When a gun is used to commit a crime, the focus is placed on the gun, but no focus is placed on the other tools criminals use to commit crimes. When a criminal uses a handgun to shoot a their victim, politicians and many members of the media will call for stricter gun control. This can be seen frequently in Chicago, a city which bans handguns but has hundreds of murders each year committed by criminals using handguns. Instead of recognizing that a person bent on committing murder and/or suicide won’t be deterred by a misdemeanor handgun possession charge, and that crime is caused by socioeconomic factors rather than the existence guns, they call for more gun control.
When criminals use tools other than guns, there is almost always no emphasis placed on the tool. Lighter fluid and gasoline are not blamed for arson. Cars are not blamed for a hit and run. Hammers and lead pipes are not blamed when someone is beaten to death. Knives are not blamed for stabbings. Bath tubs are not blamed when parents drown their children. Telephones and computers are not blamed when people commit fraud. Indeed, I could spend hours listing the many tools which criminals use to commit their crimes, but of all these tools only guns seem to receive blame.
This blaming of the gun rather than addressing the societal problems which lead to crime is worse than pointless. Many uninformed people will hear politicians and the media speak about “gun crime”, and will believe that taking away guns from law abiding citizens will somehow solve the problem. The fact is that it won’t, and the high murder rates in Chicago and Washington D.C. show that banning handguns will not keep them out of the hands of criminals, who can smuggle them in with drugs or steal one of the hundreds of millions of guns already in the country. The low crime rates in many rural areas which have virtually no gun laws also show that gun control does not mean less crime. The true cause of crime is not the presence of guns, but rather socioeconomic conditions. By declaring a war on guns, rather than a war on poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment, these politicians and media representatives are taking away the ability of law abiding citizens to defend themselves, and wasting resources that could be spent solving the real causes of crime. Please act to protect our gun rights, and insist that your elected officials focus on the real cause of crime rather than a convenient scapegoat.