This post will explore and attempt to answer the question: does gun ownership reduce crime? I don’t think that any person who has not researched this topic can give a valid opinion. But as someone who spends their days researching criminal justice topics can answer. So it is my duty to educate those of you who are interested in finding out more about both sides of the argument.
This blog post will be split into two sections exploring each side of the debate. The first section will discuss why guns could potentially reduce crime rates. And the second section discusses how they might actually increase them.
Gun Ownership Crime: Reduces vs. Increases
Ask people in the United States what they think about gun ownership. You will get two very polarized answers. You might hear that guns are necessary to protect their homes and families. Or else someone will break in and harm them. Others could argue that there is no need for citizens to own firearms. Especially when law enforcement officials are around to protect everyone. The debate over whether private citizens should be allowed to carry firearms has become much more intense in recent years after several mass shootings have taken place.
The pro-gun side of this argument often brings up studies that suggest that countries with stricter gun laws have higher crime rates than areas with fewer restrictions. If the anti-gun side is correct, then arming yourself for protection may actually put you at risk of becoming a victim of violent crime (gun violence). In this section, I will present you with an argument from both sides of the debate. So that you can make your own educated decision about what side is correct.
Gun Owner Reduces Crime
Yes, this is true. A gun owner can reduce crime. Because a gun is a terrifying weapon. Criminals who do not own guns will often avoid homes that have been openly identified as being owned by someone who has one. Even if a criminal enters a home with a gun, the presence of a firearm might make them think twice before they carry on with their crime. Since victims may be able to defend themselves.
A study on guns and firearm homicide rates found that “the apparent time-series relationship between changes in the Brady index. And changes in homicides are consistent with the hypothesis. So that restrictive state handgun laws reduce firearm-related homicides.” In addition, studies have also shown that women are able to use handguns to protect themselves from sexual crimes more successfully. Especially those who were unarmed or those who used some other type of weapon. Many people in favor of gun ownership also say that in a mass shooting situation. An armed citizen has a chance at stopping the attack before it becomes worse.
Additional studies have shown that guns aren’t always used in crimes. And can actually prevent crime from occurring. In 1987, Florida saw a significant increase in violent crime which had reached nearly double the national average by 1993. However, after the state passed new concealed carry laws, there was a 7% decrease in total crime. And this included a 26% reduction in murders committed with firearms. This study indicates that more people owning and legally carrying weapons did not result in increased rates of murder or other violent crimes.
So why do anti-gun control advocates like to bring up these statistics? They argue that criminals may be more inclined to leave a home alone. Especially if they know there is a possibility that the owner could be armed. If their argument holds any weight, it would make sense that areas like Chicago and Washington DC have some of the most stringent gun laws. Also some of the highest crime rates. Criminals in these areas might choose not to break into homes with visible guns out of fear for their safety!
Gun Owner Increases Crime
Just as owning a gun can decrease your chances of becoming involved in violent crime. It may actually increase your risk instead. The statistics cited by those who support gun ownership often lack concrete proof of any correlation between crime rates and concealed carry option availability. In fact, many of them point out how cities such as San Diego which allows citizens to carry concealed handguns have a lower crime rate. Especially than Chicago. That is known for having some of the strictest gun control laws.
In a survey conducted by Johns Hopkins University, economists asked criminals whether they were more concerned about encountering a victim who would shoot back or running into the police during their next heist. The vast majority of them said that they preferred to rob houses. Especially when there was no risk of anyone being home and could not defend themselves. That’s because most people don’t buy guns for self-defense reasons alone! In fact, even in cases where someone does shoot at a criminal, it doesn’t always result in stopping an attack right away. Criminal behavior is often unpredictable and may actually escalate. Especially if offenders feel threatened with lethal force from a citizen.
The Best Option?
In some cases, a gun can actually protect someone from harm. Especially in situations where they would have been otherwise helpless to defend themselves. In many cases, it is the best option for people who lack significant physical strength or proper training. So that may be needed to deal with a threat. However, more often than not. It is used by members of society usually without serious consideration about just how much force should be applied to a situation. People also seem to forget that guns are not always effective. Also, criminals may continue their attack even if they’re being shot at!
If you want to know more regarding the topic, don’t worry. You should read these frequently asked questions with answers.
#1. Does owning a gun make you safer?
No. Numerous studies have shown that there’s actually no link between gun ownership and the crime rate.
#2. Why do people say that an armed society is a polite one?
They often use this phrase. It means that people are less likely to commit crimes. Especially when they fear their victims may shoot back at them! It’s hard for someone to know whether or not someone in their home could be armed. So it makes sense why criminals might avoid homes with guns visible in public areas like the kitchen or living room.
#3. Would you say that having guns in your house increases danger?
Many homeowners buy handguns. Because they want to protect themselves from intruders. However, many criminals act unpredictably when under stress which you can never be sure of. In some cases, a gun can actually protect someone from harm. Especially in situations where they would have been otherwise helpless!
#4. Is gun ownership a deterrent to crime?
The truth is that criminals are actually more concerned with whether or not their victims are armed. This is because most people don’t buy guns for self-defense reasons alone! In fact, even in cases where someone does shoot at a criminal, it doesn’t always result in stopping an attack right away.
#5. How does gun ownership affect police actions?
It’s easier for them to do their jobs more effectively without worrying about innocent people. Like you or me getting involved and accidentally making a bad situation worse. Plus, financial assistance is available. So that can help you pay for gun-related expenses. Such as licensing and training classes!
#6. What’s the best way to get a gun?
First of all, you must be at least 18 years old and understand that once you buy one; it is extremely hard to get rid of due to the fact. Because they have a very high resell value! So this means that in most cases, its not a good idea to purchase one to surprise someone or as a gift.
#7. Are there laws about gun control in the United States?
One of the most important things which people should know would be that purchasing a gun is actually considered legal if you’ve reached 18 years of! The only real limits on ownership are for criminals, minors, and people with mental disabilities. It’s not easy to regulate how someone should store their firearms yet this is something. That you must always keep in mind regardless of where you live!
#8. Is everyone allowed to have a gun?
No, there are actually laws about who can own a firearm regardless of whether they live inside or outside the country! These rules are usually adopted by individual states. But anyone who wants to purchase a handgun or even ammunition will need to go through certain steps first. Anyone who has been convicted of drunk driving won’t be able to get their license back. Especially if they’re caught drinking and driving again. However, there are also many other factors including criminal records too. So it’s best that you consider this as well.
#9. Do police officers handle gun violence differently?
Some say that a society where there are no guns is actually the safest yet. Others point out that there’s a difference between using a gun to defend yourself and pulling one on someone else! The truth is, offenders who have been shot at don’t always stop.
So you might not be able to escape without injury. Especially if you try to use a firearm in self-defense. In most cases, it’s actually much easier for the police to investigate crimes. Especially when they’re committed with firearms.
Since these weapons have been registered making them easy to trace back to their owners. This isn’t something that happens frequently though. Since many states deny requests from firearms dealers and manufacturers for records of who has purchased guns.
#10. What are the benefits of having a gun?
Some suggest that owning a gun is necessary. As long as you take all the necessary precautions. Such as keeping it locked away and only handing it over to an authorized person. Especially if they obtain a search warrant for your home! Others would say that getting rid of them would be better. Especially since there’s no real reason why anyone should feel threatened enough to need to buy one in the first place.
As mentioned earlier, there’s not always a way to stop criminals from attacking you. That is why many people who do own firearms take self-defense classes or install surveillance systems. The truth is that not everyone wants to deal with this level of responsibility. It is including myself, however. We all wish that the police had more time to investigate other crimes too!
Despite all of the dangerous possibilities including accidents, gun violence and even suicides; what is my opinion?
Well, I just don’t feel that owning one myself is necessary yet.
Again this is just my personal opinion! The reality is that everyone has their own reasons for wanting to own one. That means that the choice should remain yours until more steps are taken by lawmakers to prevent these tragedies.
Thanks for reading guys and if you enjoyed it, make sure to share it with your friends too. Since ignorance isn’t always bliss.