This piece was published in the December 2015 issue of the Prep News and was co-written by Forrest Roudebush and Jack Niemuth
In wake of the recent 353 mass shootings this year, the American public is again debating the best way to curb gun violence. Many are calling for increased gun control, saying restrictions on certain firearms will lead to better public safety.
Proponents for stricter gun control argue that it is far too easy to commit gun violence in America, and that the country has become a haven for massacres. Last week’s event in San Bernardino is just the latest tragedy, and more are on the horizon the longer we fail to act.
“We’re a pretty new nation,” Tom Mauser, a firm believer in gun control whose son, Daniel, died in the Columbine shooting, said in The Atlantic. “We’re still at the stage of rebellious teenager, and we don’t like it when the government tells us what to do. People don’t trust government to do what’s right. They are very attracted to the idea of a nation of individuals, so they don’t think about what’s good for the collective.”
Mauser’s intentions are clearly good, and in some aspects, it’s easy to agree with him. Liberal support for universal background checks has been met with near-unanimous agreement by citizens, with 88 percent of the population—88 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of Republicans, according to a poll by The Hill—encouraging such measures.
Nonetheless, after a look at the arguments, it is hard to argue that gun control wouldn’t cause more harm than good.
Mauser, for example, is also a firm believer in gun-free zones. Gun-free zones are a great idea for law abiding citizens, but in active shooter situations like Columbine, Virginia Tech or Aurora, gun free zones only made it easier for criminals to kill, as they would face hardly any opposition.
“Since at least 1950, all but two public mass shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns,” The National Review’s John Rott writes. “In Europe, there have been no exceptions. Every mass public shooting—and there have been plenty of mass shooting in Europe—has occurred in a gun-free zone.”
Another one of the main proposals from gun control advocates is that military grade weapons like assault rifles, known for their use in the Sandy Hook or Umpqua Community College shootings, should be taken away because they are not for “sport.”
For starters, it is a common misconception that these weapons are fully automatic. The Firearms Acts of 1994 and 2004 made it illegal to own such guns. Thus, the often-demonized AR-15 is no more powerful than your average hunting rifle, which barely raises an eyebrow in the court of public opinion.
Simply put, guns are here to protect people, and by taking them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, the government is making it easier for mass murderers to succeed. Those pushing the gun control agenda might think their actions improve the country’s well-being, but in fact, implementing these ideas could have the opposite effect.