After the Orlando and Dallas shootings left many people in shock and pain, the discussion about gun control is heating up. Should America implement a new set of gun laws to lower the risk for future shootings? In my opinion, we should just get rid of all guns.
I come from Germany, a country where even the idea of having a gun in your house in considered bizarre. Since I arrived in the United States I have tried to understand why it would be necessary to possess a gun, but I still don’t. The argument many people put on the table is that they need guns to protect themselves in the case of a burglary or other attacks. Considering the fact that people in countries without gun legislation also face those risks but don’t feel the need to have a gun, this claim doesn’t seem to be quite right.
I don’t think either is the case. It makes sense for Americans to be scared of burglars with guns, because every person who could think of invading another’s home can also easily acquire a gun. Therefore, people are afraid and want to own means of protection. However, if no one possessed a gun, everyone wanting to commit a crime would have a much harder time getting their fingers on one. In this awareness, people might lose some of their fear and sleep steadily without a gun underneath the pillow. In Germany, everyone sleeps this way. The most dangerous weapon in my family’s house was probably a broomstick, and I have never felt the need to own anything else. Without the legal presence of guns, this is just as possible here in America as it is in Germany or other countries where gun ownership is illegal.
A typical counterargument from gun supporters is that there will always be ways for criminals to buy guns illegally. Making guns inaccessible for normal citizen doesn’t stop the black market and crime groups. Obviously, this is true, but buying and selling guns against the law will make it harder for criminals to do so. They will have to pay higher amounts of money for a gun and to find ways to keep their business hidden from the police. I don’t doubt that they will, but the number of people who can afford guns and have the chance to actually buy them would be noticeably lower.
Also, not only professional criminals commit crimes and use guns. An aggressive individual who gets angry at their wife, father, or children could lose control and start acting violent. They might fight, scream at each other, tear down the curtains or knock over a desk. It gets really dangerous if they own a gun. Their outburst might end with the sound of a gunshot. Obviously, this doesn’t have to happen spontaneously out of fury. People who get into trouble with their families could plan out a murder over a longer period of time. The murder weapon, after all, is already available to them.
The worst problems with guns are deadly accidents. All gun owners are at risk of making fatal mistakes. After all, it doesn’t take much for a gun to fire in the wrong direction. One careless move could release the safety catch; a second one could pull the trigger. Even those who believe that they are completely familiar with the gun can possibly have moments of unwariness. Gun safety rules can be found on the internet but being familiar with every single security measure still doesn’t exclude the possibility of human failure. It is children who are in the greatest danger. We read their stories in the news and they are always tragic. Kids pick up their parent’s weapon, play around with it and in the worst case scenario they shoot themselves. Without guns, this would not happen.
Finally, I want to take a look at some pro-gun arguments like “We need guns to protect ourselves,” or “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” I will just replace the word “gun” in those phrases with what a gun actually is, a tool for killing people. Now the argument would say that “We need tools for killing people to protect ourselves,” and “Tools for killing people don’t kill people. People kill people.” Do you agree?