, Research Paper
The Fairy Tales of Gun Control
When a madman in Dunblane, Great Britain rampages and kills 16 children, it was the fuel politicians needed to fire the anti-gun movement. Great Britain banned the sale and ownership of handguns in 1997. But nobody expected the surge of violent crime that followed. Britain’s rate of assault, robbery, and burglary now exceed those in the United States. Murder and rape figures are now getting closer to U.S. rates. Between 1997 and 1999 were the highest murder rates in the past 10 years. According to Dr. Timothy Wheeler, American news media have virtually ignored this amazing change, even as politicians push more stringent, British-style gun-control. Gun control would not work in the U.S. because it would diminish public safety, raise crime rates, and boost the illegal sale of firearms.
The public view of the gun is that it is used to commit violent crimes. But the truth is that the gun is also used everyday to protect the public. Every law officers and enforcement agent uses guns to control everyday criminal activity and protect the public. But public citizens to protect themselves and others also use the gun. One such case is the Pearl High School shooting. Joel Myrick, an assistant principal at the school, heard shoots and herded students into his office and locked up the door behind him. Myrick remembered that he had his .45 automatic in his car because he always takes a weapon whenever he travels. Myrick ran to his car and after getting his gun, he chased down the shooter, Luke Woodham, and forced him onto the ground as they waited for police to arrive. As Kenneth Smith reported, anyone reading the local paper would have known all about Joel Myrick’s heroics. But anyone watching a national evening newscast wouldn’t have known that it took an armed man to stop the shooting. Another such case were a gun was used to protect the public was in Edinboro,
Pennsylvania. In April 1998, a 14 year-old student walked into a school dance with a .25-caliber handgun and opened fire, killing a science teacher and wounding several students. When he fled the scene, the owner or the hall, James Strand, chased him down with a shotgun into a field and held him for 11 minutes until police arrived. Kenneth Smith reports that New York Daily News said only that Strand had “persuaded” the shooter to surrender and the shotgun was never mentioned. In May 1998, gun education stopped 15-year old Kip Kinkel from his shooting spree in the cafeteria of Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon. At one time, he pointed a .22 caliber semiautomatic rifle at a student’s head and attempted to fire three times but nothing happened. Jacob Ryker, who was shot in the lungs, Charged 15 feet and tackled Kinkel and disarmed him. Kenneth Smith wrote ABC’s Ted Koppel credited Ryker with halting the shooting, non-of the specific details were given and the program quickly turned into another debate on gun control. Kenneth Smith’s retaliation in his report was Ryker knew when to attack Kinkel because Ryker knew the gun was out of ammunition. Ryker and his family were hunters and target shooters and his familiarity with firearms helped to stop the shooting.
Secondly, gun control would raise the crime rates in the U.S. The public would not be able to protect themselves against criminals with illegal firearms. Even Darrel Scott, whose 17 year-old daughter, died in the Columbine massacre, is skeptic of the new gun control measures. Scott argues, “ No amount of laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. Furthermore, as reporter Kenneth Smith points out, a Florida State University study says Americans use guns to defend themselves as many as 2.5 million a year. In most cases, the gun were not fired but was used to deter the criminals. In addition, when Great Britain banned the sale and ownership of handguns in 1997, crime rates rose dramatically in the following year. As Doctor Timothy Wheeler point out, in 1998, BBC News reported that violence against a person rose by 16% and sexual offenses rose by 4.5%. The robbery rate skyrocketed by 26%; violent crimes increased 16% in a single year.
Finally, gun control would boost the sale of black market gun sales. As noted by Doctor Timothy Wheeler, in Britain, after the ban of gun sales in 1997, there was no change in the estimated traffic flow of illegal gun sales. Another significant drawback is that only law-abiding citizens would be required to register guns. However, many can bypass the gun ban laws in certain cities in the U.S. According to professor Daniel Polsby, even when a large city, such as Chicago, bands handguns, Chicago residents with Illinois Firearms Owner’s Identification cards can go to gun shops in the suburbs and purchase guns their legally.
In conclusion, no amount of gun control can ever stop the violence in America. Great Britain has been the experiment that America should be weary of its results. The statistics given by the English media has been more harmful to the public after the gun ban. Unfortunately, the media and its bias anti-gun movement have controlled the public mind in the U.S. and have not reported any of the crime statistics in the U.K. The statistics from major Universities in the U.S. have shown guns to be effective as crime deterrence without shoots being fired. The U.S. is not ready to fight another war against its people. The rise of crime in inner cities is due to the war on drugs the U.S. has been fighting and loosing for many years. Almost all large-scale drug runners use guns to protect their billion-dollar trade. If guns were banned to law-abiding citizens, criminals would have a monopoly on contraband. Criminals would become more powerful because selling counterfeit, stolen, and imported contraband goods is big business in the United States.
1. Polsby, Daniel. “The False Promise of Gun Control.” The Atlantic Monthly. 1994
2. Smith, Kenneth. “Loaded Coverage” Internet. Smithhk@twtmail.com
3. Wheeler M.D., Timothy. “The unnatural Death of a Natural Right.” Claremont Institute.