What Gun Supporters Fail to Understand about The Economy

Arming more people is not the answer to mass shootings

In the wake of the Christchurch terror attack — which left at least 50 killed and almost the same number of wounded — New Zeland’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden displayed high leadership competencies and announced that ‘there will be changes’.

The move was praised by many. Her ability to escape the “thoughts and prayers” routine and actually strive for real change is admirable.

The country was struck with great tragedy and the leaders should respond in order to limit any such horror happening again.

New Zeland’s cabinet backed Prime Minister Arden in unified decision to change the gun laws. They already started drafting the legal reform. Details are planned to be announced on March 25.

Such prompt response to gun violence would be hard to see in the United States. The US leaders tend to skip on any concrete decisions so they wouldn’t anger the NRA and their loyal base of supporters.

Since 2000, there have been almost 200 shootings at schools and universities. Americans are literally paying their love for guns with the blood of their children. And the problem doesn’t look like it’s any closer to a real solution.

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Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Even though some of the constitutional laws in America are prehistoric and they don’t reflect the modern day reality, It’s still impossible to argue with the second amendment crusaders.

I get it, you want to keep 4 shiny rifles and 2 military grade guns on display in your living room to show everyone how your not the right person to cross.

Currently, the NRA(National Rifle Association) claims to have at least five million members. The number is hazy because they never publish the official figures.

At first, these numbers don’t look particularly threatening until you start to understand how committed the gun supporters in America can be.

In comparison, The AARP(American Association of Retired Persons) has more than 38million members. They tend to cater to the needs of the aging population to secure better conditions for its members. Senior living is not exactly striving, and most of our seniors tend to live hard and lonely retirements.

What has 5 million NRA members accomplished for guns, 38 million AARP supporters couldn’t for the American retirees. The society takes better care of their weapons then they do of their elderly.

I also understand the cognitive bays that stands behind these decisions. Individuals create their own subjective social reality. And they tend to actively search for the information to reinforce those beliefs, no matter the objective truth.

I’m the first victim to fall under the need to actively reinforce my unconventional beliefs. I will look for the information proving the shortcoming of the Vegan lifestyle to have more arguments next time someone tries to bash me because I eat meat. In those moments, I don’t particularly care for the truth as long as I have convenient evidence that supports my claims.

There are always thoughtfully constructed arguments in every public issue. But when it comes to human lives, this is where we should draw the line in the sand and think beyond our quirks.

Being cool with your shiny rifle is not as important as the future of tens of thousands of kids that could have graduated school this year if they were still alive.

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Photo by Carles Rabada on Unsplash

There are numerous examples, but maybe the one of Australia speaks about the results in the clearest way.

In 1996 Australian gun laws were not much different to today’s American laws. On April 28 of that year, man names Martin Bryant drove to one of the popular tourist spots in Port Arthur and opened fire with the Colt Ar-15 Sp1. He didn’t stare away from shooting women and children. By the end of the day, he assassinated 35 people and wounded 18 others.

Reports suggest he was a loner and a lousy shot with an IQ of 66. By all accounts, he was hardly smart enough to navigate the complex black markets and acquire sophisticated weapons. Unfortunately, if you point an AR-15(fires several rounds per second) into the crowd of tourist you’re bound to hit someone.

With just weeks of that tragedy, Australian officials pressed for new gun reforms and managed to prohibit their import. Lawmakers also organized a generous buyback program to encourage Australians to give up on their guns.

Since the country adopted a new regulation, gun violence drastically fell. There has been no similar shooting spree since the attack of 1996(almost 29 years).

What happens after the nationwide gun ban? Absolutely nothing. The corrupt government didn’t install tyranny. The independence of the country didn’t end. Their economy didn’t crash(it’s one of the best in the world). The gun violence went down significantly.

Today, new generations of Australia have the opportunity to see guns only in Hollywood action movies.

In the meantime, America goes through mass shooting every two weeks.

Unfortunately, It’s not enough to just point out to every western country that has successfully upgraded their gun control laws and show the drastic fall in gun violence in those places.

It should be clear but apparently, it’s not. There are people that will go out in the dark, look you straight in the eyes and tell you the sun is shining.

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Photo by Josh Rocklage on Unsplash

Simple economic common sense can help explain the effectiveness of tighter gun control laws.

In the United States, guns are accessible because you can buy them easily in most states — you don’t have to have a special permit or license to acquire firearms. When something is easy to buy, people often don’t think twice. The market gets flooded with affordable guns. There are no state-imposed risks(arrest, trial, incarceration) to buying and owning such weapons.

What happens when you increase the regulation or ban guns? The manufacturers can’t easily sell guns to everyone. The risk associated with such product skyrockets. Criminals that want to access such protection have to dip into the black market. Such markets operate under strict laws of supply and demand. This means that the price will rise astronomically. Also, your average joe or the high school kids won’t have access to notorious arms dealers.

In Australia, in 2014, the regular price black market handguns were around $15,000. This is not pocket money for most people. I’m sure most people don’t even have this much money in savings.

When you have $15,000 you don’t have the urge to go out and commit petty crimes. It’s certain that you won’t buy multiple guns or have enough ammunition to spray highschools with bullets.

“The Only thing that stops a bad guy with the gun, is a good guy with a gun.” What’s wrong with having no guys with the guns?!

This logic is also clear to most European countries where gun violence constitutes rare catastrophic(not your casual, monthly school activity).

Common sense combined with every available evidence clearly points out to the effectiveness of gun control laws. Unfortunately, some people refuse to accept that reality, in the same manner, they refuse to vaccine their kid, acknowledge global warming or accept that the planet earth is round.

These people are usually in the minority when it comes to national issues. The same goes with gun supporters. NRA doesn’t have a staggering number of followers, but to our horror, they commit religiously to lobbying the lawmakers and American leaders. Witch such vigor, they managed to stall American law reforms for decades.

In the last 19 years, there have been almost 200 school shootings and millions of other deaths related to gun violence. This blood is on the hands of imprudent legislators that refuse to act for the benefit of their own careers.

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