America Doesn’t Have a Gun Problem – It has a Culture Problem

I was just told that law abiding gun owners are responsible for, and I quote, “100% of mass killings and most of the murders in the US.”

That’s interesting. So I suppose that law abiding drivers are responsible for all drunk driving deaths? I suppose America needs to ban all automobiles because law abiding citizens are to blame for drunk drivers! Or maybe we should ban alcohol instead, because no one can obtain alcohol when prohibition is in effect. Oh wait…

Let’s get a reality check on guns in crime.

The vast majority of guns used in crime are obtained illegally. (Here is a nice overview with sources proving that.) The long and short of it is simple, guns obtained legally are done so by law abiding citizens who don’t commit major crimes. Since criminals, be definition, don’t obey the law – criminals will continue to use guns whether they are legal or not.

The counter argument is that if all guns are banned, criminals won’t be able to obtain guns, but let’s think about that for a moment. The illegal drug Meth is available in plenty all over the USA. It is made from highly regulated and highly controlled substances. But now America is expected to think that successfully banning an object that can be easily made with a 3D printer and some metal will be difficult to obtain? For that matter, forget a 3D Printer, it is possible to make a shotgun with PVC pipe and a nail.

Gun control advocates love to point to Australia as a beacon of gun control utopia. However, as time has shown us, “gun violence” is on the rise even on that island continent. In a recent article from The Age in Australia, the city of Melbourne has become a gun city. With gun violence, and all violence, on the rise, and illegal guns flooding the city – Australian’s are facing dangers they cannot defend against. Criminals don’t obey laws – so why would they obey a gun prohibition law?

Now let’s look at law abiding gun owners.

Firearms are used about in crime 300,000 times a year in crime. Firearms are also used 500,000 to 3,000,000 times a year in lawful self defense. It is a plain and simple fact that firearms are used more often to prevent crime and save lives than they are used in crime.

Furthermore, conceal carry permit holders are literally more law abiding than the police. Specifically, CHL holders have a conviction rate of .3% while police have a conviction rate of 2% in the states of Texas and Florida. That means conceal carry license holders are six times less likely to be convicted of a crime than police officers. I do NOT mean this as a bash on our brave police officers, but rather to illustrate that the vast majority gun owners are very law abiding and are not to be blamed for the actions of criminals.

Acts of mass violence are stopped by law abiding gun owners more often than most people think. Yes. It’s true, despite what the media says, or rather, doesn’t say. Here’s 12 instances where mass shootings were stopped by good guys with guns before they got worse.

Don’t forget, the average national police response time is 11 minutes. Furthermore, in 1981, there were 168,881 crimes of violence for which police had not responded to within an hour. Police aren’t everywhere at once, can you wait for them? Remember when SWAT was told to stand down during the DC Navy Yard Shooting?

Crime happens with or without a specific inanimate object.

Just look at recent terrorist attacks. The Nice, France truck attack. The Boston Marathon bombing that used a pressure cooker. The mass stabbing with 33 dead and 143 wounded in China. And so much more.

Evil exists in the world because of people – not because of an inanimate object. Humans do not need guns to commit acts of mass violence.

Both guns and law abiding citizens are not the problem.

Violence is a culture issue. Violence exists no matter what tools are available or difficult to obtain. Violence and crime is a result of poverty, poor upbringing, and other issues of the mind. A gun does not create crime – a human creates crime.

It is up to us as a society to better ourselves not by blaming an object, but by looking at ourselves and fix the issues of the heart and mind.

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Brian Purkiss
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Brian Purkiss is a firearms instructor, competitive shooter, proponent for individual liberty and Second Amendment rights, and a web developer. He enjoys competing in and organizing Run and Gun Competitions, as well as shooting in USPSA, Outlaw matches, and 3 Gun.