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Last year’s shooting in Tucson, Arizona that killed six people and left 13 others injured briefly sparked a new debate on gun control in America. The shooter, an allegedly mentally unstable 22 year old, was able to purchase a semi-automatic handgun legally and carry it legally. He was also able to purchase an extended magazine that holds 33 rounds legally.
There is a myth that more guns equal a safer nation. But, there are plenty of numbers that disprove that fact. The United States is the most heavily armed nation on the planet. But, we are by no means the safest nation in the world. In one year, there were 9,484 people killed by guns in the United States. That same year, 200 died in our neighboring country Canada. Guns murdered 17 people in Finland, 35 in Australia, 39 in England and Wales, 60 in Spain, and 194 in Germany in the same year. So, clearly we are not any safer. More guns equal more gun deaths. It has been found that higher household gun ownership correlates with higher rates of homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings. Gun advocates contend that if guns were made illegal, it would only affect the people who aren’t going to use the gun in a criminal act because criminals will still get their guns illegally. This may be true, but at least it would be a bit more difficult. Loughner purchased his gun legally. The student responsible for the VA Tech massacre purchased his gun legally. There are countless examples of mass shootings involving a legally bought firearm.
Having a gun for protection is increasingly sounding like an oxymoron. I know of personal examples where having a gun in the house only ended up with someone in the household dead or injured. Having a firearm easily accessible means that when people behave impulsively, someone could end up dead. How many of us have been so angry that, if there was a gun around, we might have brandished it? Add alcohol, drugs, or mental illness into the mix and it is a recipe for disaster. There is no reason we need personal guns any longer. We should leave the protecting to the police and the military because clearly average Americans are not doing a good job protecting themselves.