Banning Guns: Is It Worth It?

Thomas Sarsfield, Staff Writer

This article is in response to a previous gun control article, “Why Condolences Are Not Enough,” that was published in the March Issue of Volume 54.

One look at America today and someone can immediately figure out that there is a problem with gun violence in the United States. From mass shootings with semi-automatic weapons to homicides with handguns, something is undoubtedly, terribly wrong with the way firearms are handled across our nation. However, the solution to this predicament will be difficult to come by. Most mainstream suggestions to fix this problem will not work, whether those include arming teachers to prevent school shootings, banning assault weapons, or banning all guns. While no solution is perfect, ridding our Bill of Rights of the Second Amendment would work neither logistically nor effectively to end gun violence in the United States.

One of the most common suggestions heard today in solving the gun problem is to ban assault weapons. There are several problems with this proposal. Firstly, most guns in the US today are not assault weapons. In fact, an assault weapon ban would still leave 60% of the 325 million guns on the table. Handguns make up 80% of gun crimes in America, which would be left unchanged with such a ban. That being said, this solution assumes that every American would be 100% compliant with the law, a highly improbable scenario. A 2007 survey of 72 countries studied the reception to government bans or mandatory gun registration and found that only one third of all citizens were willing to comply with laws. One can assume this number might have risen a bit since then, but one must remember that a pervasive “gun culture” exists in America; guns are everywhere in the media and, ostensibly, real life. No one should be optimistic about a rise in compliance with gun laws, especially in the USA.

Another possible solution that has been gaining ground recently is a ban of all guns, no matter their classifications. This again brings up compliance issues, as suggested by the aforementioned survey. Additionally, the reason people in this country are afforded the right to privately own guns is to protect themselves from tyranny. This is the point of the Second Amendment. Great Britain is a prime example of what occurs in a country with all guns banned: instead of guns being the primary source of murders, knives have now taken their place. The murder rate in London has reached numbers above New York City, which shows that banning guns will not stop all crime. Understandably, one can look at the lack of mass shootings in Britain compared to the hundreds in the US and draw the conclusion that gun control is needed. However, so far in 2018, mass shooting deaths in the US have made up less than 1.5% of all gun deaths. While everyone would like to see this number at 0%, a solution to mass shootings would barely make a dent in the gun deaths in America.

The serious gun problem in America is not an easy fix. We cannot simply ban some of or all guns. Americans need the Second Amendment not because people like firearms, but because guns are a means to protect ourselves from possible tyranny. This is the purpose of the Second Amendment as set by our forefathers. There is no simple way to solve the gun problem in the USA, but in our trek towards a comprehensive solution, we must honor the Second Amendment.