Essentially the increased availability of guns increases the chances that a criminal will choose a gun as their weapon of choice for committing crimes, not to mention this also increases the range of crimes this criminal can initiate. The result of this is of course the intensification of violence, simply put more guns equals more gun crime (Cook, 1991; Zimring & Hawkins, 1997).
The relevance of this theory is that the use of guns as opposed to knives is more likely to cause an injury or a death. So if a criminal substitutes a knife for a gun a robbery the likelihood that the victim may be hurt or killed increases because guns cause more serious wounds that knives, they are more effective at long range and they can be used to assault multiple people, not to mention gun accidents are a very real threat. The instrumentality hypothesis does not in any way suggest that crime will increase because of increased gun availability just that the likelihood that criminals will substitute knives and other weapons for guns will increase thus resulting in more homicides.
There are also theories that suggest that increased gun availability decreases crime because it empowers the general public and discourages criminals from targeting innocent people that could be carrying a gun thus shifting the balance of power if the aggressor is unarmed or using a knife but further complicates things if they too have a gun. This obviously does nothing to address the fact that this will no doubt increase gun related violence as a whole because two guns don’t make a right, you’re just increasing the likelihood of someone being shot and killed. Gun control is without a doubt a tentative issue which should be dealt with in a way that preserves people’s right to defend themselves but also preserves human life. We live in an age where children use guns to settle arguments, something has to be done, but who’s really at fault? If a child shoots another child, that child has no concept of right and wrong or life and death and the parents need to stop blaming guns for their own failings, the problem isn’t that guns exist it’s that parents are unaware of their children possessing them or that they just don’t care that their child is having problems at school.
Schools try to stop kids bringing guns to schools with metal detectors but that doesn’t deal with the root problem, it’s treating the symptom instead of the disease. Metal detectors just limits shooting taking place in school it doesn’t actually stop them. It’s a cop out. It’s just a way to limit the schools liability and make a school like a prison. They don’t care whether the kids die only that they don’t die on school property.
"Gun violence in and around our schools is simply unconscionable and must end.”
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (CNN. January 31 2013)
It just seems like a PR campaign, not that gun violence should end, just that it should end in schools, surely it should just be ended but obviously they realise that’s impossible. Vice President Joe Biden talks more thorough Back ground checks, mental health checks, stricter checks at gun shows, penalties for straw purchasers, people who buy guns to give them to other people but why does it take a tragedy to have these issues addressed? Biden comments on the ban on assault rifles active from 1994 to 2004 emphasising that it may have made policing easier but he goes on to say that assault rifles and the rate of fire aren’t the problem aren’t the problem. The actual problem lies in magazine capacity, Bide talks briefly on the Connecticut shooting perpetrated by Adam Lanza, stating the high body count was due to the fact he used a gun with a thirty round capacity. “Maybe if he took longer, maybe one more kid would be alive” (Biden 2013)
Any racial person can see those argument are ridiculous, the rate of fire and the capacity of the gun have nothing to do with gun violence. Banning assault weapons won’t get rid of gun crime, it just means the killers can kill a little bit less. If they can’t get hold of an ak47 they’ll use a shotgun, if they can’t get a shotgun they’ll use a handgun and if they can’t get a handgun they’ll use a knife, if they can’t use a knife they’ll use a fork.
The problem isn’t how efficient America's psychopaths are at killing; the problem is that they’re killing in the first place. Rather than trying to dampen school shootings or make them nicer we should be trying to prevent them. This is not parking tickets we’re talking about, we’re talking about people killing each other, there’s no middle ground there’s life or death, all or nothing. So either ban all guns or don’t bother and try to find a way to stop people losing their minds
It’s understandable where these people are coming from, they think if people didn’t have access to assault rifles they wouldn’t pluck up the courage to go on shootings but Virginia tech is the worst school shooting in American history and the perpetrator of that crime used handguns. So it doesn’t really make a difference, If a person that is mentally unstable and wants to go on a killing spree nothing will stop that, so we should be trying to prevent help these people not trying to take their toys.
The registering gun owners makes sense but Executive Vice president of the NRA Wayne LaPierre raises a good point in that it infringes not only on Americans right to bear arms but also on their right to privacy but that’s what this argument boils down to, are you going to give up your freedom/privacy or your guns? The question you should be asking right back is; why should I have to choose between them?
Thomas Hamilton, broke into the gymnasium of a primary school in the Scottish town of Dunblane In 1966. Hamilton the 43-year-old former Scout leader killed 15 children within minutes the 16th died later in hospital. While trying to shield her pupils their teacher, Gwen Mayor, a 44-year-old mother of two, was killed. Hamilton then turned one of his four handguns on himself. This was one of the worst incidents of gun violence in Britain; it had a massive impact on the Uk and the world. Disgusted Dunblane residents wanted to know how it was possible for a gun license to be given to someone like Hamilton. The signatures of 750,000 people were collected in the fight against gun ownership, because of the 1987 Hungerford massacre, in which 16 people were killed by one lone gunman. Britain in 1988 then decided to make registration mandatory for people who owned shotguns and banning semi-automatic and pump-action weapons using the newly developed Firearms (Amendment) Act.
Britain is one of the toughest countries in the world when it comes to gun regulation. After the Dunblane massacre, UK law had banned all private ownership of handguns. There has never been a ‘gun culture’ in Britain on par with the U.S but there were, in Britain 200,000 legally registered handguns before the ban. Anyone found in possession of illegal firearms can face up to ten years imprisonment and extremely heavy fines..
"It was one of the most shocking things that has ever happened in this country and it united the country in a feeling that we had to do something," Gill Marshall Andrews, of the Gun Control Network, told CNN. "And I don't think that it would have been possible to make the kind of progress that we have made without that tragedy”
Near the start of the ban it seemed to be quite effective, the crimes involving guns rose during the late 1990’s in England and Wales actually peaking at 24,094 offenses in 2003/04. Since the number has fallen each year. According to official crime figures in 2010/11 11,227 offenses were reported. Despite this Britain’s gun laws have been under constant scrutiny, in 2010 12 people were killed in a four hour shutting spree in Cumbria, northern England. A Brighton University Professor of criminology and Member of the Gun Control Network, Peter Squires claims that since the Dunblane massacre there has been a small but significant decline in the use of firearms. The figures aren’t everything but "the murder rate has fallen and all the indicators are moving in the right direction."
"Any weapon can be misused in a crime. Gun control will never be a complete solution to events like the mass shooting we saw in Connecticut. The swamp of gun use has not been fully drained and while tighter gun control removes risk on an incremental basis, significant numbers of weapons remain in Britain."
The conclusion is although decreasing the amount of guns or banning certain types of guns may slightly decrease the amount of gun violence, any weapon can be used to commit violence, the root cause of violence is more important than taking away the tools used to commit violence.
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