Since the recent shooting at a theatre in Colorado, many people are again crying for stricter gun control laws. It seems logical to some folks that the government should prohibit all guns. If no one owns guns, they think, then there would be no more gun violence.
Unfortunately it wouldn’t work that way. Think about it. If the government had laws against owning guns, honest people would obey the law and hand in their guns. However, criminals don’t obey the law. They would be very happy to keep their guns. The rest of us would be helpless victims.
Governments in many other countries do not let their citizens own guns. In some cases, dictators are able keep themselves in power. No one can oppose them.
In the worst cases, when citizens have tried to overthrow a brutal dictator, the country’s army has killed thousands or even millions of its own citizens.
A government cannot have this kind of power over its citizens if the citizens have the right to be armed.
It’s true that there is gun violence in the United States. There is a lot in the news. But how much violence is there? Often people quote statistics that are not accurate.
Here’s an example: A leading anti-gun organizations is the Brady Campaign. The Brady Campaign was named after Jim Brady. Jim Brady was an assistant to President Ronald Reagan. When a gunman tried to assassinate President Reagan, Brady was shot in the head. He became a symbol for the reason to take guns away from people.
The Brady Campaign has a website with a long list of statistics about gun violence. One of the statistics is this: Did you know: In one year, on average, almost 100,000 people in America are shot or killed with a gun?
The actual number of people killed was 31,593. (The others were wounded.)
However, of the number killed, 18,233 people used guns to commit suicide. This was sad, but it did not endanger other lives.
That leaves 12,179 people killed with guns.
This still sounds pretty...