Top Pro & Con Arguments
The presence of a gun makes a conflict more likely to become violent.
The FBI found that arguments (such as romantic triangles, brawls fueled by alcohol or drugs, and arguments over money) resulted in 1,962 gun deaths (59.9% of the total).
An editorial published in the American Journal of Public Health noted, “gun-inflicted deaths [often] ensue from impromptu arguments and fights; in the US, two-thirds of the 7,900 deaths in 1981 involving arguments and brawls were caused by guns.” A study published in the same journal found that “the weapons used [in altercations]… were those closest at hand.” And thus, according to another study, “[r]ather than confer protection, guns kept in the home are associated with an increase in the risk of homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.”
Statistics show that guns are rarely used in self-defense. Of the 29,618,300 violent crimes committed between 2007 and 2011, 0.79% of victims (235,700) protected themselves with a threat of use or use of a firearm, the least-employed protective behavior. In 2010 there were 230 “justifiable homicides” in which a private citizen used a firearm to kill a felon, compared to 8,275 criminal gun homicides (or, 36 criminal homicides for every “justifiable homicide”). Of the 84,495,500 property crimes committed between 2007 and 2011, 0.12% of victims (103,000) protected themselves with a threat of use or use of a firearm.
Further, armed civilians are unlikely to stop crimes and are more likely to make dangerous situations, including mass shootings, more deadly. None of the 62 mass shootings between 1982 and 2012 were stopped by an armed civilian. Jeffrey Voccola, Assistant Professor of Writing at Kutztown University, notes, “The average gun owner, no matter how responsible, is not trained in law enforcement or on how to handle life-threatening situations, so in most cases, if a threat occurs, increasing the number of guns only creates a more volatile and dangerous situation.”
Common sense gun control laws can decrease the likelihood of a violent situation turning deadly. President Ronald Reagan and others did not think the AR-15 military rifle (also called M16s by the Air Force) should be owned by civilians and, when the AR-15 was included in the assault weapons ban of 1994 (which expired on Sep. 13, 2004), the NRA supported the legislation. A Mother Jones investigation found that high-capacity magazines were used in at least 50% of the 62 mass shootings between 1982 and 2012.When high-capacity magazines were used in mass shootings, the death rate rose 63% and the injury rate rose 156%.
The Second Amendment was written at a time when the most common arms were long rifles that had to be reloaded after every shot. Civilians today have access to folding, detaching, or telescoping stocks that make the guns more easily concealed and carried; silencers to muffle gunshot sounds; flash suppressors to fire in low-light conditions without being blinded by the flash and to conceal the shooter’s location; or grenade launcher attachments. Jonathan Lowy, Director of Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, states, “These are weapons that will shred your venison before you eat it, or go through the walls of your apartment when you’re trying to defend yourself… [they are] made for mass killing, but not useful for law-abiding citizens.”Read More