A more thorough background check and maybe add a few more days onto the waiting period. Definitely they should be looking at mental health background.. From what I understand most states can only go back so many years in checking whether someone has been in a mental facility. That should definitely be changed.  That being said, criminals will still find ways to get guns illegally. I just feel we should have the right to arm and protect ourselves, at the very least, in our own homes.  

nonmember avatar KellyB

I'm not surprised. Gun laws ensure that mostly criminals are armed.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Hand guns are illegal in the UK and the rate of gun deaths there is about 2% of the US rate. When there is a crime involving a gun there it makes the national news because it's such a rarity whereas here people getting shot sometimes barely makes the local news. Allowing private citizens to have hand guns greatly increases the chances of people being injured or killed, both the general public (most of whom have the good sense not to carry around something that is only any good for killing a fellow human being) and the families of those owning the guns. If you intend to 'prove' that looser gun ownership laws lead to greater public safety then you need to use some very creative statistical techniques and ignore a great deal of conflicting information.

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