The Connecticut Shooting: An Argument for the English Model?

by tylercook on February 28, 2013

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Gun control has always been a sensitive subject with many people in the United States. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows all U.S. citizens to keep and bear arms. Even though the world is a much different place than it was when that Amendment was passed over 200 years ago, people in America still consider the ability to own a gun as one of their most sacred rights.

The gun debate

Whenever there is a mass shooting, the topic of gun control is inevitably brought up in the media. Politicians are forced to weigh in. The Democrats usually being in favor of stricter gun restrictions. The Republicans are usually fierce supporters of gun rights. In these situations, it is only a matter of time until The National Rifle Association (NRA) makes its presence felt. With one of the strongest lobbies in Washington, the NRA has many politicians under their thumb.

Sandy Hook massacre

Adam Lanza’s massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 14, 2012, brought the topic to a level that had never been seen before. This is because of the 26 people killed by Lanza, 20 were children ages six and seven. There had been many mass shootings in the U.S. before this, but none targeted people this young. The gun control debate was started not only because of the people Lanza killed, but the guns he used to kill them. He used assault rifles that are capable of firing rounds of ammunition at a rapid rate. There are people that believe that while U.S. citizens should have the right to own guns, assault weapons like the kind used in the massacre should be banned.

The English model

The ownership of handguns and assault weapons is completely banned for private citizens in England. This is similar to China, while countries such as Canada, Singapore, Japan and Australia have laws that make it very difficult to own a gun. Whenever the gun debate heats up, anti-gun people will often point to England and its lack of gun violence. When compared to the U.S., it is true that England has less gun crimes per capita. However, it is not like England’s laws have completely eradicated gun crime. The criminal element still has ways of smuggling guns into the country. People who are already criminals have no qualms about committing one more crime by using a gun. After all, what is the difference if they have one more charge if they end up getting arrested?

Banning guns will not help

The simplistic way of thinking is to believe that all gun crime will magically disappear if guns are made illegal for people to own in the U.S. However, cocaine, heroin and other lethal drugs have always been illegal. Even though the penalties for possessing and distributing these drugs are severe, the drug trade is still a booming business in the U.S. The fact that drugs like these are illegal has not made it difficult for people to obtain them. With so many guns already in the U.S., it would not be difficult for people to still purchase them with relative ease.

The criminal element

Criminals will still have guns if they are made illegal. That is why they are called criminals. The English model of gun control will not work here. The U.S. is already too far down the path in terms of the right to own a gun. To suddenly take that away would cause mass anarchy. We need only look back to the Prohibition era to see what could happen. The sale of alcohol was completely illegal in the U.S. from 1920 to 1933. This resulted in a large black market for alcohol run by organized crime.

The English model makes it impossible for people to defend themselves. With the amount of crime in the U.S., people need to have guns. In American culture, it is a way of life.


Felix Brenner is a freelance writer based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Those interested in recreational marksmanship may want to view the shooting ranges at this address.




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