We Love Our Guns, But We Should Still Address Public Safety

Is any gun control bad?

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As gun owners we tend to automatically eschew any measures at gun control. Have we lost our objectivity? My circle of friends is saturated with liberals. Some of them own firearms, but most do not. Even though I’m a gun owner, I have to admit I would love to find a solution to gun death in American society. Who wouldn’t?

By and large, guns are very easy to get. And I’m not necessarily arguing that they shouldn’t be, but let’s look at some statistics.

According to Pew Research, “Between 1993 and 2000, the gun homicide rate dropped by nearly half, from 7.0 homicides to 3.8 homicides per 100,000 people. Since then, the gun homicide rate has remained relatively flat. From 2009 to 2014, the most recent year data are available, the number of gun homicides has hovered around 11,000 and 12,000 per year.

“By contrast, a significantly higher—and growing—number of gun deaths were by suicide than by homicide, and this has been true throughout the past two decades. For example, while the gun suicide rate has declined overall since 1993, in recent years it has risen, from 6.3 per 100,000 people in 2010 to 6.7 in 2014.”

Although the homicide rates have dropped, an unacceptable amount of people have lost their lives to gun violence. A gun is an effective killing machine—it’s why we use them for self-protection. It must then be addressed that these homicides are crimes. Would these homicides have occurred if guns weren’t available? In most cases, likely not.

Suicide. It’s been touted over and over that if a person really wants to end their life, they will find a way to do it: pills, jumping from heights, slitting their wrists. But there’s little more effective than putting a gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger. I’ve had two friends who’ve done it. To this day I wonder what would have happened had they not had a gun in the house.

But the real question is: How can laws change these statistics? My friends who committed suicide didn’t run out and buy guns; they both used their fathers’ old shotguns, which had been dormant and lying around the house. Plenty of felons commit crimes with stolen guns, which is already against the law. Just the other day two women, teachers, were shot by a crazed ex-husband. There was a restraining order against him. He had broken the law by possessing a gun.

Is there such a thing as meaningful gun legislation when it comes to making society safer? And is it possible for the NRA to take a place in such a discussion? Please leave your comments below.