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 article, “More Guns, Less Crime, by John R. Lott, Jr.,” a review by author Kevin P. LaTulip Jr. of John R. Lott, Jr.’s book, More Guns, Less Crime, details Lott’s 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.
Lott’s 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.
DeFillipis, Evan “Having a Gun in the House Doesn’t Make a Woman Safer – The Atlantic.” the atlantic.com. (23 Feb,2014. )
LaTulip,Kevin P. “ More Guns, Less Crime, by John R. Lott, Jr.” Journal of health care law and policy. (2000)
Wenner Moyer, Melinda. “More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows – Scientific American.” Scientific american. (1 Oct, 2017.)
Frandsen, Ronald J. “Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2008.” federal And state investigations and prosecutions of firearm applicants denied by a NICS check in 2008. Jun.2010
I would like to receive feedback on the structure and ways to better my essay.
I made several punctuation corrections to your first citation, Pink. I hope you can learn from them and apply them to the rest of your essays.
The journal article is punctuated with Quotation Marks, while the book of more or less the same title gets italics.
The journal article, “More Guns, Less Crime, by John R. Lott, Jr.,” a review by author Kevin P. LaTulip, Jr. of John R. Lott, Jr.’s book, More Guns, Less Crime, details Lott’s 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.
I also fixed your Title and the References heading.
You appear to be unfamiliar with the WordPress Block Quotation feature. It looks like a big quotation mark, and clicking it when you’ve selected a long quote turns the whole quotation into italics and indents the material from the left and right margins automatically. When using Block Quotes (you use three of them), you don’t need quotation marks at the beginning or end of the quote.
The hyperlinks in your References list are helpful, but we need the Bibliographic information, too: Author’s Name, Title of book or article, Name of Publication, Date, etc.
I’m confused by your Numbering of Lott’s arguments. You say he makes two. Then, after you name two, you seem to have more. The easiest fix would not to say how many arguments he makes. I don’t see the value of counting them, especially counting them wrong.
Lott seems to make even more mistakes than you have identified.
Burglaries don’t sound safe at all. Lott doesn’t say that burglars will enter homes and businesses unarmed, so he hasn’t suggested there won’t be guns involved. There’s no good way to be sure a burglar won’t encounter a resident or business owner, and no way to know whether that person will be armed. It’s a sad and stupid argument.
He’s also wrong that a victim with a gun is safe against a mugger or rapist with a gun. If the mugger shows a gun first, and is willing to use it, the victim is still at a terrible disadvantage. AND, if the victim does decide to try to “even the odds,” he has a LOT BETTER CHANCE of getting shot than if he didn’t have a gun.
The same holds true for women trying to avoid a rape.
Lott’s argument against the Brady Bill is exactly as convincing as the argument that toothpaste and toothbrushes must not work because most people brush their teeth and there’s still a lot of cavities.
When he points out that “civilian firearms training is ineffective in reducing crime,” he’s arguing very effectively against himself. He wants everybody to pack heat, but he admits a “few hours” of training doesn’t equip gun owners with much defense.
After that, you take over nicely with your evidence about Gun Violence from People We Know.
I love the Kenneshaw example. I only wish you had some numbers about the increase in domestic violence.
Also VERY STRONG is the claim that “Guns intensify violent encounters, upping the stakes and worsening the outcomes.”
Your claim about women being 9 times more likely to be murdered by someone they know is useful, but . . .
MORE USEFUL would be a statistic that said women are more likely to be threatened or shot or killed BY THEIR OWN GUN than by someone else’s gun.
Your long quote about the Brady Act is a little too long to help you without confusion. It starts by saying the Brady Act isn’t enforced similarly everywhere. That complicates everything that follows. We don’t know if the 25 state gun laws in question have been DILUTED. Obviously, different versions of the law make it impossible to judge its effectiveness at all.
If you can find a less ambiguous quote that champions the reductions in gun deaths that HAVE OCCURRED in states with strict enforcement of the Brady Act, such a quote will serve you better.
Was that helpful?
This may be your strongest piece so far, Pink.
Provisionally graded. Eligible for a Regrade following significant Revision.
Thank you professor, I have been working on it these past few days, I’ll be turning in the revisions shortly.