The problem with discussing gun control in the U.S. is that there is a portion of the country that is unwilling to accept any restrictions regardless of the benefits.
Mention that limits on certain guns should be considered and you are likely to get push back from many, who say that gun controls in Australia or the U.K. or Chicago didn’t work. Unfortunately none of those claims is true.
In 1996, 12 days after a mass murder left 35 dead, the conservative Australian government implemented new gun control laws and a buyback program that resulted in a 59% decrease in gun deaths over the next decade. Additionally the previous decade had seen 11 mass shootings in Australia and since the new laws went into affect there have been zero.
Similarly after a 1996 massacre, the U.K. instituted a new set of gun control laws. The results show that deaths from firearms dropped after implementation and have remained below pre-control rates for more than a decade. But even if the rhetoric were true and gun control laws in the UK had a negative impact it should be noted that the death rate from firearms in the U.S. stands at 10.2 deaths per 100,000 people while in the UK, that number is 0.25 per 100,000. So while the U.K. laws may not be perfect, it is the ultimate in the pot calling the kettle black to suggest the NRA “solution” of more guns and less gun control leads to better results.
And while it has been suggested that Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the U.S., it also has a murder rate lower than Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Washington D.C.
A Harvard study shows where there are more guns there are more gun deaths. This suggests more guns do not act as a deterrent, as some gun advocates believe.
Armed guards may sound like a good idea, but unlike the disturbed individuals who commit acts of gun violence, these guards cannot shoot first and ask questions later. This is one of the reasons that mass shootings occurred at Columbine and Virginia Tech even though armed security guards were present. Armed guards are often outgunned in situations such as these. Expecting armed guards or armed citizens equipped with a hand gun to effectively counter the threat from an individual with semi automatic weapons, extended clips, and body armor is completely unrealistic.
Contrary to the fear mongering from groups like the NRA, the vast majority of those calling for more gun control are not looking to eliminate the second amendment, they just want some incremental changes to reduce gun violence. Much like the federal changes to safety for motor vehicles, which resulted in a steady decrease in deaths from automobile accidents, we should consider changes that have been shown to limit gun-related deaths.
In general Americans accept restrictions in a variety of situations, because not having those restrictions could have dire results. If you want to vote you must register with the state. If you need drugs for a medical condition you have to get a prescription from a doctor. If you want to drive a car you have to get a license from the state.
Now is the perfect time to examine our current gun laws and see where additional restrictions can save lives. But this can only happen if groups like the NRA admit that an unlimited arsenal of weapons may not be the best possible solution for reducing gun violence.