Greetings! As part of CNMS 105 I am to write a letter to the Editor of the Beacon.
And so here it is;
I chose to focus this letter upon the article by Ashley Berry titled “Let’s Rethink
This?” At the risk of sounding too critical I feel the need to point out a few problems with
this article. First, I’d like to say that I am sort of moderate upon “gun control.” When a
person was walking around campus with a petition to place some kind of back ground
check upon gun purchases I hesitantly and with some reserve did sign the petition.
However, I cannot really say one way or another weather signing it was a good or a bad
thing to do – I’m literally on the fence upon the issue of background checks in connection
with gun control.
However, I do not believe in the banishment of guns as a way to bring about peace
on Earth. As such, I’d like to point out the logical fallacies that were rife throughout this
article. The author uses post hoc arguments to prop up the conclusion that loose gun
control creates crime. There are a few anecdotes cited as reasons the new law reducing
gun control will somehow lead to more gun related deaths. For example:
“…Just two days before the law would go into effect…someone
was threatening other shoppers with a gun. The police arrested the man
who was carrying a loaded .45 caliber handgun… It seems safe to
assume that he did this with malicious intent.”(Berry)
For one thing, this happened before the law was passed to cannot be included as
an outcome of relaxed laws and also, it does not say in this article weather or not this gun
was legal or illegal. Either way, it does not support the conclusion that less gun control
equals more gun violence. If the gun was legally sold under the previous more stringent
laws than it proves the failure of those laws to prevent someone using a gun for ill
intended purposes. If the gun is illegal, then it proves that laws do not prevent criminals
from committing crimes with guns.
This article also assumes that this law will create wide spread changes in behavior.
This same argument has been used to prop up anti-marijuana smoker laws for decades.
People really fell for this idea that if marijuana was legalized hordes of people who were
only stopped by its illegal status would come out of the woodwork and become useless
stoners. This stoner apocalypse never happened and neither will a sudden gun crisis
because of relaxed background checks. Under the previous regime there were already
people with concealed weapons permits sitting next to you at a movie theatre.
“This means that every time you are at the movies, driving down
the street…you can know that the person sitting next to you could be
This scenario was the same before the new laws and it is the same after. New
criminals will ill intent will not metastasize and run out and buy guns with which to break
into apartments and shoot girls just because of a relaxed concealed carry law. Criminal
ignore laws so laws will not control their use of guns. Laws can only really affect these
people after the fact with punishment for the crimes they commit.
The article also cites the unfortunate story of the Richardsons who tragically lost
their daughter to gun violence. The knee jerk reaction is to restrict gun sales. However,
this is a faulty logical conclusion. A then B does not mean A necessarily caused B. In this
article it is assumed that if someone was shot and the shooter refuses to say where he got
the gun, then the faulty conclusion that the shooter got the gun legally, and would not
have gotten the gun illegally is presented. There is no proof here that gun control laws
has any affect whatsoever on this unfortunate event either for good or for bad. What
would have been nice here is some hard statistics from known sources correlating
illegally procured guns with illegal uses of guns. Is it true that only legally obtained guns
are used for crime? Or vice versa? What really is the relationship between the status of a
gun and what is inevitably done with it? I’m sure there are thousands of guns that were
not used to shoot someone every day regardless of where they came from. I really do
believe that when all guns are criminalized then only criminals will have guns. By their
nature criminals ignore laws.