In response to the February 14th, 2018 school shooting at Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida (where 17 people were murdered at the hands of the malicious and psychologically erratic student, Nickolas Cruz), we see the propagandized debates re-emerging again about the issue of “gun control”.
Coincidentally these discussions are emerging months before the Senate election which will occur later this year on November 6th, 2018. Evidently, every time there’s a mass shooting, like the one that happened on October 1, 2017, where 64 year old Steven Paddock shot over 1,100 rounds into the Las Vegas strip in minutes killing 58 people and injuring 851 people, or the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 people were sadly murdered in 2012, or the dreadful shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, and the many others, politicians (from congressmen, senators and presidents) began the discussion on enacting legislation to regulate or even ban firearms, or specific fire-arms like fully automatic assault rifles.
Governmental regulations on assault rifles are definitely popular and politically correct responses to mass shootings, according to laymen, globally.
On the other hand, laymen, who agree with this, need to understand that through out history banning any product has not solved the problem; instead it intensifies and magnifies the problem.
We can look at Prohibition for example, or I could expound on numerous examples from the ratification of the 18th Amendment (which began the era of Prohibition that created Al Capone, John Gotti, Meyer Lensky and various others), but to keep this article as succinct as possible, I will use a few global examples of the complacencies of gun control.
In the United States, one of the arguments proposed, is to increase the gun licensing age from 18 to 21.
Ironically, in the South American country of Brazil, the minimum age to register for a gun license is 25 years of age and all applicants must pass a background check, yet there are 116 deaths by firearms a day in Brazil; despite the firearm restrictions gun violence kills about 5 people every hour.
Additionally, out of around 17 million firearms in Brazil, 9 million are unregistered as of 2005.
In other words, 52%, or more than half, of the gun holders in Brazil are armed illegally.
According to the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences and the Brazilian government, gun violence lead to the deaths of 42,416 lives in 2012 alone!
As of 2017, guns kill an estimation of 40,000 Brazilians every year compared to 15,549 victims killed by guns in the United States in the same year. Gun control laws also lead to more initiations of coercion and brutality by government, since laws are governmentally enforceable at the expense of each citizen’s rights.
In this case, according to the 11th Annual Brazilian Yearbook of Public Security, 4,224 people were killed by the Brazilian police.
Gun control in Brazil is disastrous and hasn’t solved anything; it’s instead made problems much worse and made the country one of the most dangerous in the world, with the ‘cartelization’ of drugs and ammunition.
Another country with strict gun control laws is Jamaica where the Firearms Act was passed in 1967. This law requires gun licenses and an annual registration fee of $102.65 USD or JM$12,000. Ironically, in 2016, Jamaica had 1,616 killings and 1,469 shootings and also, even though Jamaica is a beautiful tropical country with a lot of talented people, gang criminality and homicide victimizations are among the highest in the Western hemisphere.
Concomitantly, in defense of my ideological antagonists on this topic, there were countries that passed gun control laws that statistically ended the possession and homicides by firearms like the United Kingdom and Australia.
In the United Kingdom, the Firearms Amendment of 1997 regulated handguns and prohibited weapons (under the Firearms Act of 1968), but homicide incidents increased and doubled between 1996 and 2002!
Additionally, there were 587 homicide incidents in 1997 around the time of the passing of the gun control law and 602 homicide incidents in 2012 years after this law passed.
Not to mention, the weapon of choice in the UK, in response to the regulation of guns, became the knife. According the Office of National Statistics, knife attacks have risen by 13% and the UK experienced an 8% rise in the murder rate from June 2016-June 2017 with gun control laws!
In Australia, according to the Institute of Criminality’s homicide mentoring program, gun murders decreased by 25% since the 1980s, but knife murders increased by 41% in the middle 2000s!
History has proven numerous times that whenever government regulates an industry or prohibits it from existing, humans will always and naturally follow the laws of the free market which are supply/demand and incentives, and whenever there’s a demand for a product or service, humans will create an alternative approach, way, or market to make sure that they profit from the demands even if they are illegal.
In this case, cartels and gangs will arise for the purpose of smuggling guns and if that doesn’t work, then knives will be used to victimize individuals. The problems of violence in society are mainly culturally and psychologically antagonistic responses to a multitude of problems from the indoctrination of hateful ideologies, depression, mental instability, etc.
One problem that generally leads to violent crime is government interference and regulation in the free market which creates barriers of entry into different sectors of the economy as employees or entrepreneurs which causes high unemployment and business failures and this is statistically correlated with depression and crime.
Additionally, violence happens because of a lack of understanding and popularity of peaceful conflict resolution approaches which educational systems globally need to do better in approaching.
The problem of mass shootings has not and will not get solved through gun control but through free market approaches of solving the cultural, psychological, and institutional problems that metastasize to these murderous behaviors.
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