The Truth About Gun Control


Paige O'Dell, Independent Writer

The Truth About Gun Control

Throughout the history of the United States of America, one large controversy has seemed to tower over the rest. Largely in recent years, the topic of firearms, firearm safety, and gun control has divided the nation down the center, and U.S. citizens have been at each other’s throats regarding the topic for ages. However, people’s interpretations and clarity on the subject are extremely clouded, and most gun control activists are very unclear on their terms and definitions, have little to no experience with firearms of any sort, and are often not able to provide statistical data when put on the spot to support their position. On paper, gun control seems like a foolproof plan. However, taking firearms away from American citizens would not only raise crime rates and wreak havoc on the now millions of unarmed innocents in the country, but, statistically speaking, would drop the overall safety and security of the American people.
Gun control activists, leftists, and liberal media often misinterpret and skew the definition and/or meaning of the second amendment of the United States Constitution. For clarity, the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America reads as follows: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” A common argument for said activists and restriction pushers is that this amendment was written by the government in a time where the only firearms that Americans possessed were rifles such as flintlock muzzleloaders and muskets. While a large majority of manufactured firearms in the states were rifles such as this, there were plenty more that the media seems to simply overlook. Rifles such as the Brown Betty, used mainly by the British in the Revolutionary War, are the stereotypical weapons that these biases speak to. What they fail to mention, however, is that weapons such as the Belton Flintlock, a repeating flintlock rifle, were signed off on by George Washington in 1777, and were, as Joseph Belton wrote, “an improvement, in the use of Small Arms, wherein a common small arm, may be maid to discharge eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time.”
Another reason that leftists are unclear on their points is because many of them argue based on false information. A prime example of this is restricting “assault style weapons”, such as the infamous AR-15. Another common misconception is that AR-15’s and other menacing looking long rifles sold to American Civilians are “Assault Rifles”, which are defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “any of various intermediate-range, magazine-fed military rifles (such as the AK-47) that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire.” This, by definition, does not consider any long rifle commercially sold to United States personnel, whether it be wood, synthetic, lever action, high capacity, scoped, scary looking or not, to be “assault style weapons”. Doesn’t the AR in AR-15 stand for Assault Rifle? No, and in fact, stands for “Armalite Rifle”, the brand name of the manufacturer of the rifle, patent number 15, coming together as AR-15. On top of it all, new, fully automatic weapons (weapons that cycle a new, unfired round after only to be fired again through a continuous trigger pull) have been banned for sale in the United States since the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 ( The call to action for the American people to fork over said rifles would not effectively reduce crime rate, (even if it meant criminals could not have them by any means) as 70-80% of all firearm homicides and 90% of nonfatal firearm victimizations from 1993 to 2011 were committed with a standard issue handgun, as opposed to the commonly known “assault rifles” the media likes to spew on about (US Department of Justice).

Five years after this business deal, the Nock Volley gun was invented, a flintlock rifle with seven separate barrels, firing all seven twelve millimeter musket balls at the same time. The Puckle gun fired a 32mm round, had a 11-round revolving cylinder, and was invented in 1718. Cannons, swivel guns, hand grenades, mortars, and repeating rifles also existed in the time of the ratification of the Second Amendment. The ballistics testing on rounds such as those fired by the muskets and carbines in the Revolutionary War tested to be able to pass easily through 32 inches of clear ballistics gelatin, and had a maximum velocity of 1335 feet per second ( To compare, bullets most commonly used in public shootings and modern firearm related homicides, such as the .380 ACP, 9mm luger, and .45 ACP have maximum velocities of 980, 1120, and 850 feet per second respectively. Hence, the idea that 1790’s era weapons and artillery were significantly inferior to modern day firearms is, in its entirety, a claim made of false evidence, and with modern encyclopedias and historical databases, it is clear to see the weapons given to United States citizens at the time of ratification of the second amendment were very much able to cause mass destruction, and may have given us means of winning the war.
A slight glance at the death toll numbers of gun violence in the United States seem staggering, and if left just as such, can be used to argue gun control all day long. However, further investigation of these numbers, provided by the Center for Disease Control, reveal the truth behind the statistic. According to the CDC, 34,997 deaths occurred which were directly related to firearms in 2015. Once again, when taken out of context, it is a staggering statistic that has the ability to sway uneducated gun owners to promptly give up their possessions. As it turns out, 22,018 out of these 34,997 deaths (63%) were suicides (Center for Disease Control). Of the 12,979 homicides committed with a firearm in 2015, an average of 46 people, or 0.4% died in a mass shooting (4 or more casualties), a shockingly low number for what the media (Federal Bureau of Investigation/ Center for Disease Control, all stats 2015).
Ideas like the Australian gun buyback program, once again, seem like a bulletproof plan in theory. However, there are a few things wrong with this argument. For those who did not know, a gun buyback program is a program used by a government to attempt in eliminating some or all stock of firearms in a certain area by providing funds for those who bring their firearms in. Groups such as the Police Executive Research Forum (1996) found that these sorts of programs yield less than 1,000 guns per try, and most of these old, malfunctioning guns whose resale value is less than the reward offered in buy-back programs or guns owned by individuals who derive little value from the possession of the guns were proven not to be the same types of guns used in crimes (
Logically speaking, it makes sense for restriction activists to say that more guns mean more crime. Obviously, if there are more firearms given to the citizens of the United States, there is a higher chance of someone getting shot or killed. However, this is not the case, and Chicago, Illinois is a prime example that the scale is not linear in the slightest. On July 9, 2013, a bill to recognize the right of the citizens of Illinois to conceal and carry guns was passed by both chambers of the state Legislature. Specifically, Chicago, Illinois, frequently ranks in the top three murder capitals in the United states ( The bill is said to be directly correlated to the 6 fewer murders in the first quarter of 2014 than the first quarter of 2013, and the 55 fewer murders than in 2012. The first three months for Chicago in 2014 were the lowest rated in murders since 1958. Furthermore, there were reportedly 90 fewer shootings and 119 fewer shooting victims than there were in 2013. There were also 222 fewer shootings and 292 fewer shooting victims than there were in the first quarter of 2012 (, When firearms are put into the hands of good people with intentions of defending their families and fellow citizens, criminals become more leary of committing heinous crimes for fear of being dispatched by citizens lawfully taking advantage of their second amendment rights and concealing a firearm.
Once again, gun control is, in its majority, a moral argument. Everyone can safely say that less deaths due to gun violence in the United States would be a dream come true. On the contrary, while taking guns out of the hands of every citizen or even just restrict the distribution of weapons seems like a solid way of reducing crime, criminals will always have ways of finding guns and killing people, which is one of the stipulations written into the name “criminal”. There are very clear statistics from the highest of reputable sources clearly showing that gun control does not work, and whether it be through programs like gun buybacks or gun free zones, the best way to reduce gun violence is getting these firearms into the hands of people who know how to use them responsibly, and endorse more people using concealed carry permits for self protection. Firearms seem scary to those who have no experience with them, yet, the same people will drive to and from their jobs everyday. While carrying a Glock 30 on your hip while walking through downtown Fort Collins is a completely passive action and poses no inherent risk for people surrounding you, you cannot drive a car down the road without putting other’s lives at risk. Gun owners need the mental capacity and responsibility to always follow rules such as not pointing the barrel of their weapon towards anything they are not willing to destroy, always keeping their fingers off the trigger until ready to fire, and always treating their firearm as if it is loaded. The issue about tragedies such as Columbine or Parkland have little to do with implementing gun free zones or stripping United States citizens of their Second Amendment right, and have everything to do with responsible gun ownership. The evidence is clear that gun control would not improve the safety and security of the American people, and educating gun control activists on these statistics may make people push more on responsibility, rather than taking rights from gun owners.

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