Head to Head: Gun control would not stop acts of violence

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The death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman was tragic, disappointing and, unfortunately, is historically not out of the norm for American pop culture stars. Noah Rayman reported for the times on Feb. 28 that Hoffman died from a toxic mixture of drugs that included heroin.

Heroin is illegal. It’s not sold in stores. It’s deadly and I’m going to assume Hoffman knew of its effects. Nevertheless, he used it.

Similarly, prostitution is a common international trade, though it’s illegal in most places. Prostitutes aren’t shelved in stores; the sicknesses and violence that can follow the act are deadly, and both parties partaking in the trade are aware of its effects. Nonetheless, people do it.

Sometimes, a baby is a result of prostitution. Sometimes, the mother decides to abort the baby. It is argued that abortion should be a legal choice, because otherwise women will find less credible sources to perform the abortion, leading to back alley operations and unsanitary, deadly and dangerous procedures. It’s argued that if this result were the status quo, women would nevertheless agree to the abortion because, “people are going to do what they want to do.”

Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza did what he wanted to do. Despite the fact that he illegally stole his mother’s firearms, which he illegally used to killed 26 innocent people after illegally breaking and entering into Sandy Hook Elementary, he got away with it. He did what he wanted to do.

If the argument, “When we prohibit evil, only good will exist,” actually stood true, we wouldn’t have the previously mentioned situations in this world.

So, I’d like to know how this argument would work with guns. Forget the constitutionality of the argument for the next 82 seconds.

The argument that removal of firearms will lead to a more peaceful society is simply a fallacy. The same day as Lanza’s murder spree, a 36-year-old man in China attacked a primary school and slashed 22 children and an elderly woman. His weapon of choice? A knife. Why? Because the only people allowed to own guns in China are those in the government.

Just this weekend, a mob of at least 10 suspects went on a stabbing spree in a Kunming, China subway that left 33 dead and more than 140 more injured. Guns weren’t responsible for the violence, and neither were the knives – the people were.

You see, people are going to do what they want to do.

I thank god the children at the primary school in China weren’t murdered, as 20 were at Sandy Hook. And I’m not dismissing the argument that guns aren’t deadlier than knives. They are. They’re powerful, dangerous weapons and people are aware of their effects.

But, taking into account my scenarios discussed earlier, I bet people would still use guns if they were confiscated or made illegal. Even if guns were unavailable to use, people would still be violent and murderous. And you can see furthermore, there are other weapons available to violent individuals. So maybe we should ban guns, knives, cars, bats, cast-iron skillets, axes, bows and arrows, fire, ropes, deadly chemicals, pillows (for suffocation), bears, badgers, rocks, pools, Putin and any other object that can be used to commit murder.

Then, one might say that if we remove guns specifically from society and let violence continue but without firearms, the violent crimes committed will result in fewer deaths – similar to the Sandy Hook, Chinese knife attack comparison I made.

But what about the deaths and injuries prevented by guns? Take into account all the home invasions, murders, rapes and thefts prevented not even by the use, but simply the threat, of a firearm. Are those saved lives worth sacrificing in order to support a hypothesized policy that we only think might work to decrease violence?

In Australia, it’s been about 17 years since the National Firearms Agreement implemented a mandatory buyback program on newly-banned semiautomatic and automatic rifles, and shotguns. Statistics vary, but steadily report that the number of home invasions and assaults have been climbing since the people’s government reclaimed the public’s guns; reasonforforce.com cites that the number of armed robberies went up 20 percent after the ban.

How about finding the source of the violence instead and starting there? Maybe we shouldn’t promote things like 7-year-olds slaughtering animated humans on a TV screen for hours every day, but instead, encourage situations like parents hugging their children, sitting down for a family dinner and talking about effectively handling anger.

Alright, the 82 seconds are over. Now remember, before the effectiveness of a gun-removal policy has the chance to be discussed, there’s the first hurdle: the Constitution. It’s more than 200 years old. Why do we even use that dirty old thing anymore, right?

Because it rocks, that’s why. It assures me that this discussion of banning firearms will never materialize in a true America. It’s a clear violation of our nation’s platform. If someone wants to argue why they’d rather remove guns from society, I advocate that person move out of America – but try not to take the Chinese subway.

Laura Meyers is a sophomore in pre-journalism. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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