Guns and the 2nd Amendment are hot-button issues in the United States, and they have been for many years. The idea that the 2nd Amendment is even questioned since it ends with “shall not be infringed,” is mind blowing to some. To others, the idea of regulating firearms to the point of total confiscation is a dream come true. There are some people that identify as having a belief structure somewhere in between the two examples, but in reality, the fact that they support any regulation at all, makes them just as dangerous as the second example given.
So let’s look at a brief history of gun regulations and bans in the United States and see if it does any good whatsoever.
To start with, the fight against gun control started all the way back to the founders of this country. The ratification of the 2nd Amendment in 1791, was the first step in the fight for the citizens of this country to keep and bear arms. The word “arms” is confusing for some. This is not a flexible word, nor is it up for debate, it has a definition.
Definition #1 of arms is : “weapons and ammunition; armaments.” This is not up for debate and/or translation. The right of the people to keep and bear arms.
From the late 1700’s until the 1920’s, there was very little talk about gun control, except on a minor level among certain states. But in 1927, in response to the prohibition mob violence, Congress passed a law banning the mailing of concealable firearms. In a 6 year period from 1927 to 1933, the homicide rate in the U.S. jumped from 8.4 to 9.7 per 100,000. Some may say that the homicide rate was high because of prohibition, which may be true, but the law to ban the mailing of concealable firearms did not positively affect the homicide rate.
In 1938, the government passed the Federal Firearms Act. The purpose of this act was for “keeping firearms out of the hands of those not legally entitled to possess them because of age, criminal background, or incompetence.” It also regulated imported guns, expanded the gun-dealer licensing and record keeping requirements, and placed specific limitations on the sale of handguns. The list of persons banned from buying guns was also expanded to include persons convicted of any non-business related felonies, persons found to be mentally incompetent, and users of illegal drugs.
As we still see on the streets of Chicago and other major cities today, the FFA just meant that people who were already criminals went out and bought guns illegally. Thus making the act completely useless. To highlight this fact, in the U.S., 86% of juveniles in correctional facilities are reported to have owned a gun at some point, all of which would have been illegal weapons for the juveniles to own. 65% of juvenile offenders tend to own three or more illegal weapons and firearms. Now if those are the just the statistics for juveniles, you can imagine the number for adults.
So the laws passed in 1927 didn’t work, and neither the Act passed in 1938, so why not try another? Right? So let’s create an entirely new entity of the government to fight against guns.
In 1972 The federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) was born. Its mission was to control of illegal use and sale of firearms and the enforcement of Federal firearms laws.
From 1972 to the mid-1990’s, the United States saw soaring numbers of homicides. Bouncing around from 8.4 to 10.2 per 100.000. It also should be noted that a decade after the creation of the ATF, the U.S. saw it’s highest murder rate in the nation’s history. Again, it really doesn’t matter why the violence was happening or how it was done, this very expensive expansion of the government did not positively affect the homicide rate.
Between the early 70’s and 1994, there were a few other gun control bills passed, of which none did anything to curb violence or murder. It was in 1994 that the Brady Bill and Assault Weapon Ban were passed.
The Brady Bill imposed a five-day waiting period on the purchase of a handgun and requires that local law enforcement agencies conduct background checks on purchasers of handguns. And the Assault weapon ban prohibited the sale, manufacture, importation, or possession of a number of specific types of assault type weapons for a ten-year period. The Assault weapon ban expired in 2004. Studies examining the impact of the ban found the law didn’t prevent violence or decrease crime rates. A task force within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researched the effectiveness of strategies for preventing violence, looking at gun laws as a possible means to avert violence. The study, released in October 2003, “found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes.”
However, starting in the mid-1990’s, gun sales have soared, breaking the previous year record every year.
One must think that with record gun sales, the homicide rate must have soared as well. The statistics don’t say so. From 1994 to 2014 (most recent complete numbers), the homicide rate plummetted from 8.2 to 5.0 per 100,000. Thus proving that guns aren’t the issue and the reason gun control has never worked, and never will.
On Black Friday alone in 2016, Americans bought enough guns to arm the United States Marines. According to the Brennan Center For justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute, “overall crime rates in 2016 are projected to be nearly the same as last year, with crime remaining at an all-time low.”