Social Question

RandomGirl's avatar

Would gun regulation decrease violence across the board?

Asked by RandomGirl (3352 points ) April 17th, 2013

I subscribe to weekly emails from the White House. I just opened my inbox and found this week’s email. It was all about the need to pass a gun control bill, “to make the world safer for our kids.”
Two things come to mind instantly when I read this. One is the Schaffhausen case. I don’t know what kind of coverage this is getting nationally, but here, just across the border in Minnesota, it’s a huge deal. You can’t watch the evening news without hearing this guy’s name at least once or twice. What kind of laws could have prevented this horrible crime?
The other thing that comes to mind is the Boston Marathon bombing. No guns were used, but it was just as bad as or worse than the mass shootings that have taken place recently. What kind of laws could have prevented this horrible crime?

Yes, removing guns from the public’s possession may reduce the number of domestic shootings and accidents. But what about stabbings and bombings? Other violence?

I’m at a loss to understand how gun control laws alone will decrease all kinds of violence. I’m looking to my fellow jellies to explain the thought process to me. Any statistics of stabbings and bombings in other countries with gun control policies in place would be appreciated. If the statistics seem to indicate that these policies have worked this way, would you care to give a theory as to why?

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46 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Guns account for the most lives lost by violence by a long shot. So gun regulation decreases violence.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I don’t think it will decrease anything because criminals don’t care about laws or regulations, they will find a way to get the weapons they need or simply make them.

Gun owners that are currently ignorant and sitting on unlocked arsenals of automatics with children in the home, are not going to magically get smarter unless all gun owners are registered and forced to take lessons. Even then, you can’t regulate ignorance, otherwise there would be no child abuse or drunk driving, etc… you get the point.

josie's avatar

Of course not. The lunatics who shoot each other or innocents will still get their hands on guns.
The even tempered, civilized sane people will still keep them in the closet, or a safe, where they will only be used for target practice, or never used at all.

rojo's avatar

No, it would not. Unfortunately

majorrich's avatar

Absolutely not. You can’t legislate yourself safe.

livelaughlove21's avatar

It will hopefully decrease gun violence. Other types of violence or violence in general? No. Violent people will still be violent, but unarming them may keep some innocent people from being killed as a result of that violence.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Has disarming the public made the British Islands any less violent. There may be less gun crime, but is there less overall crime?

rooeytoo's avatar

@WestRiverrat – the same in Australia, no less violence or crime because of the strict gun laws and as I said before, the outlaws are all armed despite the fact that it is illegal.

janbb's avatar

@WestRiverrat There is much less death from gun violence and fewer murders in general in the UK than in the US.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@janbb gun violence is not the only violence. What about home invasions, assaults, strong armed robberies, rapes? Don’t they count as violence or is it only violent crime when the crime is committed with a gun or results in a murder?

rojo's avatar

@rooeytoo Ya know, if we just lopped off a hand of the offending outlaw, they would only get two chances…. Then we wouldn’t need restrictive gun laws.

Just sayin’

cheebdragon's avatar

It’s too late for them to end gun violence, at this point it would probably just be more effective to start handing out guns to anyone over 21.

jerv's avatar

@janbb Comparison across cultures is difficult. Have you considered that maybe it isn’t the laws that affect murder rates, but rather how the people are? There are laws against murder in most jurisdictions yet murder rates vary considerably by locale.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

This is funny, Piers Morgan pushes gun control on a US government funded television show after running from his own country. I find this funny because I think something is happening here, someone is pushing for a one world order/government.

I am not the only one who sees this and after todays incident of the ricin sent to president Obama, it is obvious that it seems people are fighting this, it seems so anyway according to the news.

If the US did make this change it would show the world that we can move forward together because (and although that seems like a good thing, I’m not so sure it really is as we will no longer be individuals) the US is a big contender to all countries.

So I have to wonder what is Piers doing in the US and working when he is a fugitive in his own country..afaik if any foreigner tried to cross my border and do that they get sent back to their country, and if they get by when they do get caught they still get SENT BACK! So wtf is going on.

NostalgicChills's avatar

I don’t think regulating Gun laws would decrease violence at all. In fact, studies show that it is actually the opposite. When gun laws are more strict, violence/crimes increase dramatically. When gun laws are loosened, violence decreases across the board. I mean think about it. If you ban guns, people are still going to buy them just like when people still bought Moonshine on the black market during the Prohibition. Only this time, those buying guns on the black market are most likely people with criminal intentions, and now the “good” people have no guns to protect them with and are now more vulnerable. Not only would gun regulation increase crimes within your own country but it would allow the country as a whole to be vulnerable. For example (US vs North Korea)- If they know our guns are being banned, they won’t have any problem attacking us, because they know that the citizens can’t protect themselves or fight back. But if everyone is armed, we’ll pose more of a threat to other countries.
I hope I got my point across without sounding like a rambling idiot.

rooeytoo's avatar

@rojo that response is a bit too obtuse for me. What are you trying to say? There were 2 shootings in Melbourne today and guns are illegal.

ETpro's avatar

Let’s be reasonable. Gun regulations, universal criminal background checks, good feedback from emotional health professionals, limits on high capacity magazines, stiff penalties for straw purchases; none of that will prevent all crimes like Sandy Hook. But they will make such crimes less frequent and they will provide law enforcement with tools to apprehend some would-be Adam Lanzas before they have a chance to wreak their havoc.

Laws against drunk driving don’t stop some drunks from climbing into the driver’s seat of a car when they are so plastered they can’t stand up straight. Does anybody suggest that means we should just eliminate those laws and let people drive no matter how drunk they are? Would that save lives or lead to increased carnage on our highways?

rojo's avatar

@rooeytoo

Obtuse?

Use a gun to commit a crime, lose a hand. Use a gun a second time lose the other hand.

Punish those who are guilty of committing the crime, not those who are law abiding, by imposing more and more regulation because the regulations you have already imposed do not do what you want them to do.

What was that defininition of insanity again? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results (or something like that).

rooeytoo's avatar

Well I think we’re on the same side but What do you cut off for the third crime?

ETpro's avatar

@rooeytoo The head will usually do the trick. The recidivism rate drops dramatically.

But do we really want a society chopping off body parts as punishment for crime? It is possible to stop some crimes before they happen. Why deny that?

ragingloli's avatar

The statistics are clear: countries with strict gun regulations have lower gun crime rates and lower crime rates in general, and before anyone brings up Switzerland, the Swiss have one of the highest gun crime rates in Europe.
Now the question is, how effective will tougher gun regulations be in a country, such as the US, that is already completely saturated with guns. Probably not nearly as effective as in civilised countries.

rooeytoo's avatar

There are some interesting stats here. Even if you eliminated homocide with guns, there would still be a lot of dead people around.

But I didn’t advocate chopping off body parts, that was a suggestion by another. I personally am still working my way through this. I am not convinced that stricter gun legislation will solve much. There will still be people who go mad and kill, there will still be armed criminals. I don’t see what is going to stop the mass murders that make the news and set people off on these gun control rants. I personally don’t know a single person who was killed by a gun but I have lost 6 people known to me who were killed by drunk drivers. I think I am more concerned about that.

rooeytoo's avatar

Isn’t it strange, the spell checker didn’t complain about that! Sorry, should be homicide. But that is interesting isn’t, it is homo sapiens. Did you ever notice if you stop to think about spelling, it never makes sense or looks right!

Thank you @ragingloli for pointing out the error of my ways, heheheh! I am getting a lot of this lately! I better straighten up.

rojo's avatar

@ETpro They are not crimes before they happen.

ETpro's avatar

@rojo Planning to kill a large number of people is a crime. There have been a series of planned school shootings nipped in the bud by law enforcement. The proposals on the table for improving public safety from gun violence, listed above, do NOTHING to interfere with the individual right of law abiding citizens to bear arms. But they would collectively give law enforcement more tools to stop bad guys and maniacs before they act. They would make it more difficult for felons, terrorists and the criminally insane to get their hands on weapons. And they would limit the number of casualties they can inflict when they do act.

30,000 Americans die each year in gun violence. If we could reduce that number by 10%, that would save more people every year than all those we lost on 9/11. I think we should at least try to do that.

cheebdragon's avatar

Why do people assume that a background check is going to stop criminals from getting a gun? LMFAO I know 7 people who have been in prison, they all own multiple guns. Why? Mostly because they will never pass up an opportunity to buy a gun from someone on the street. Just because they can’t buy one from a gun shop does not mean they can not and will not be able to get a gun, and in California with the recent changes to gun laws, they are a hotter commodity than ever before. Gun control has been a huge fail, just like every other effort the government gets involved in has failed.

WestRiverrat's avatar

England has the most violent crime in the EU. Look here

ETpro's avatar

@cheebdragon What part of “universal” are you unable to grasp?

@WestRiverrat Correlation does not imply causation. The sun rose this morning. My telephone voice-mail went out. Therefor, obviously sunrises cause voice-mail failures. Nope. It doesn’t necessarily follow.

There are nations with lots of guns and horrendous murder rates, and there are nations with heavily restricted gun ownership and horrendous murder rates. There are also nations with lots of guns and low murder rates. And there are nations with lots of guns and horrible murder rates. What is actually clear from a review of all such statistics is that something other than gun ownership is the driving force in the overall violence in a given culture.

None of that has anything to do with whether laws aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of felons, spousal abusers, maniacs and terrorist would reduce the murder rate or not.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@ETpro the OP didn’t ask about murder rates, she asked about violence across the board.

ETpro's avatar

@WestRiverrat OK, then insert violence for murder rates. The outcome is the same.

cheebdragon's avatar

@ETpro In how many countries are drugs illegal? And yet there are more drugs in the world today than ever before and they are easier to find. A huge percentage of drugs come from other countries Illegally. So how do you plan on stopping guns from doing that very same thing? You think they can’t be stolen from those who obtained them legally? You think a few cops can’t be bought off to look the other way? That customs agents wouldn’t do the same? You think drug cartels won’t see the value in smuggling guns in mass quantities also? They already have the routes established, why wouldn’t they want to capitalize on that market?

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

In my small city in Ontario you can own a gun but we have gun regulation. While there certainly still is violence.

Just so you know even with gun regulation we canadians still fight over gun regulation and should we have more or less. I found a post on how “canadians need to relax gun laws” on this site that I frequent the National Post and thought I would post a few of the relevant quotes here so jelly’s could see that all arguments work pretty much for both sides and that there is no real one great solution.

“Although per capita our gun murders are a fraction of the U.S., we still have the third highest number in the world: Canada is a gun culture. It’s hard to reflect the values of the clear majority when the decision-makers are from the “old boys club.” We need to stop pretending. We should not be free to carry a gun: If you need a gun you’re not free.”
Ward Jones, Richmond Hill, Ont.

“Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. It doesn’t matter if you play video games are an atheist or religious or what your sexual orientation is. Its not the physical things about you, its the emotional and mental. People who murder are sick and with or without guns the WILL find a way. Its not the gun laws that need to be changed, its the people who blame the absence of god in schools and the violence in movies. Its sad to see our modern society so under educated. Wake up call people, murder happened way before guns, movies and video games existed and will continue to happen.”
Shayne Litvak

“A quick glance at the Internet shows the U.S. has had 62 mass gun murders (four victims or more) in 30 years while Canada has had 14 over 18 years. Adjusting for 2012 populations, Canada actually had a mass gun murder rate 3.4 times greater than the U.S. Therefore, we must change our gun laws to match the U.S. rules, ban the things altogether or, alternatively, figure out why we are so angry.”
Steven Scheffer, Burlington, Ont.

All points (even from jelly’s) are great, so what do we do? I personally agree with @ETpro.

ETpro's avatar

@cheebdragon If you insist on ricocheting from one logical fallacy to the next, let’s just say that you have no real argument and let it go at that. Drug laws equals universal background checks is a clear false equivalency. Drug laws attempt to interdict the total supply of drugs. Background checks do nothing of the sort. They simply prevent a very small subset of the population from being able to legally buy a gun.

@nofurbelowsbatgirl Great info. Thanks for posting it.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

@ETpro np. :) I was also going to make a similar suggestion about the drugs.

To me, as I believe @cheebdragon is suggesting is that drugs is an addiction which criminals can and usually do profit from. Also you do not have to be an officer of the law to be excluded from becoming a criminal meaning it is a personal and moralistic and possibly a mental choice, this is the only point I see that makes sense towards gun owners, because being a police officer shows preservation towards physical fitness but the lack of pressure for mental/emotional fitness and possibly how easily one may be able to “lose it”. Which makes me wonder if anything that before gun regulation and to possibly make a positive dent on crimnal behavior, maybe it is americas mental health/health system that needs evaluation?

Certainly the criminals with and without guns are not altogether there.

Regardless, another point would be to suggest towards the fact that even the most stable person can become unstable in todays society.

mattbrowne's avatar

Gun regulation plus cultural change.

majorrich's avatar

As I see it, enacting more legislation to restrict the lawful transfer of guns between family members and friends would just make more criminals of us all. Many people who don’t agree with the laws when handing down an heirloom will not obey them, making them criminals. The Government; who loves to prosecute low hanging fruit, will crack down on Grandpa and will leave ‘Knuckles’ MacGruder, who failed his background check at the gun store. Perhaps I am a bit cynical, but seeing a less than stellar prosecution rate with the current system, I am not seeing anybody more being prosecuted. Maybe it will reduce overall crime by employing more people to keep track of all the paperwork. :)

ETpro's avatar

@majorrich That doesn’t happen with cars, and I see no reason why it would happen with guns. It takes less than 5 minutes to complete a criminal background check. If I want to pass the family M1 from WWII to my son, there’s no reasons a background check law would make that impossible, or drive me to criminal activity to do it. That would only happen when the background check would throw up a red flag. And in such instances, you’d have a law already broken that just might interdict criminal behavior with that transferred firearm before it took place.

majorrich's avatar

@ETpro There is no background check when an automobile is passed down, and there is a registry of ownership. With firearms there are, by law, no records of ownership to prevent confiscation. To require a background check for a legacy weapon is, a) an invasion of privacy. b) the camels nose towards registration. and c) completely unnecessary. Suppose my father left me a war trophy Luger, I would never fire it and would pass it on to my son as a legacy. A family treasure. If my son was a felon, I would give it to my brother to give to his son. Simple as that. But I might be made a criminal by passing the weapon on if I don’t have my brother’s criminal background checked? Those are the situations I object to.

janbb's avatar

@majorrich One can always make an extreme or narrow example as a reason not to do something that makes sense to most.

majorrich's avatar

Exactly my point. As is any apples to oranges argument. My original statement stands. It is impossible to legislate safety. All that happens is peoples freedoms get eroded.

ETpro's avatar

@majorrich There is a registration process to put a passed down car on the road, and that includes a background check to ensure the new owner is a responsible driver with no outstanding warrants, no history of DWIs, etc. It’s exactly the same idea, and it has never interfered with the lawful transfer of automobiles and registering them for operation so long as the new owner has a reasonably clean record. It only gets in the way of transfers to those who have proven they have no business behind the wheel of a 5000 pound weapon of mass destruction.

majorrich's avatar

I’m afraid we will have to agree that we will disagree on firearms registration my friend. The less ‘the man’ knows about me the happier I am. Heck, There’s probably a file a couple inches thick on me already XD. I guess they have a right to that, they did provide the training. And, for now, registration of firearms is unconstitutional.
In Ohio, there is no background check on title transfers. Just give them the money and they print out a new title.

cheebdragon's avatar

ETpro where is the fallacy? What has been the point of the drug war if not to control who has access to drugs, how much they can buy and what kinds of drugs they can buy? Drugs haven’t always been illegal, they’ve been sold door to door like Avon at one point in history. In the 80’s the government targeted crack, then they targeted weed, meth, and now it opiates. The government can’t control their spending, they can’t control drugs, crime, guns, alcohol, the list goes on and on and all have been epic failures so you will have to excuse all of us who don’t live in fantasy land or with our heads up obamas ass, but a universal background check as means of controlling gun violence is a fucking joke, not to mention a waste of money & resources.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Passing all the gun control won’t make a difference. There are already too many laws on the books that the BATF-E says they don’t have the resources to enforce. The effort would be better spent in hiring and training agents to enforce the laws we already have,

When less than 100 of the thousands of denied NICS checks are currently investigated it indicates to me where much of the problem lies.

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