More gun control is not the answer to random violence

By Jonathan Key | Jul 27, 2012

So here we go again. A senseless killing has prompted many Americans to argue for more gun control. It’s time to realize that gun control laws are not the answer, and taking guns from law-abiding citizens could actually be perpetuating the problem.

Murderers don’t think twice before going into a public arena and unloading a gun because they are confident most of their victims are unarmed.

Just like a bully who only preys on victims who can’t protect themselves, these killers take advantage of the knowledge that most people aren’t carrying a weapon with them in public places.

The mass killings at Columbine High School in 1999 and the recent shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater were terrible situations where the perpetrators depended on the premise that “where guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns.”

What if the aggressor presumed their intended victims might be armed? He might reconsider his criminal plans. Is it possible the shooters at Columbine and Aurora would have aborted their plans had they thought some of the victims might be armed? We have been reduced to protecting ourselves by hiding behind furniture and hoping we don’t get shot. That doesn’t seem to be working very well.

Back when hunting was a way to provide food for families, many students carried guns to school. This was not only normal but necessary. Even with such ready access to guns, students weren’t always shooting each other and fights weren’t always settled by someone getting shot.

There are always going to be crazy people. History shows that no matter how many precautions are taken, random acts of violence can’t be prevented. But we could lessen tragedies if the perpetrators felt like more people were armed and could protect themselves and others. Now, I’m not suggesting that everyone should be packing heat wherever they go, just that regulating whether or not we have that choice would send the wrong message to the next crazy person.

We need to have the freedom to choose to defend ourselves. Now there are some people who probably shouldn’t have guns. If you have kids and you’re not going to teach them to respect guns, then don’t own one.

Trying to keep guns away from criminals has proven to be an incredible waste of effort. They will, and do, find ways to get their guns. And, I agree that some guns being sold are indeed not being used to hunt, but are being used for more deadly and criminal purposes. But, as I sit here, I can’t help but think that if a perpetrator isn’t sure whether or not his plan is going to work because some of the intended victims are armed as well, maybe we would have fewer victims to mourn.

I am pretty sure about one thing. Taking away weapons from everybody is not the answer, either. More responsible gun owners could be a step in the right direction.

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