Crime is on the rise and people are looking at how to reverse the trend. Some lawmakers look to restrict gun rights as a prospective solution, but are guns the problem? Many of these restrictions focus on preventing criminals from purchasing guns. But would this solve our problem?

“Science points to laws that would work to reduce shootings, to lower death…[One] would be to ban people who are convicted of violent crime from buying a gun.”
Scientific American

Mostly true. Minor mistakes or inaccuracies.

The vast majority of criminals are already barred under federal and state law from purchasing guns legally. But the reality is that most criminals don’t get their guns from gun stores. 

Many policies, such as background checks, aim to place gun stores under more scrutiny, purportedly in order to curb crime committed with firearms. But in fact, according to a study published in 2019 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics about the source and use of firearms in crimes, only 1.3% of criminals obtained their firearms through a retail store. So, if 98.7% of guns are obtained elsewhere—black market, stolen, etc.—then why are retail stores being targeted? 

Instead of reducing crime, new gun control legislation would not change criminal behavior. It only creates a false sense of security. 

In short, gun control legislation does not focus on the root causes of human behavior, including violence, crime, and untreated mental illness. At the heart of gun control initiatives is the hope that criminals will obey the law, but, in fact, they rarely do. 

Instead, ordinary law-abiding gun owners always bear the burden of the proposed laws. For example: A woman who has recently left a violent relationship would be placed in a far more vulnerable position if she was unable to quickly obtain a firearm, reducing her ability to protect herself or her children. While she may pass a background check and eventually be able to purchase a gun, forcing her to wait would greatly reduce her ability to protect herself and her loved ones. 

It’s so important to be active and engaged citizens in all of the areas where public policy affects our lives, and arguably the most important area is in the realm of how we keep ourselves and our families safe. Get beyond the rhetoric and learn about what has been proven to keep us safer. It’s not the many gun-control laws that politicians continue to advocate. 

Public servants should look at the actual causes of the crime increase and what solutions have been documented to make things better. Public safety should be the first responsibility of elected officials.