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Understanding The Controversial Assumptions

Understanding The Controversial Assumptions

It is often assumed without any deeper thought that decreased possession of firearms among the populace will lead to decreased crime rates. After all, without guns, then all crimes that are caused with the aid of firearms would become nonexistent. But statistically, this has not been borne out; some of the areas of America with the greatest amount of gun control firearms, and therefore the lowest levels of legal gun possession, still have the highest crime rates. 
Simultaneously, however, there are examples set by other nations in the world, which clearly have decreased gun crimes as a result of their strict laws concerning possession of firearms. The United Kingdom, for instance, has numerous laws restricting gun possession, and gun crimes are very rare events in that country.
Does gun possession, then, decrease crime? Or do laws allowing for citizens to have access to firearms simply make it easier for criminals to have access, as well? Jeremy D. Banks, PhD, argues for the former. He first of all points out that the 1993 Brady Act, which is an attempt to further limit gun possession by making background checks more important for gun ownership, has had no discernible effect upon crime rates.
He then targets the UK, citing the fact that although gun crime is low in Britain, other violent crimes are at incredibly high levels. The UK’s restrictions on the possession of firearms have, indeed, reduced gun crimes, but they have not at all reduced overall crimes. According to Banks, the UK has higher crime rates than the USA in almost every violent crime, except murder and rape. Clearly, then, the fact that the UK’s citizens do not have the right of gun possession has not done much to reduce overall crime; only gun crimes have been lowered.
Banks isn’t the only one to point out these discrepancies about gun possession and crime rates. John R. Lott, Jr., author of the book, More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, argues strongly for the use of guns to help deter crime. He puts the point most plainly when he responds to an interviewer’s question about the counter-intuitive nature of this phenomena.
Banks says that gun possession essentially increases the potential penalty of any given crime, and greater penalties lead to a decrease in whatever action is penalized. Because a criminal might be meeting with a victim who might be possession of firearms, that criminal will generally be deterred from taking the same kind of actions that he or she might have taken otherwise.
It still remains to be conclusively proven that greater prominence of gun possession can lead to decreased crime, as other factors could account for differences in the crime rates between those places that have high gun restrictions, and those places that allow for easy possession of firearms.
For instance, it could be that the areas with the least crime, and the least gun restrictions, could be the most rural parts of the country where the fewest people live, where close contact between those people is rare, and where crime in general would be less likely to occur. But the facts are strong enough to at least throw doubt onto that general assumption that decreased possession of firearms would lead to decreased crime.

Guns and Crime Rate At A Glance

Guns and Crime Rate At A Glance

The relationship between guns and America’s crime-rate is nowhere near as cut-and-dry as most would like it. There is evidence indicating that increased prevalence of guns leads to decreased crime rates, just as there are many who claim that greater restrictive measures on the sale of guns lead to decreased crime rates. The issue divides Americans quite strongly and quite often in politics, and understanding all sides is important to understanding the nature of gun’s role in America’s society.


Background
Gun control legislation has not always existed throughout America’s history. It is only now, with the advent of technologies and processes that allow for easy proliferation of guns that gun control restrictions have been enacted. Understanding the reasons behind America’s stance towards guns is important to understanding the primary arguments on either side of the aisle.
From the first real gun control act in the 1930’s to more recent attempts to ban assault weapons throughout America, learning about America’s complicated relationship with guns is the primary purpose of this article. Read through it in order to get a more in depth discussion of guns and their role in the 20th century of America.
Many would likely come at the debate of how guns interact with the crime rate with certain preconceived notions. Either one might believe that getting rid of guns would almost inherently decrease crime, or one might believe that if everyone was armed, it would similarly decrease crime. Determining which of these assumptions hold water and which are faulty is the first step towards coming to a better understanding of the debate.   Read on if you’re interested in learning about which assumptions are deserved, and which aren’t.

Illegal versus Legal Guns and Impact on Crime
It’s easy to say the word “guns” as if it covers all guns in America. But guns in America fall into two distinct varieties: guns purchased legally, and guns purchased illegally. The first variety generally go to legitimate citizens who don’t break laws. They may simply want a weapon for recreational purposes, like hunting, or they may desire a weapon for self-protection. But they do not want a gun in order to commit crimes.
The second variety, illegal guns, however, generally come into the hands of those who want guns specifically for the purpose of committing crimes. The only people who truly cannot gain access to firearms legally are those who would likely use them to break the law, and thus they obtain their guns illegally. Illegal guns, then, seem to be just as much a part of the problem as legal guns. How should America deal with the issue of illegal guns? Will increasing restrictions on legal weaponry decrease the prevalence of illegal guns, or increase it? Read this article to find out.