“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” This is the NRA’s dangerous mantra, reiterated by NRA’s vice president Wayne LaPierre in an NPR interview in 2012, that serves as a mask to recklessly promote the deregulation of firearm laws in America. According to a report conducted by the Violence Policy Center, a non-profit organization that promotes domestic safety, the NRA has received between $14.7 million and $38.9 from gun manufacturers, and in return the NRA hinders the passage of laws that may pose a threat to the aim goal of the manufactures, which is to maximize gun sales. The fault of their deregulatory logic is that they believe or claim that regulation is a deterrent for “good guys” with guns who want to purchase them.
Contrary to popular belief among conservatives, few progressives wish to ban or take away any guns from anyone. The progressive direction, similar to what has been done in many European countries that experience less gun violence, is to regulate gun sales by administering licenses, modest waiting periods prior to purchase, and passing background checks. Regulations are not abnormal in America. Drivers must experience much greater regulation than what is proposed to gun owners prior to issuing a driver’s license. Driving candidates must attend driving school, pass a written test, a driving test, annually renew vehicle registration and emissions testing (varied by state), and provide proof of insurance.
My question is do any of these hurdles prevent potential drivers from acquiring a driver’s license? How many low-income individuals do you know who possess a driver’s license? In today’s day in age all those who desire a driver’s license and can physically pass the exams can and will, regardless of their economic circumstances. Those who are incapable of passing these exams should not be permitted to obtain a driver’s license. Proposed gun control laws are much less stringent than vehicle laws. All “good guys” with guns will be able to own guns with minimal hurdles. Eliminating hurdles for gun ownership is not a way to recruit more “good guys” with guns. If a good guy wants to own a gun, he will find a way, even with additional hurdles.
It is true that if laws requiring gun control were passed, including universal background checks, gun violence would still exist. The NRA is correct on this issue, because those that want to commit gun crimes will also find a way to do so. However, it is also true that unlicensed drivers will cause accidents. The ability of a few to get around laws is not a reason to deregulate. Gun laws prevent crimes of the “low hanging fruit.” By this I mean crimes committed by those who are undecided whether to go through with it or not and choose to do so impulsively because access to weapons was easy. Young people, who are the most likely of committing gun violence, usually think about committing harm towards self or towards others for months prior to the act, but the decision to act upon the impulse is often a short period of time, such as five to twenty-five minutes. Choosing to end life is a weighty decision, and it is not one that even perpetrators take lightly. Making the path harder to gun ownership will deter some level of gun violence without preventing “good guys” with guns from maintaining their firearms.
The real issue is that gun enthusiasts do not want hurdles. They want the ability to cheaply acquire as many guns as they desire as easily as possible. Such proposed regulations would require minimal licensing and background check fees, and a time period prior to pick up of the purchase. It is a minimal cost that is worth paying in order to protect our nation against gun violence. It is my belief that these regulations will protect America from gun violence, and save lives. According to recent polls, more than 90% of Americans agree with additional regulations. Let’s pray that Washington agrees as well and follows up with a meaningful bill to help stop unnecessary deaths.