“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” That quote is taken from the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Gun control laws are some of the biggest issues facing politicians today. There are some politicians that call for very loose gun control laws, while others want to eliminate guns from private citizens’ use completely. If lawmakers would eliminate the Second Amendment, the outcome would be very negative, even catastrophic. Strict gun laws are more harmful than some politicians think.
If a madman would enter a school with a fully loaded handgun and start shooting, what would the after effects be? A lot of people would say stricter gun control laws. Fewer guns, in their minds would lower the crime rate. However that is the exact opposite of what happened in Scotland.
On --March 13, 1996, 43 year old Thomas Hamilton entered a school in Dunblane, Scotland, with a handgun. He proceeded to make his way to the gym of that school where a group of students was playing a game. Hamilton opened fire on the group students. Sixteen children and the teacher were killed instantly. Twelve other kids were taken to the hospital where one died of his gunshot wounds (“1996: Massacre in Dunblane School Gym”).
Following the shooting, later known as the Dunblane Massacre, citizens in the United Kingdom wanted swift action to prevent another shooting. The Snowdrop Campaign was a petition that called for a total ban on handguns in the United Kingdom. Within six weeks of introduction, the Snowdrop Campaign gained more than 705,000 signatures (“Snowdrop Campaign”).
Prime Minister Tony Blair introduced the “Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act of 1997”, a few weeks later (“Snowdrop Campaign”). The bill passed Parliament with a majority. A total ban of handguns went into effect.
Licenses were required for rifles and handguns over .22 caliber, since 1920 (“Gun Laws). Licenses for shotguns came in 1967 (“Gun laws”). With the introduction of “Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act of 1997”, .22 caliber handguns were banned. One hundred sixty-two thousand newly illegal guns were handed over to authorities after the ban. Officials estimate that there are still 250,000 illegal firearms in the United Kingdom (Stossel).
However, the new ban on handguns had unintended consequences. Before the law took effect, in 1995 the robbery rate was 1.4 times higher than the United States (“Gun laws”). That same year, the British assault rate was more than double America’s (“Gun laws”).
“From 1998 to 2005, after the law took effect, the number of deaths and injuries from handguns rose 340%” (Beck and Balfe 53). Street crime increased 47% between 1999 and 2000. In a June 2000 interview, CBS news reporter Dan Rather proclaimed Great Britain as “one of the most violent urban societies in the western world” (“Gun Laws”).
After looking at the catastrophe in England after the terrible handgun laws were passed, the negative effects of gun control got worse. For example, Japan is awful in their gun law execution. Canada isn’t too bad, but Italy’s statistics are horrific.
In Japan, rifles and handguns are prohibited. Shotguns are very strictly regulated. Japan has the strictest gun control laws in the world. The suicide rate averages 90 deaths per day. Crime rates have been rising for the past 15 years. The number of shooting crimes in Japan doubled between 1997 and 1998 (“Gun laws”).
A 1934 law required registration of all handguns in Canada (“Gun laws”). Their crime rate has risen since that law took effect. In Germany, it is illegal to have a gun ready for use in any citizen’s home (“Gun laws”). The number of gun related killings rose 76% from 1992 to 1995 (“Gun laws”). Italy has the harshest gun laws in all of Europe (“Gun laws”). Even with those regulations, Italy’s southern provinces have over 1000