Monday, March 3, 2014

Guns Make us Safe

I grew up in NYC where gun laws were pretty conservative, where many would assert, the strictest gun laws in the nation reside. I often questioned NYC’s conservative gun laws when the crime rates were high in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s and was often told by folks like Roy Innis that it was due to the restrictive laws that STOPPED citizens from protecting themselves with legally obtained firearms. In NYC, only the thugs and ruffians with their illegal firearms had the power. It seemed self evident guns made us safe, after all the criminals in NYC seemed safer than us unarmed law abiding citizens. So apparent in fact, that I joined their rank and obtained my own illegal firearm (though I never used it in the commission of a crime).

I was always told that crime rates in the states with liberal gun statutes were safe. Criminals were hesitant to commit crimes where their victims were likely to be armed. Gun advocates cherry picked cities with low crime rates and liberal laws to illustrate that a highly armed populace would ensure a safe public. I have to admit, I swallowed it even though I knew in my heart of hearts that a heavily armed city like NYC would be a living breathing nightmare similar to The Walking Dead, but how could I dispute that guns made us safe?

Having the most liberal gun laws in the nation, the south was laurelled as a safe haven from crime. Citizens grew up with guns; they leaned from a young age to use them, respect them and to protect themselves with firearms. Oddly enough, the overwhelming majority of the illegal firearms in Brooklyn whose origin I was familiar with, originated as legal sales made in southern states with liberal gun legislation. So, while THEIR streets were allegedly safer, their laws made mine in Brooklyn more dangerous.

Fast forward to the 2000, NYC is among the safer cities in the nation with the most restrictive gun laws. How could this be? This flies in the face of everything I was told all of these years by the gun enthusiasts. Fewer guns made us safe?

Arguably sparked by the Columbine shooting in 1999, mass shootings with legally purchased firearms have become commonplace in the new century. After the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, the gun debate and cry for regulations has reached a fevered pitch up. Paranoia of a nationwide gun ban and subsequent confiscation is at an all time high. Stand Your Ground laws are passed, Trayvon Martin gets murdered and I am really starting to doubt that guns make us safer.

Fast forward again to 2014 and I read a news article about the latest crime statistics. The list of the 100 most dangerous cities in the nation shocked me. Astounded me and at a loss of words. 42 of the 100 cities were southern cities in states with liberal gun laws. In fairness, there were also many northern cities… But a great number of them are in northern states with liberal gun laws that rival their southern counterparts. I chose to pick on the southern states to dispel the myth that the southern way of like was one to aspire to, that their gun laws were to be emulated because they made us safer. I call bullshit on this myth. If GUNS make us safe, why are so many of the most dangerous cities in America in states with the most guns?



No comments:

Post a Comment