North Texas Daily

This & That: Gun control is necessary

This & That: Gun control is necessary

This & That: Gun control is necessary
February 06
11:00 2020

Gun violence is built into the very foundation of America. From the Boston Massacre to the Civil War to many modern shootings, gun violence has played a major part in shaping American history.

Gun control may be a controversial topic, but I believe it is a necessary one to have.

These arguments against gun control are why knives and bombs are still obtainable and that only a good guy with a gun can stop an armed attacker.

A situation with knives can be very different, however. Knives lack the range of even the most compact handguns, like a Glock 26. Even throwing knives can’t guarantee kills.

Notably, when collecting data for suicides in 2017, the National Institute of Mental Health didn’t even give bladed objects a category, lumping them in the “other” category. They went against firearms, suffocation and poisoning, rounding out at 3,690. Firearms alone went above 2,300.

Knives and other sharp instruments were used in 1,515 homicides across the U.S. in 2018, versus 6,603 with handguns and 2,293 by firearms with unlisted specifications, according to statistics gathered by Statista. Rifles made up 297, shotguns had 235 and “other” guns had 167. Together, the amount of firearm-related homicides made up 10,265 deaths versus 1,515 by blades.

As for bombs, parts often used in construction are regulated and monitored. Building a bomb requires mechanical knowledge most Americans lack, plus the potential for misfire or accidental detonation is huge. Successfully planning, assembling and executing these kinds of attacks can take weeks to months. That is way more complicated than acquiring a firearm in many U.S. states.

The last bombing to have fatalities was the 2018 Austin bombings, where two civilians and the perpetrator were killed, according to the Johnston Archive.

In fact, no U.S. citizens were killed in bombings on American soil in 2019. The last fatalities on U.S. soil from a bombing before Austin was the Boston Marathon bombings, where three civilians were killed. The only bombings on U.S. soil involving fatalities were these two, according to the Johnston Archive.

Far more have been killed with firearms in terror attacks. Twenty-two alone were killed in the El Paso shooting last year and more people were killed in a single shooting than in every bombing in the U.S. during the 2010s combined.

A common argument goes along the lines of, “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

This is an incredibly simplistic and superficial statement, even if good guys have stopped bad guys with guns before.

We saw this in action late last year with the White Settlement shooting. A church deacon, Jack Wilson, neutralized a shooter after two members had already been killed. Wilson is indisputably a hero, yet, innocents still died. They didn’t die because Wilson wasn’t fast enough to take down the threat, they died because the killer, who had a documented history of aggressive behavior and illegal gun ownership, somehow obtained a shotgun and used it effectively despite no known history of training.

Out of 130 active shooter situations from 2000 to 2013, only one was stopped by an armed citizen, according to a 2013 study from the FBI. Meanwhile, unarmed civilians restrained the shooter in 21 of these. Another nearly ended in an armed citizen killing an innocent.

What Wilson was able to do is a rarity. He’s a former reserve deputy sheriff for Hood County and a professional firearms instructor.

Heroes like Jack Wilson shouldn’t be necessary in the first place. Even then, it’s not likely there will be more like him able to stop future shootings.

I shouldn’t have to train myself to be like Wilson to go about my day. Of course, basic gun control isn’t going to solve everything. There are still other issues Americans face like access to healthcare, hate crimes, discrimination and more. In fact, an entirely separate piece could be written on discrimination towards gun owners of color. Josh himself can back that up.

I still believe gun control is necessary, though. Too many have died in places they simply should not have, whether that be an elementary school, a Walmart or a place of worship.

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

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Will Tarpley

Will Tarpley

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3 Comments

  1. gdogs
    gdogs February 06, 15:25

    Frankly, I’m completely sick of suicides being called firearm violence and included as an example of why we should have gun control. I’ve never heard anyone hanging themselves as rope violence, or cutting their wrist as blade violence, certainly no one that used the exhaust of their car to kill themselves was ever accused of vehicular violence. Why then is it the word violence used to describe something that could only be accurately described as their choice?

    And while mass shootings are truly horrific, the reality is that they make up a statistically insignificant number of gun deaths. Most “mass shootings” aren’t random, aren’t perpetrated by young white men, and don’t involve an “assault rifle”. No the reality is that most “mass shootings” involve specific people as targets (often family or gang related) and more than likely nothing more than a handgun.

    As to “good guys with a gun stopping shootings”, well when the vast majority of shootings take place in “gun free zones” is that any surprise? Going to be pretty hard to stop someone in a gun free zone since the law abiding gun owner either isn’t there, or is unarmed.

    I can pick apart just about any proposed gun law as to why it won’t work to achieve it’s stated goal, why it will only effect law abiding citizens, and how those effects will likely be negative. But gun grabbers aren’t interested in reality, they only want their delusional sense of safety protected.

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  2. DefconKeith
    DefconKeith February 06, 16:09

    There currently exists copious extant firearm legislation that covers every conceivable scenario in which a ‘bad guy’ might be able to obtain a weapon. Gun control is already in place. Law enforcement simply needs to do a better job of enforcing it.

    If new laws must be passed, let them target criminals and criminal behavior as opposed to targeting the guns owned by law-abiding citizens.

    Reply to this comment
  3. farmrdave
    farmrdave February 07, 23:16

    One hole in your argument about guns in our country. If you are an average American living anywhere besides in a city it is likely you own a gun or several guns. You do so because you want to for what ever reason. Not only that, gun ownership is a natural right that is protected from infringement by the highest law of the land.

    “Gun Control” encompasses a slew of very innocuous sounding infringements on my right as an American. I have taken the oath in public office and in the military to uphold the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. By false narrative and misleading figures there are many persons in our country attempting to undermine constitutional law with “gun control”.

    Why would I wish to have any conversation with a person who’s entire argument is disingenuous? Who’s arguments are outside of constitutional intent? Who’s facts and figures are misrepresented at best and total fabrications at worst? Whose arguments never ever talk about the safety and lives saved by personal gun ownership? Who’s arguments never list the millions of crimes prevented by personal arms each year?

    Gun control is the ability to hit your target, in that sense I support gun control, gun ownership, and live fire training.

    Reply to this comment

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