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Lately, the gun control movement has been working hard to promote their efforts to restrict Americans’ access to firearms. Using the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, they have used the influence of the establishment media to push their anti-gun agenda. They manufactured a “grassroots” initiative to encourage students all over the country to participate in the “March For Our Lives.”
But, the gun control movement is missing the point.
Their arguments against firearms thrive on misinformation regarding gun laws and the weapons themselves. Indeed, one of the most significant factors in gun deaths is the prevalence of the use of illegal guns in homicides. As a matter of fact, they ignore this point altogether.
Because it directly refutes their arguments. The data proves what conservatives have been saying all along: If we make it harder for law-abiding Americans to obtain guns, only criminals will have them.
Illegal Guns Are Overwhelmingly Used In Shootings
The pervasiveness of illegal guns in shootings is an inconvenient fact that the left will not discuss or debate. Indeed, they bury this reality because it is damaging to their arguments. Nevertheless, the truth is that the majority of shootings are perpetrated by individuals using guns that they obtained illegally.
The Washington Post reported on a 2016 study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh that reveals law-abiding gun owners are responsible for less than a fifth of all gun crimes. The study collaborated with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to examine the origins of all firearms that were recovered from crime scenes in 2008.
According to The Post, “in approximately 8 out of 10 cases, the perpetrator was not a lawful gun owner but rather in illegal possession of a weapon that belonged to someone else.” The study showed that most of these guns were either stolen or obtained through straw purchases, which occur when a person buys a gun legally from a licensed firearms dealer and then sells it to another party illegally. They write:
“More than 30 percent of the guns that ended up at crime scenes had been stolen… But more than 40 percent of those stolen guns weren’t reported by the owners as stolen until after police contacted them when the gun was used in a crime.”
One of the issues with stolen guns is that a significant number of the owners don’t report the theft of their weapon. Moreover, the individuals who do report the theft typically don’t realize their gun has been stolen until time has passed.
The Prevalence Of Illegal Guns In Homicides Disproves The Left’s Arguments
The illegal gun issue is problematic for the left because it demonstrates that legislation does not prevent criminals from obtaining firearms. Individuals who are willing to use guns to commit crimes are not concerned about going through the process to acquire their weapons legally. This fact explains the high rates of violence in cities like Chicago, Washington D.C., and Baltimore.
Despite the fact that these cities have stricter gun laws, they still experience high rates of gun violence. Every day, men and women become victims of shootings that could not have been prevented by more legislation. However, the story might be different if these cities used more policing and removed obstacles to legal gun ownership.
The left tends to mock conservatives for believing that a law-abiding citizen with a weapon can stop shootings. They refer to it as the “good guy with a gun myth.” However, their assertions amount to misinformation. Again, the data does not support their claims.
Law-Abiding Americans Have The Right To Protect Themselves
The left’s contention that armed individuals don’t prevent gun deaths is patently absurd. A 2013 report published by the Center for Disease Control under President Obama revealed that the use of guns for self-defense is a necessary crime deterrent. Their report asserts that studies found “consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”
Put simply; it is clear that an individual is less likely to sustain fatal or non-fatal injuries from gun violence if they possess a firearm. Many on the left have obfuscated this fact by pointing out that most gun deaths are not the result of the defensive use of firearms. The Los Angeles Times published a piece making this very argument:
“Those 259 justifiable homicides also pale compared with, in the same year, 8,342 criminal homicides using guns, 20,666 suicides with guns, and 548 fatal unintentional shootings, according to the FBI’s Supplemental Homicide Report.”
Only 259 justifiable homicides? Yes, that does sound pretty flimsy, unless you know the rest of the facts. The issue isn’t the number of defensive killings. The question is whether or not a gun in the hands of a law-abiding individual can prevent injury or death. The reality is that most defensive gun uses do not result in fatalities. In many cases, the gun isn’t even fired. In these situations, gun owners use their weapons as an effective deterrent.
The CDC’s report also reveals some interesting data when it comes to defensive gun uses. Their report states that “almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year.”
No wonder the left doesn’t like to discuss this issue!
The “Good Guy With A Gun” Is Not A Myth
Over the past year, we have also seen a “good guy with a gun” save lives during mass shootings. The Sutherland Springs shooter’s rampage was stopped by a former NRA instructor using an AR-15. An armed school resource officer stopped a potential mass shooter two weeks ago at a Maryland high school. There are many examples of stories about ordinary armed Americans preventing tragedies.
Here’s the bottom line: gun control laws can only work up to a point. The facts show that evil people who want to commit murder don’t care about gun legislation. If they want a gun, they can and will get one. But what happens if their victims cannot defend themselves? What if these laws make it more difficult for average Americans to obtain the means by which to protect their lives? If this happens, the only ones who will benefit from these gun laws will be the criminals who are all too willing to break them. If we continue to hammer this point home, the left will always lose on this issue.