Common Sense is Not That Common…

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Common Sense is Not That Common…

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Gun Control. These two words simply might be the most hot button topic in America right now. As we start to roll into an election year, millions of ad dollars are flowing into the coffers of candidates and activist organizations alike. Let’s take a look at some numbers and you can decide if it works…

Over the past twenty years, this country has seen its relationship with firearms change drastically. States are continuing to pass legislation that favors gun owners and our constitution, while voices from the other side are calling for everything up to and including banning firearms all together.

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In 1995, there was twenty seven states that were shall issue (meaning that as long as an individual passes the background check and meets the requirements from the state, that individual would be guaranteed a permit.) At the same time, there was fourteen states that were may Issue (meaning that the issuance of permits is up to the discretion of the state.) Finally, there were eight states that banned carrying all together (against the constitution) and one that didn’t require permits at all.

Fast forward to 2015. Today, all fifty states allow citizens to carry firearms. There are thirty five states that are shall issue, eight that are may issue, and seven that do not require any permits whatsoever.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that states are becoming exceedingly open to citizens carrying firearms. Likewise, during that time frame, firearm related homicides have dropped from 15,551 in 1995 to 8,454 in 2013 (latest year that the data is available from the FBI.)

Additionally, during this time frame, it is estimated that total firearm ownership in the US increased from 198.6 million to about 305 million in 2015. That is a pretty drastic increase over a period of twenty years.

Looking at those stats above, one begins to ask the question, why is gun control such a big issue these days? As you can tell, firearm ownership has drastically increased while homicides have almost been cut in half. So where is the issue?

With the advent of the internet and further increases in technology, shooting incidents are getting more and more media attention. By glorifying these criminals, it is breeding a culture of recognition. The shooters that commit these atrocities are almost always in possession of a firearm illegally and have a vast history of mental illness.

If firearm ownership is up while homicides are down, how is it not obvious that the problem doesn’t lie with the tool but rather with the person wielding that tool? With groups like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Mom’s Demand Action, and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, along with our President stating that we have a “Lack of common sense gun control” in this country, one can start to believe that the legal firearm owners are to blame.

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Law abiding gun owners statistically commit less crimes than police officers. So what is the purpose on restricting their access to firearms? How is banning firearms from school and buildings going to reduce crime? By sheer definition, criminals commit crimes. You are law abiding up until you commit a crime.

So by this logic, if law abiding gun owners commit less crime than police officers, and a citizen is law abiding until he or she commits a crime, then should we ban police officers from carrying guns (who knows, these days there is probably a large group of people that would advocate that, but certainly not me.)

The answer is simple. If you want law abiding citizens to remain law abiding, do not turn them into criminals by passing pointless laws restricting their access to firearms. All this does it destroy those citizens trust and run up the cost to the taxpayer. If you look through this blog, in the last two days, I have posted five instances where an armed citizen prevented a dangerous crime and saved lives. Why would we want to limit that man or woman’s ability to defend themselves or others?

If you want to see change, the common sense answer is right in front of us. Allow your citizens to arm themselves. Allow your citizens to defend themselves. Prevent mentally unstable individuals from accessing firearms. Have the police get more involved in the community and start breaking down the “us against them” barrier that has flourished over the past year and a half.

It seems pretty simple. Unfortunately, common sense is not that common.

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