Too often in the news there are reports of shootings across the nations. Shootings that are heartbreaking and prompt discussion regarding gun control in the United States. And yet, nothing is done. Rather it seems we have moved backward with Florida recently passing a bill that allowed individuals to carry concealed guns without a permit. And though these lawmakers likely have numerous reasons for this decision, one argument that is often used to rebel against gun control is the idea that having a gun can protect individuals.
However, this is simply not the case.
On April 18, 2023 a woman was shot and killed when her friends accidently turned into the wrong driveway. The homeowner stated that he was frightened when a foreign car entered his driveway. This only a week after a homeowner shot a boy who rang the doorbell of the wrong home; it is important to note that racial bias likely played a role in this tragic incident. But both of these cases display one thing — you cannot fight fire with fire. As long as utilizing a gun remains an option it will be used and it will end tragically. Both of these incidents should not have ended in wounds or fatality. They were simple mistakes that should’ve been resolved by either a friendly conversation or doing exactly what children are always taught to do when a stranger is at the door — don’t open the door. And this is not the only case in which the presence of a gun has caused greater tragedy rather than less.
Research recently conducted in Stanford University found the presence of a handgun had Zero protective effects. Comparatively, the chance of a gun being utilized to fatally shoot someone in a domestic violence incident does increase. Other studies have also found that guns in the home actually increase the risk of death. It seems most studies show that guns in the home create a problem rather than reduce it.
Twenty year old Kaylin was a kind, young girl with her whole life ahead of her, but she was robbed of that future. Sixteen year old Ralph was just a young boy trying to pick up his young brothers. Time and time again we have seen that the presence of guns does not resolve an altercation; instead, they only exacerbate situations. More guns is not the solution to America’s gun violence epidemic. Those fighting for the increased presence of guns and for laws like the one passed in Florida only serve to create more opportunities for tragedy.
I am always astounded when we take a step backwards in the sphere of gun control. Gun control is not something that aims to get rid of guns, but rather increases diligence in who obtains them. While most Americans agree that gun control laws should be stricter, nothing has changed. Tragedy keeps entering our TV screens and our lives. But the simple fact is that change must occur. Otherwise when another shooting occurs, it will be the fault not only of those carrying the weapon but also those who failed to enact change.
“While most Americans agree that gun control laws should be stricter, nothing has changed.”
If nothing has changed, can we roll back all these laws?
The study you cite, by Studdert, et al., is rife with grave methodological errors. Inter alia, they count both homicides occurring outside the home and non-gun homicides in the home as in-home gun homicides.
They claim a gun in the home creates a “substantially elevated risk” of homicide, yet their data show only an .0008% increase per year. No wonder they admit that “we could not determine whether the nonowners in our sample were killed by the actual handgun owners or handguns that defined them as exposed.”
CDC estimated >1 million defensive uses of guns per year. Half the households in America have a gun in them, yet there are fewer than 400 accidental deaths annually — most of those from illicitly possessed guns. Of the 400 million guns in America, 99.998% will never harm an innocent person.