By Aakash Jain ’14
I have never held or fired a gun; in fact, I have never seen a firearm in person.
Nonetheless, I am certain that gun control undermines our safety and sets a dangerous precedent for government authority.
One of the greatest fallacies of our time is that legislation can solve all of society’s problems.
As an extreme example, government cannot simply pass a law that abolishes poverty and reasonably expect to achieve this.
Then why do we assume that it can make people safer just by mandating it?
First of all, policies that restrict or limit the possession of guns help criminals.
People who use guns on innocent people obviously have no respect for the law. So how can we expect that gun control legislation will prevent criminals from getting guns?
In fact, gun control simply prevents everyday, law-abiding civilians who would use them only in self-defense from purchasing firearms. Throughout history, criminals have found ways to circumvent the law, and modern society is no exception.
It may be trite and hackneyed, but the age old maxim still holds true: “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”
Marijuana possession has been illegal in the United States since 1937, and yet a 2004 Monitoring the Future study reported that 73.3 percent of 10th graders and 85.8 percent of 12th graders claimed that the drug is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain.
Clearly, just criminalizing the possession of something does not necessarily prevent people from acquiring it.
In essence, gun control just makes the criminal’s job a lot more stress-free, as he can now thieve and murder without the threat of his victim fighting back in self-defense.
In addition, gun control legislation opens the door to a plethora of similar government violations of liberty, such as the Patriot Act.
A much more logical solution is to allow people to defend themselves.
The government cannot take care of us all the time and neither can the police.
Criminals exist, and they are not going away anytime soon.
We can at least give ourselves a fighting chance by preventing laws that make us easier targets.
Ultimately, the idea of gun control presents to us the critical dichotomy of authoritarianism and self-determination.
Do human beings have fundamental freedoms that can never be taken away, or can the whims of legislators dictate our lives?