Guns and crime, crime and guns. This debate takes me back to the old T.V Sitcom “All in the Family”. Archie Bunker, as ignorant and pigheaded as he was, would sometimes make a valid point. In one episode his daughter Gloria was spouting off about guns and violent crime. She stated that x number of people had been killed by guns. Archie’s classic response “would it make you feel any better if they was pushed outta windows?” The point being that it doesn’t matter how you die, dead is dead.
Herein lies the argument and topic of this discussion. Killers are killers, period. If they have a gun they will use it. If they have a knife, they will use it. In the 2002 case of Mariela Karbowski of Victoria Texas, if they have a toaster they will use it. She was charged with beating her husband to death with a toaster. A gun is a means, not a motive. A gun is a tool. A hunter uses it. Cops use it. Soldiers use them. Killers use them. Just as a mechanic uses a wrench or a baker uses a spoon.
Guns are tools not only for commiting crimes, but also for preventing them, or at least limiting the damages done by them. In 1997 British Parliment took guns and ownership rights from its citizens after a man used a gun and killed 16 children and their teacher in 1996. Did that deter crime and criminals? From 1993-1997 armed robberies in the UK had fallen nearly 50%. From 1997-early 2005 Robberies had risen nearly 45% and homicides by 54%. Meanwhile here in the United States, according to a report released by the FBI in 2003, violent crime had reached a 30 year low. States that had right to carry laws had an average of 27% fewer violent crimes than those states without a right to carry law.
For those that argue that guns in the home are dangerous for children. Yes, if not properly stored, they are. However, according the the CDC, from 2004-2006 children up to the age of 14 years old had a death rate of .64 per 100,000 due to firearms, drowning had double that amout at 1.35 per 100,000 and motor vehicle accidents more than double that at 3.67 per 100,000, so it is safer to have a gun than it is a vehicle if you have children.
Study after study on gun laws have shown little or no effect to the postive on violent crimes. As I stated before guns are tools, a means to an end. They are not the cause. People will kill whether they have guns or not. Criminals will have guns whether they are banned or not. (After all they are called criminals for a reason.). Banning guns will only make law abiding citizens easier targets.