Guns are responsible for an average of 30,000 deaths per year. Food is responsible for the over 100 million people in the United States that are obese. Isn’t it odd how we as a nation personify objects as a way to justify our own actions? We don’t blame fists for domestic violence, so why do we blame guns for instances when a gun was simply the means that was chosen to carry out someone’s plans? The average 911 response time is ten minutes, and for many, that is far too long. It can only take seconds for a home invasion to turn deadly and waiting ten minutes for law enforcement to arrive will be of no help to a homeowner fighting for their life.
In the midst of all the terror attacks happening seemingly everyday all over the globe, it can be easy to shift the blame from the terrorists to the guns themselves. In reality, however, ninety-three percent of all gun-related crimes involve illegally-obtained guns. This means that only seven percent of all crimes that involved guns used firearms that were legally purchased and obtained, and, in a perfect world, increased gun control would greatly increase that small margin. However, it is highly unlikely that someone planning to carry out a mass shooting would be deterred by a background check and suddenly change their mind. It is significantly more likely that they would find a way to illegally obtain the weapon and go on to commit their terrible act. Gun control doesn’t keep guns out of the wrong hands, it just makes it harder for them to end up in the right ones.
Imagine that there is a single mother living alone with her young son, for example. She would want a gun as added security so she could defend herself if she ever needed to. She wants to be able to protect her child by any means necessary, but because she has a non-violent drug offense on her record, she is denied the ability to purchase a gun. Because of this, she is unprepared when an intruder, armed with an illegally obtained firearm, enters her home. She quickly grabs her phone and calls 911, but the ten minute wait time is too long.
Rather than preventing someone from defending their family, there are alternatives to deter a potential criminal from carrying out their planned act of gun violence. In St. Louis, Missouri, where the murder rate is the highest in the nation, at a shocking 59.29 per 100,000 people, a person convicted of second-degree murder can receive a sentence as short as ten years and can even be released early for good behavior. Two-thirds of all murders committed were done so with a firearm. Even though someone legally obtained the firearm for a valid reason, such as ensuring an extra layer of security against home invaders, the threat of only serving less than a decade in prison can very easily push someone over the edge and cause them to follow through with a murder. Not willing to split inheritance with a sibling or wanting to avoid a messy divorce are among the top motives for murders, and these temptations are certainly not helped by the fact that a person willing to follow through with the unthinkable of taking the life of another will only lose a few years of their life. A murder is a murder, regardless of how it is committed and regardless of what the person’s motives were. Increased prison sentences for those with such little regard for other human life is just one of the many ways that potential abusers of the Second Amendment can be deterred from following through with their heinous act. If losing a sizable chunk of one’s life is at stake, an angered spouse will be likely to put down their gun and seek alternate solutions to their problems while a young mother will still be able to sleep at night knowing that she can defend her household in the act of a break-in.