Firearms or no firearms ?
Being able to enforce more gun regulations, maybe go as far as banning the Second Amendment is essential in order to make communities a safer place. Others, in fact, might not have the same ideology which is understandable because everyone wants a shot at self defense when harm comes our way.
The journal More Guns, Less Crime, by John R. Lott, Jr. by author Kevin P. LaTulip Jr. reviews in detail John R.Lott. Jrs’ book “More Guns, Less Crime” and his theories as to why he believes that we should have even more guns in the streets instead of decreasing the number of guns available to people.
John R. Lott. Jr states that violent crime is reduced when more concealed handgun permits are issued and gives two theories: Deterrence and Substitution.
Deterrence is based on the assumption that criminals are motivated by self preservation, meaning that a criminal won’t commit crimes against another human being, if they were aware their victim carries a concealed handgun, therefore, people should carry more guns.
Substitution would be the consequence of the deterrence theory, Lotts explains that if criminals could no longer commit violent crimes towards another person, this would be substituted for property crimes. Meaning that there would be more burglaries nationwide in order to reduce violent crimes.
Lott’s second reason is that guns are the great equalizer between the sexes.
He believes that women are perceived to be more vulnerable, making them targets for violent crimes. Women carrying hand guns would reduce women murder rate by about 3-4 times more than the murder rate for men. He also believes that the number of rapes would reduce as well.
Lotts third and last reasoning as to why we should have more guns is because most current gun control measures do not deter gun violence. This is because of the Brady Act. According to the article Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2008 the Brady act requires background checks and criminal history by the FBI ( Federal Bureau of Investigations ) on people who attempt to purchase firearms by a licensed dealer.
Lott’s states that Nearly 100,000 people were denied guns as a result of background checks and 3,000 due to criminal history and somehow, there are still high crime rates. He also points out that civilian firearms training is ineffective in reducing crime because training is usually a few hours long, not giving people enough trainment in order to defend themselves properly in tough situations.
While most of the theories stated by author John R. Lotts. Jr. may be accepted and supported by a grand majority of Americans due to their history with firearms, they still continue to be theories which are unproven.
The idea that violent crimes are reduced when concealed handgun permits are issued seems valid when it comes to self defense only from strangers. The article
More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows – Scientific American by author Melinda Wenner Moyer provides evidence of how a town named Kennesaw In Georgia passed a law, requiring every head of a household to own a firearm and ammunition and how it has been effective, supporting Lott’s theory. The problem with this is that Kennesaw did not have a high crime rate to even begin with therefore it’s uncertain whether it was effective or not, and, even if it deterred violent crimes and property crimes, it did cause new problems: Domestic violence which is the intimidation of a fellow household member over power and control, gun thefts and homicides of intimate partners/ family members. Which is not ideal since the goal is to reduce crime rates.
“ A growing body of research suggests that violence is a contagious behavior that exists independent of weapon or means. In this framework, guns are accessories to infectious violence rather than fountainheads. But this does not mean guns don’t matter. Guns intensify violent encounters, upping the stakes and worsening the outcomes—which explains why there are more deaths and life-threatening injuries where firearms are common. Violence may be primarily triggered by other violence, but these deadly weapons make all this violence worse.”
Lott’s second theory insinuating that guns are the equalizer between the sexes was something I used to consider myself at one point in life as well. Studies show that there is a 10% chance of someone being murdered by someone they don’t know, which leaves the 90% chance of someone getting murdered by someone they do know.
The article Having a Gun in the House Doesn’t Make a Woman Safer – The Atlantic by author Evan DeFilippis states that:
“ In another study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers interviewed 417 women across 67 battered women’s shelters. Nearly a third of these women had lived in a household with a firearm. In two-thirds of the homes, their intimate partners had used the gun against them, usually threatening to kill (71.4%) them. A very small percentage of these women (7%) had used a gun successfully in self-defense, and primarily just to scare the attacking male partner away. Indeed, gun threats in the home against women by their intimate partners appear to be more common across the United States than self-defense uses of guns by women.”
This article gives insight on how most of the women who own firearms do have a chance at self defense but there is still an extremely high probability of their intimate partner using or threatening to use the firearm against them which does not support Lott’s theory. Firearms still have a great possibility to commit murder instead of protecting someone from being murdered, in speciality, women.
Lott’s third and last theory indicates that there are no effective gun control laws to deter violence, when in reality, it’s inconclusive. The article Gauging the Effectiveness of Gun Control Laws by author Jeffrey Fagan states that :
Other state legislation has restricted the reach of the Brady Act, simplifying the purchase of firearms and ammunition. Of the 25 state gun laws identified in the report, nine were credited with reducing firearm mortality, nine were associated with increased firearm mortality, and seven had an inconclusive association. Three of the state laws were strongly associated with lower numbers of firearm deaths, and at least one was associated with higher firearm mortality rates.
This article shows how one state can be effective, while others can not so it is inconclusive on whether diminishing firearm laws may or may not help reduce violent crimes.
Having more guns does seem ideal in order to defend ourselves in emergencies, but,
taking into consideration when Implementing more gun control laws will not only help reduce the violent crime rates, but it will also give communities a chance to value human life. In order for someone to kill another human being, without a firearm, it will take physical force, having to look someone in their eyes and see how their life leaves their body, which can be an extremely traumatic experience that most of the people who kill by gun would not want to have for the rest of their lives.
More Guns, Less Crime, by John R. Lott, Jr.
Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2008
More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows – Scientific American
Having a Gun in the House Doesn’t Make a Woman Safer – The Atlantic
Gauging the Effectiveness of Gun Control Laws