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Taking people’s guns away will not always result in less crime but often result in more crime. When the subject is gun control, people get angry quickly. Each side has its certainties its slogans and its arguments. But is anybody on either side listening to what the other side has to say? Sometimes you have to wonder. Each side is capable of presenting cogent arguments for its position.
How could gun-control laws reduce this toll? In many ways ,say supporters.
For example, a law requiring trigger locks could prevent many accidental shootings by children. So could a law requiring owners to keep guns and ammunition locked up and in separate locations.
One of the most comprehensive proposals for protecting people from guns is to extend U.S. consumers-protection laws to cover firearms. Federal regulation of guns could be patterned after the regulation of such other hazardous products as drugs and pesticides, or such mainstream consumer products as cars and toys.
Gun-control advocates point out that federal regulations have forced car makers to incorporate such features as seat belts and airbags, thus making cars far safer than they were in the past. The reason this has not been done with firearms is that gun industry, backed by gun-rights groups like the NRA, successfully lobbied Congress to bar the Consumer Product Safety Commission from regulating firearms.
Gun-rights supporters use a similar “big government” argument against the idea of regulating guns as consumer products. Let the market decide, they say. Adding layers of federal regulation will just make guns more expensive to the gun buyer.
If gun buyers want guns with particular features, they can buy such guns. But many “safety” features touted by gun-control advocates make guns less safe, or less usable for defense, gun advocates claim. Locks can prevent people from gaining quick access to a gun to fend off an intruder.
Gun-rights supporters have their own vision of the way society should work. In that vision, guns play an important part in bolstering individual freedoms and protecting private citizens from both crime and governmental tyranny. Their position is that guns both save lives and reduce crime. Beyond that, gun-rights supporters argue that gun control is just plain unworkable.
“Gun Control Doesn’t Work.” Which brings us to another key argument of the gun-rights movement–that no matter how many gun-control laws are passed, criminals will still get guns and use them against the public. Only law-abiding citizens will obey gun laws, and if those laws discourage gun ownership, then criminals will gain an edge over the rest of us. In the words of journalist J. Neil Schulman: “The decent people need to be better armed than the criminals, or the criminals will win.”
But gun-rights supporters express outrage at the idea that guns are a problem in the first place. In the words of a popular slogan: “GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE-PEOPLE DO.” Which is why the gun-rights movement is so insistent on tougher law enforcement. Put the bad guys in jail, the argument goes, and the rest of us can go about our business and yes, we’ll keep our guns, thank you, since some of the bad guys are still on the loose.
Gun-control advocates have claimed that terrorists or their supporters were buying weapons at U.S. gun shows and shipping them to terrorists overseas. The NRA said the convictions proved that existing laws work when they are enforced. “Passing gun show restrictions will in no way deter such a committed criminal,” the NRA declared. “That can only be done by aggressive law enforcement action, like we saw in this case.”
Everybody has their opinion about gun control but there is not always someone listening to their opinions. And when gun control is brought up into the conversation people seem to get angry about the situation. But taking people’s guns away will not always make the crime rate stop.
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