Pro & Con Quotes: Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted in the United States?
The Editors of Scientific American state:
“The science is abundantly clear: More guns do not stop crime. Guns kill more children each year than auto accidents. More children die by gunfire in a year than on-duty police officers and active military members. Guns are a public health crisis, just like COVID, and in this, we are failing our children, over and over again….
Science points to laws that would work to reduce shootings, to lower death. Among the simplest would be better permitting laws with fewer loopholes. When Missouri repealed its permit law, gun-related killings increased by 25 percent. Another would be to ban people who are convicted of violent crime from buying a gun. In California, before the state passed such a law, people convicted of crimes were almost 30 percent more likely to be arrested again for a gun or violent crime than those who, after the law, couldn’t buy a gun.
Such laws, plus red flag laws and those taking guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and people who abuse alcohol, would lower our gun violence rate as a nation.-
Editors of Scientific American, “The Science Is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives,” scientificamerican.com, May 26, 2022
Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group, states:
“When we compare the states head-to-head on the top 50 gun safety policies, a clear pattern emerges. States with strong laws see less gun violence. Indeed, the 14 states that have failed to put basic protections into place—’national failures’ on our scale—have nearly triple the rate of gun deaths as the eight national gun safety leaders….
All states should start with a core group of five foundational laws—passing background checks and/or purchase permitting, along with Extreme Risk laws and secure gun storage requirements; and rejecting Shoot First (also known as Stand Your Ground) and permitless carry laws. While each of the top 14 states in the gun law rankings has all five of these policies in place, only one of the bottom 14 states has even one of these critical protections.”-
Everytown for Gun Safety, “Gun Safety Policies Save Lives,” everytownresearch.org, Jan. 12, 2023
Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister of Middle Collegiate Church in New York City, and Sharon Brous, Senior Rabbi of IKAR in Los Angeles state:
“We are clergy members. Our work is to comfort the bereaved. It’s also to fight for a more just and loving society in which human beings are not cruelly killed by the tens of thousands every year because the gun lobby has a stranglehold on Congress.
It’s been 25 years since the federal government enacted any gun safety law. That’s 25 years of grief and devastation that could have been prevented.
Our faiths teach us that every person is created in God’s own image and endowed with inestimable worth by virtue of being human. Every life is precious and a gift from God, and guns destroy that Divine presence 100 times every day on the streets of this country. That is an affront we simply cannot abide.
Members of Congress: We beseech you to listen to your constituents.
We will never accept gun massacres, gun murders and gun suicides as inevitable or acceptable. Now is the time to find your moral courage. It is that simple; you must stand on the side of what is safe, just and right.”-
Jacqui Lewis and Sharon Brous, “As Mass Shootings Mount, Enacting Stricter Gun Laws Is the Morally Right Thing to Do,” usatoday, Apr. 16, 2021
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, states:
“I’m really frustrated when I see politicians using the same old, tired talking points… You can look at Connecticut, [which] passed background checks on every gun sale and saw gun homicides drop by, I believe, 40 percent and gun suicides dropped by 14 percent….
[W]e know that about 80 percent of gun owners support stronger gun laws like a background check on every gun sale, and only one in 10 gun owners even belongs to the NRA…
Everything we do is research and data-based, so all of the laws that we support and prioritize are based on what would save the most amount of lives. And we know that background checks would save the most amount of lives.”-
Joe Heim. “‘The NRA Is Weaker Than They’ve Ever Been,’ Says Founder of Gun Violence Prevention Group Moms Demand Action,” washingtonpost.com, Nov. 5, 2019
EJ Montini, columnist at the Arizona Republic, states:
“A universal background check – no exceptions – would be a start. And a ban on assault-style weapons. And a ban on extended magazines.
None of those proposals has gotten anywhere in the Legislature.
The Republicans in control won’t even pass the buck, putting the issues on the ballot.
They know they would pass, and their benefactors from the gun lobby wouldn’t like that.
It would be even better if the gun regulations were passed in Congress, making the laws apply equally across the nation.”-
EJ Montini, “It’s Monday. Time to Ignore Demands for Gun Law Changes, Again,” azcentral.com, Aug. 19, 2019
Sharon Risher, Reverend and Spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, states:
“Two years ago my mother and cousins were gunned down by a white supremacist during a prayer service at their beloved Mother Emanuel Church. That hate-filled man never should have gotten his hands on a gun, and yet, through a loophole, he was able to arm himself and take the lives of nine beautiful church-goers, peacefully in prayer. If a full background check had been completed, my mother, cousins and six other loved ones would still be alive today…
Between 2010 and 2016, the Charleston loophole allowed nearly 23,000 gun sales to dangerous people who would have failed a criminal background check because the check could not be completed within three business days. After the three-day period has expired, federal law allows gun stores to sell a gun to a prospective buyer, even though the background check is not complete…
Background checks that have been completed have blocked more than two million sales to people who failed a background check, and have saved countless lives.”-
Sharon Risher, MDiv, “Everytown, Moms Demand Action Applaud Rep. Cylburn’s Legislation to Close ‘Charleston Loophole’ That Allowed Charleston Shooter to Obtain Gun without a Complete Background Check,” Moms Demand Action website, July 28, 2017
The American Medical Association states:
“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theaters, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence… Our AMA ‘recognizes that uncontrolled ownership and use of firearms, especially handguns, is a serious threat to the public’s health inasmuch as the weapons are one of the main causes of intentional and unintentional injuries and deaths.’ AMA policy supports legislation calling for a waiting period before purchasing any form of firearm in the U.S., and supports requiring background checks for all handgun purchasers.
Moreover, AMA policy supports stricter enforcement of present federal and state gun safety legislation, and the imposition of mandated penalties for crimes committed with the use of a firearm, including the illegal possession of a firearm.”-
The American Medical Association, “AMA Calls Gun Violence ‘A Public Health Crisis;’ Will Actively Lobby Congress to Lift Ban on CDC Gun Violence Research,” June 14, 2016
Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, states:
“It is hard to find a rational justification that explains the ease with which people can buy firearms, including assault rifles, in spite of prior criminal backgrounds, drug use, histories of domestic violence and mental illness, or direct contact with extremists – both domestic and foreign.
How many more mass killings of school-children, of co-workers, of African-American churchgoers — how many more individual shootings of talented musicians like Christina Grimmie, or politicians like Gabrielle Giffords, will it take before the United States adopts robust gun regulation? Why should any civilian anywhere be able to acquire an assault rifle or other high-powered weapons designed to kill lots of people?
Irresponsible pro-gun propaganda suggests that firearms make society safer, when all evidence points to the contrary. The ready availability of guns leaves little space between murderous impulses and actions that result in death. The journey between hate-filled beliefs and violent hate crimes is accelerated. Society — in particular its most vulnerable communities and minorities who are already facing widespread prejudice — pay a high price for the failure to stand up to the lobbyists and take the necessary measures to protect people from gun violence.
Examples from many countries clearly show that a legal framework to control the acquisition and use of firearms has led to a dramatic reduction in violent crime.”-
Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, “In Wake of Mass Shooting, UN Rights Chief Urges US to Consider Robust Gun Control,” un.org, June 14, 2016
The NRA-ILA, the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association, states:
“Gun control is an umbrella term that refers to laws and ordinances that restrict how law-abiding citizens can buy, own, or use firearms. These vary at the federal, state, and local levels….
These laws have been in place for decades, and by now, the evidence is crystal clear. Gun control doesn’t work.
Criminals, by definition, do not obey the law. Gun control laws only affect law-abiding people who go through legal avenues to obtain firearms.
Criminals overwhelmingly obtain their firearms through illegal channels and will never be deterred by state and federal laws. That’s why background checks have virtually no impact on criminals.
Even if criminals did submit to background checks, we’ve seen that these checks aren’t effective at stopping those who intend to use guns to commit crimes.
Consider the following scenarios.
A person with no criminal history walks into a store to buy a gun they’ll use to commit a crime. A background check most likely won’t stop them.
A drug addict lies about their addiction on a federal background check form. Although this individual is committing a federal crime, a background check most likely won’t stop them.
A person with serious mental health issues but no history of treatment or institutionalization goes to buy a gun. A background check most likely won’t stop them.
It makes sense then that background checks have no impact on violent crime.”-
NRA-ILA, “Why Gun Control Doesn’t Work,” nraila.org (accessed July 19, 2023)
The Editors of the National Review state:
“On Monday [July 4, 2022], in the city of Highland Park, Ill., a deranged goblin of a man opened fire on a July 4 parade, killing seven innocent people and wounding three dozen others. After an intense search, the culprit was apprehended and taken into custody. Yet again, a mass shooting has sullied America.
And, yet again, it is unclear what lawmakers can do to prevent the next one. Just weeks ago, the Senate passed a gun-control bill that Chris Murphy described as “the most significant piece of anti-gun violence legislation in nearly 30 years.” Today, posturing as if nothing has been done recently, Democrats are asking for more. But what, exactly, does that mean? A red-flag law? Illinois already has one. A permitting system for the purchase and ownership of guns? Illinois has that, too. “Universal” background checks? That’s already Illinois law. What about “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines? Highland Park has banned both since 2013. Concealed carry? That was prohibited at the parade under an Illinois law that renders it illegal to carry firearms at “any public gathering held pursuant to a license issued by any governmental body.” Straw purchasing? That’s already illegal, and, besides, the gun was obtained legally….
Because they are, relatively speaking, so rare and so unpredictable — and because America is so free — mass shootings remain one of the most intractable forms of crime….
Americans would do well to set incidents such as this one in their proper context. Random acts of violence are, indeed, terrifying, but they are terrifying because they are so rare.”-
Editors of the National Review, “When Gun Laws Don’t Prevent Gun Crime,” nationalreview.com, July 6, 2022
Laura Carno, senior fellow emeritus at Independent Women’s Forum, states:
“In short, gun control legislation does not focus on the root causes of human behavior, including violence, crime, and untreated mental illness. At the heart of gun control initiatives is the hope that criminals will obey the law, but, in fact, they rarely do.
Congress, as well as state legislatures, would have us think that just one more gun-control law will magically reduce crime. But they have been saying that for decades, with no evidence of improvement. Then they offer the same legislation again.
Instead of reducing crime, new gun control legislation would:
- Not change criminal behavior. It only creates a false sense of security.
- Make law-abiding citizens less safe, especially victims of domestic violence.
- Turn law-abiding citizens into instant felons for ordinary, safe behavior.
- Be cost prohibitive for the poorest families to protect themselves.“
Laura Carno, “Two Truths And A Lie: Gun Control Doesn’t Keep Us Safer,” iwf.org, Oct. 4, 2022
Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst at Fox News Channel and former Superior Court judge, states:
“The Supreme Court has twice ruled in the past 11 years that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual pre-political liberty. That is the highest category of liberty recognized in the law. It is akin to the freedoms of thought, speech and personality…
It would be exquisitely unfair, profoundly unconstitutional and historically un-American for the rights of law-abiding folks… to be impaired in the name of public safety.
It would also be irrational. A person willing to kill innocents and be killed by the police while doing so surely would have no qualms about violating a state or federal law that prohibited the general ownership of the weapon he was about to use.”-
Andrew P. Napolitano, “Second Amendment Bars Many Gun Restrictions Being Proposed after Mass Shootings,” foxnews.com, Aug. 8, 2019
Louis Haas, Professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University, states:
“Gun control is not the answer to America’s gun violence. In the recent mass shootings, the shooters purchased their weapons legally. Likewise, the policies promoted by gun control activists would not impact mass shootings…
What then to do about mass killings in public or at work places? More guns. We need more legal concealed carry, and we need more places to allow concealed carry, so that the intended victims of a mass shooting can have a decent chance of surviving or stopping these events.”-
Louis Haas, “Guns Are a Huge Part of American Society; Taking Them Away Won’t Help: Today’s Talker,” usatoday.com, Aug. 20, 2019
The National Rifle Association (NRA) states:
“Voters know that gun safety does not mean whittling away at their Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It doesn’t mean restricting where or how a law-abiding citizen can exercise a constitutionally protected right. And, it certainly doesn’t mean forcing hunters or target shooters to go to a Federally Licensed Firearm dealer for a background check before they can borrow each other’s guns for an afternoon.
Real gun safety is the fact that over the last 20 years, the annual number of gun-related accidental deaths has decreased by more than half. Or the fact that guns are only involved in 0.4% of accidental deaths among the U.S. population. Real gun safety is also found in the training programs that the NRA offers each year by one of our more than 125,000 NRA Certified Instructors and Range Safety Officers.
The gun control agenda has one goal, and it has nothing to do with keeping people safe. Instead, it has everything to do with decreasing the number of guns in America and making them more difficult to legally purchase. That doesn’t make Americans safer?—it simply makes them unarmed and vulnerable.”-
The National Rifle Association (NRA), “No. Gun Control Is NOT a Winning Issue,”medium.com, June 29, 2017
Gary Johnson, Former Governor of New Mexico, states:
“I am in the camp that if you outlaw guns only the criminals are going to have guns. I supported permitting the concealed carry of handguns in New Mexico. I believe there is a lot less violence in the parking lot, as they say, because the potential perpetrator of a theft or an assault is thinking twice because someone might be carrying a gun. Restrictions on gun ownership will only encourage outlaws to have heavy ammunition and high calibre weapons.”-
Rachel Ray, “Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson Says Time Is Right for ‘the Party of Principle’ in the White House,” telegraph.co.uk, Jan. 19, 2016
Jeb Bush, Former Governor of Florida, states:
“In this particular case [the Emanuel AME church shooting in Charleston, SC], the FBI made a mistake. The law itself requires a background check, but that didn’t fulfill their part of the bargain within the time that they were supposed to do.
We don’t need to add new rules, we need to make sure the FBI does its job. Because that person [Dylann Roof], should not have gotten a gun, should not — would not have passed a background check. The first impulse of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is to take rights away from law- abiding citizens…
I think we need to focus on what the bigger issue is. It isn’t law-abiding gun owners.
Look, I have an A plus rating in the NRA and we also have a reduction in gun violence because in Florida, if you commit a crime with a gun, you’re going away. You’re going away for a long, long while.”-
“6th Republican Debate Transcript, Annotated: Who Said What and What It Meant,” washingtonpost.com, Jan. 14, 2016
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