Con: Neverending Debate on Gun Control

In light of the recent tragic shootings, the always controversial topic of gun control has once again taken center stage.

The past year has been tarnished by tragedy-ridden events, such as the Century Aurora movie theatre shooting in Aurora, CO, and the heartbreaking massacre of kindergarteners and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT. Such senseless shootings have revived a massive issue: gun control.

Although implementing regulations enforcing gun control may seem justifiable due to these tragic events, these restrictions will not prevent future gun-related crimes. In a country with over 80 million gun owners, it is absurd to think that these firearms will disappear altogether.

I am in no way trying to undermine the impact of the killing of innocent children or citizens; however, implementing gun restrictions would only leave law abiding civilians defenseless against criminals who will somehow acquire firearms, through legal means or otherwise. Citizens should have the right to possess firearms for their own safety. The culprit is not guns, because guns don’t kill people—people kill people.

The right to bear arms was granted by our founding fathers to ensure citizens’ protection from a tyrannical government. Limiting the distribution of guns will be the first step toward unconstitutionally eliminating guns.

By overexposing the Sandy Hook shooting and other gun-related massacres, the media has contributed to the numerous copycat killers who have emerged across the nation. Lunatics seize the opportunity to receive their “fifteen minutes of fame.” Even though the press focuses on casualties caused by firearms, there have been many instances where the use of guns had saved lives. For example, on Dec. 8, 2012 in Memphis, TN, a robber with a history of criminal record died from a gunshot wound when the two victims shot him in self-defense after he fired at them. While the wounded victims may have survived, it is probable that there would have been a much more tragic ending if they had not legally possessed a firearm.

In Switzerland, where guns are present in almost every household, gun crime is practically nonexistent with 0.5 gun homicides per 100,000 inhabitants each year. According to political commentator John Lott, with the exception of the incident involving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, every public shooting in the U.S. where more than three individuals have been killed has occurred in areas where citizens are prohibited to carry firearms. Prior to the tragic Newtown massacre, the three worst school shootings had taken place in Britain and Germany, both countries with exceptionally strict gun-control laws. These facts ascertain that horrific shootings can occur anywhere regardless of enforced gun restrictions.

Unfortunately, situations like the Connecticut school massacre will sporadically occur in our society. However, prohibiting the use of guns is ineffective in protecting civilians. Perhaps education on the proper use of firearms should be imposed or mental healthcare should be emphasized in light of the recent incidents caused by deranged individuals.  Whatever precautions lawmakers take to prevent these horrendous shootings, limiting guns is a futile way to rectify the problem.