Gun control advocates are extremely keen to seize any national tragedy, such as a school shooting or a terrorist attack, to push the idea that… well… if we just banned guns, then it’d all stop happening.

This is magical thinking of course, because a gun is but a tool and it doesn’t cause violent attacks in and of itself any more than having access to kitchen knives causes knife attacks, or having access to vehicles causes vehicle-based terror attacks.

The fly in the ointment here, however, is that guns being available ostensibly makes it easier for attacks utilizing guns to occur, but similarly there is no actual link between the availability of guns and mass shootings.

Think about it this way: there were a huge amount of guns and explosives available throughout the nineteenth century in Europe and North America (far more so than at the present time), but yet there were no mass school shootings. Indeed, mass shootings of any kind outside of actual warfare were practically non-existent.

To this day Switzerland has one of the highest levels of gun ownership in the world, but yet has no concomitant problem with mass shootings of any kind, let alone school shootings.

Gun control advocates simply sidestep this issue by pointing to the ‘availability’ of guns as being the problem and then adduce countries that have more or less completely banned gun ownership in practice – like the United Kingdom following the Dunblane school shooting – as evidence for why it works.

The problem with this logic is that while it is true that making guns less available will necessarily cause a decrease in the number of school shootings (etc) due to a decreasing ability to acquire firearms, it rather forgets that if someone wants to get a gun they still can and will in fact be able to perpetrate high casualty shooting more easily because there is less likelihood that someone in the vicinity will be armed and able to disable them with their own weapon.

It also forgets to factor in that if you take away people’s guns then it merely forces people to re-think their choice of weapon not whether or not they shoot up a school.

The United Kingdom is actually a great example of just this since in 2017 gun and knife crime continued to rise steeply. (1) The number of armed police officers is also at an all-time high in London. (2) Yet assault/automatic weapons were banned in 1988 following the Hungerford massacre and all pistols as well as most semi-automatic weapons were banned in 1997 following the Dunblane massacre.

Knives by contrast haven’t been banned and indeed criminals in the UK have found an even easier mass casualty weapon: bowls of acid. (3)

This rather blows a hole in the whole idea that gun control prevents mass casualty attacks or even school shootings, because people adapt. Whether that by using a different weapon or simply getting their gun on the black market rather than Walmart.

What gun control does is take away the power of individuals not in the military or the police to help the situation by defending those targeted by the attacker(s). It causes them to become potential targets for the attacker(s) as well as possible hindrances to those who are able to mount an armed response.

Therefore, creating a situation where people are no longer able to respond to such a situation unless they are armed by the government is rather ludicrous, because it is quite likely that it will take a significant amount of time for even the best emergency team to organise a response and get to the location and even longer to do anything about it.

That is why people who argue that guns should be able to be bought and sold freely get so vocal about any kind of gun control, because once you ban one type of gun then the same argument can be used for any other type of gun.

Indeed you can use the same arguments for banning acid, kitchen knives, cars and even building materials.

That is why even the idea of gun control is nonsense.

It simply doesn’t make any sense.

References

(1) https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jan/25/knife-and-gun-rises-sharply-in-england-and-wales
(2) https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/aug/03/police-federation-sceptical-after-london-increases-armed-police
(3) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/acid-attacks-uk-highest-world-figures-police-revealed-a8098236.html