Observations: Statistics show people are safer without anti-gun laws

Shown is a .45 caliber pistol.

The Magnet Tribune: Creative Commons

Shown is a .45 caliber pistol.

Aryanna Rodriguez, Observations Columnist

On November 7, 2018, residents in Southern California were awakened by a devastating massacre that was carried out by a 28-year-old male. On this Wednesday night a Marine veteran opened fire in a country-western dance bar in Thousand Oaks and killed 13 people. The gunman opened fire the popular club, known to be visited by many college students. Research by various news reporters shows that most of the victims that were killed in this carnage were college students and were killed for what police said was “revenge” by the former Marine.

The debate on gun control laws increased among citizens after this horrific shooting. Although the gun laws in California are among the toughest in the nation, a chart on the “Gun Violence Archive” website demonstrates the number of mass shootings in California and the number of individuals that have been injured and killed. The chart not only shows the number of shootings in California this year but also shows all the shootings that have occurred in 2018 in the United States. Since the chart in the website displays the number of shootings in all states, comparing the number of shootings in California to the shootings there have been in Texas would help with recent controversies on gun control laws.

As many may know, California is known as a liberal state and Texas is known as a conservative state. The laws in these two states are the opposite, which is why it is good to compare the two states to each other. As a conservative state, Texas allows handgun permit holders to carry their handguns openly in places where it is allowed. However, in California, citizens are not allowed to openly carry firearms because of the tough laws in their state. There are individuals who argue that having gun control laws is a right, and there are others who argue that it is wrong.

Conservatives feel that citizens are more likely to be safe with enforced gun rights because of the advantages that open carry gun laws have. “The ProCon” website shows that gun control laws do not deter crime; gun ownership deters crime. This indicates that conservatives believe citizens should have a right to have guns with a license because of the protection they can give their families and others. The right to carry guns gives the individuals the opportunity to defend themselves when in a dangerous situation like a mass shooting.

Liberals reason there should be firm laws on firearms because they believe more gun control laws would be the safest thing for citizens. As mentioned in an article in the ProCon.org website, many argue more gun control laws would reduce the number of gun deaths. Research and statistics provided in this website also demonstrates that there was an increase in firearm homicides with right-to-carry laws and were decreased in places where there were stronger gun control laws. Radicals also argue that if gun control laws were strict less people would not be able to have guns which would decrease the chances of mass shootings and firearm homicides.

The Magnet Tribune: Aryanna Rodriguez
This chart proves there were more individuals affected by mass shootings in California where there are tough gun control laws than in Texas where there are gun rights.

A chart on “Gun Violence Archive” provided the number of shootings in the United States in the last year. This chart shows there has been 30 shootings in California and 15 shootings in Texas. In California, 110 victims were wounded, and 49 others killed. In Texas, 59 were wounded and 28 killed. This shows more than twice as many were murdered by gun-related incidents in California than in Texas. This information proves there were more individuals affected by mass shootings in California where there are tough gun control laws than in Texas, where there are gun rights.

In my opinion, imposing strict gun regulations does not reduce the risk of people getting killed by guns. Instead, tough laws only take away the chance to take down a mass shooter. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, even in a state where there are strict gun laws there have been many that have been killed by guns. This demonstrates that guns might not be the problem but, instead it might be the individuals who own one.

Authorities say some of those who carried out mass shootings, killing many, have been said to be mentally unstable. For example, former high school student Nikolas Cruz planned a mass shooting at the Florida high school he attended and killed 17 people. After doing their research and seeing his behavior in prison, investigators discovered he was mentally ill, and they say that is what caused his terrifying behavior. There have been other cases like this one in several mass shootings; however, some people still argue the best way for gun murders to be reduced is by taking away gun rights from all citizens.

Although gun rights might not prevent all mass shootings, I believe it can reduce them tremendously because guns are not the problem.