Does it surprise you that only 47% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 17 believe that more gun control will reduce mass public shootings? As John Lott (More Guns, Less Crime) points out, that is something you would be unlikely to learn from the media reporting on the nation-wide demonstrations this past weekend.
No one doubts that most demonstrators around the country who are demanding that we “do something” about guns to make students safer are sincere. But do these students fully understand that every level of government–local, state, federal–failed the students and teachers at Parkland? As American Greatness notes, it’s important that we explain to our children why their demands that we skirt the laws and Constitution are incompatible with self-rule. Our children need to understand the significance of the 2nd Amendment. Instead they are being used as pawns in a progressive strategy to wrest power from the people.
Before we “do something,” isn’t it wise to stop and ponder what is the sensible approach to take. Mr. Lott asks, what will actually save lives and will make America, especially students, safer?
It’s important to understand that the debate isn’t between those who want to end violence and those who support gun rights. Both sides want to end violence. The debate is simply over how best to keep Americans safe.
The Guardian (British) asked students at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High for their ideas on how to keep schools safer. The ideas sound sensible enough, reports Lott, but the reality is “the policies being proposed will either have no effect or even cause harm.”
Here’s Lott at FoxNews.com explaining problems with four of the popular “solutions.” (abridged)
Ban semi-automatic weapons that fire high-velocity rounds?
Lott: An AR-15 rifle shoots the same bullets as a small game-hunting rifle. Both guns fire one bullet at a time, and with the same velocity. The guns merely look different on the outside. AR-15s may resemble military weapons, but they aren’t the same weapons used by soldiers. (They just are scarier looking.)
Require national registration of guns?
Lott: Criminals almost never leave behind guns that are registered to them. In the few cases where guns are left at the scene, it is because the criminals were killed or injured. And these guns are virtually never registered to the person who committed the crime. Many are stolen.
Institute universal background checks and close gun show and secondhand sales loopholes?
Lott: These are actually different words for the same thing. Background checks on private transfers of guns, is the first policy gun control advocates call for after each mass public shooting. But such background checks would not have prevented a single mass public shooting in this century.
Raise the firearm purchase age to 21?
Lott: Of the 64 U.S. mass public shootings since 1998, 10 attacks were carried out by people under age 21 – five by people who were already too young to legally purchase their guns and five where increasing the age limit could make a difference. Even in the five cases where raising the age limit might have conceivably had an impact, it is likely that the shooters could have illegally obtained a weapon, just as many other attackers do.
John Lott offers his ideas on how to more effectively protect children in school. Read more from Mr. Lott here.