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Opinion: Gun Control Laws are Strict Enough

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Criminals do not obey laws.

Stricter gun control will neither make people safer nor alleviate the culture of violence in the United States. There are already extensive firearm laws on the books at the federal level. However, the notion that more gun control will protect Americans, or that more firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens results in more crime doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

The majority of deaths from firearms in the U.S. are not homicides. Statistician Leah Libresco found that, “Two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States every year are suicides.” Suicide is a societal problem; reduced access to a firearm will not prevent suicides. In fact, other countries such as Japan have virtually no privately owned firearms, yet have a higher suicide rate according to the OECD.

The notion that reducing the number of firearms owned by responsible citizens will reduce gun violence is also false. According to a Congressional Research Survey, the number of firearms in the U.S. has gone from 192 million in 1994 to around 310 million in 2009. According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. gun homicide rate has dropped down by 49 percent during those decades.

The “gun show loophole” is the premise that people can purchase firearms at gun shows and private venues without a background check. In law and in practice, there is no loophole. When firearms are sold at gun shows and in private transactions, you are still required to have a background check. If this is overlooked, it’s a federal offense. Those with criminal records and those who are known to be mentally ill are already barred from purchasing and owning firearms under current law.

“Assault weapons” have been effectively banned in the U.S. for decades. It is impossible to obtain things like automatic rifles without going through an extensive screening process. Regardless, the notion that banning automatic rifles will make a difference ignores the fact that a majority of homicides committed with firearms are by handguns, according to the FBI.

Other common gun control measures that are advocated for and implemented at the state level include restricting magazine capacity, restricting citizen’s ability to carry a firearm concealed or in the open, and limiting where law abiding citizens can carry (gun free zones).

Such measures only impact law-abiding citizens. Stricter gun control laws will restrict the freedom of responsible citizens. The tragic shooting that took place at an Orlando nightclub last year occurred in a gun-free zone.

Making gun control laws stricter will not reduce gun violence; they will unarm innocent citizens. Imposing stricter gun control gives criminals a comparative advantage over innocent men, women, and their children. Because criminals by definition break the law, having a gun-free zone, magazine ban, or restrictions on certain firearms will not prevent them from breaching those measures. People will always find a way to inflict harm, whether it be driving a car into a crowd or flying a plane into a building. People should allow law abiding citizens to defend themselves and try to help those with mental health problems to combat the problem.

Human beings have the right to bear arms. Self-defense is an inalienable basic human right. No one can justifiably restrict another’s ability to live free and protect themselves. Attempting to restrict freedom for a false sense of security does not make anyone safer, except the criminals. For the preservation of oneself from those who attempt to harm them, individuals have the right to defend themselves and the right to possess the means with which to do it.

Matthew Noyes


Matthew Noyes is a conservative columnist and assistant opinions editor of the Albany Student Press. He is also president of the University at Albany's Turning Point USA chapter and a writer for Campus Reform. Noyes, a New Hampshire native, is a political science and Japanese double major.


  1. Jacob
    October 25, 2017 at 1:56 am — Reply

    Okay there are some serious flaws in this argument. First off, there is a major gunshow loophole. I’ve been to a couple and witnessed someone I was with purchase one and leave with it in a 10 minute stretch. Also the fact that two thirds of gun deaths were suicides is moot. According to a study done by The American Journal Of Medicine on violent death rates in the United States as well as otner high-income countries in 2010, the rate of firearm homicides per 100,000 people was 3.6. For the other 22 countries combined? 0.1. Also the US totalled 4322. Other 22 countries? 6640. Yes most gun deaths are suicides but we lead in homicide too and by a lot. Also the Assault Rifle ban hasn’t been in effect since 2004.

    • Simon
      October 31, 2017 at 5:47 pm — Reply

      The “gun show loophole” does not exist in New York state. It is illegal to have a private sale in the state that doesn’t go through an FFL. So if you’ve seen this happen you witnessed an illegal firearm sale. I do not believe you have witnessed this though, I believe you are simply fear mongering. Gun shows are highly patrolled by the ATF and local law enforcement so it would have been a horrible place to do an illegal sale.

      It’s also important to note that even though New York State has closed the so called gun show loophole, there is still effectively no way to regulate private sale of firearms that take place between individuals outside of a gun show/shop. For example how would NYS know if you sold a firearm that you have owned for years to your friend? They couldn’t know. You are arguing for needless regulation that solves no problems.

      To address your point about homicide I will say this. Most of those homicides could not have been stopped with stronger gun control. The firearms used in those homicides are overwhelmingly illegally acquired. Again, how will you stop illegal firearm sales by restricting legal firearm sales?

      Beyond that, I take issue with the use of firearm homicides as an argument as a whole. It’s silly. Look at homicide rates alone. If you do you’ll notice something funny. The United States is declining at the same rate as countries with strict gun laws. How will you interpret this? I will tell you how. When you ban firearms, people do not stopping killing, they may stop using guns, but they do not stop. They just use other means. So then what is the purpose of banning firearms again? To lower a useless statistic for the sake of making yourself feel good at the expense of our constitution?

  2. Pete
    October 26, 2017 at 10:06 am — Reply

    Being at a gun show and witnessing something isn’t exactly proof that there are no laws surrounding gun show purchases. It could be that you were witness to a crime and chose not to report it. But in your comment I failed to see any suggestions? Should we ban guns outright in order to make people safer? I believe that was the crux of Matt’s arguments here.

  3. December 25, 2017 at 6:20 am — Reply


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