One of the current demands from gun control advocates is to raise the age to purchase a rifle or shotgun, from 18 to 21. This idea became popular after the mass murder incident at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. The assailant, who kind of looks inbred, was 19 years old and a former student of the school. And due to his age, people have demanded that the federal government increase the minimum age to purchase long guns (shotguns or rifles) to 21. I am pretty certain that this is not a serious attempt to prevent mass shootings. I think it is just another example of a reactionary, illogical response to a shocking event, for a lot of people. But for those in political office, I believe it is a near-transparent excuse to push us closer towards a government monopoly on force.
Let’s break this situation down a little to show you how dumb it is:
Conditions of the situation
•A person commits a crime with gun.
•That person was 19 years old.
•You can’t buy a handgun from an F.F.L. until age 21 (this data point stands out to some people).
Response to the situation
Anti-Gun Person: I know how we could have stopped that person from doing that crime!
Anti-Gun Person: We just have to increase the buying age, to an age that is older than the assailant’s age. Let’s pick 21 because you can’t buy handgun till 21 and this is a convenient number given this situation! If the age to buy a handgun was 23 then they would be calling to raise the age to 23.
Extending This Logic: Faithfully interpreting this line of reasoning as true, one must call to increase the buying age to 200. That way no one can commit crimes with a gun. If you want to save lives, then why not go with the sure thing and stop “gun violence” all together?!
Why would to aim for anything less.
Extending This Logic Even Further: Following this call to action, we must now stay ideologically consistent. Now, we may as well raise the age to drive, buy alcohol, buy tobacco, buy power tools, live on your own, consent to sex, buy fireworks, consume graphic content, etc, etc, etc… Raising the age limits to do risky things will save a lot of people all the trouble that comes along with being a victim of crime or being affected by an accident. Yay! We are preventing suffering!
Joking aside, this a ridiculously weak idea that serves as a nearly transparent veil for the hate of individual sovereignty regarding gun ownership. After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, politicians where telling people we need to raise the age to 21. Usually, it was followed by a claim insinuating that people between the age of 18-20 can’t be trusted with rifles, which then means people who are 21 can be trusted. This statement is pretty much worthless and doesn’t really need to be scrutinized to see all the faulty reasoning it holds. Examining the people who support this claim would likely point out a boatload of hypocrisy and cognitive disharmony. But I digress. For one, very few mass shootings are committed by someone under the age of 21. Vox.com even agrees with me. And two, mass shootings, are extremely rare. According to this group of gun control supporters, 848 people were killed and 339 were injured between 2009 and 2016 in mass shootings in the U.S.. Also, let us not forget that nearly all murders (other violent crimes likely follow the same trend) involving guns utilize handguns over rifles. So best case scenario, if all murders with rifles were eliminated by raising the age to 21, then a total of 374 people per year would be saved out of the 15,000 total murder victims. Of course, this wouldn’t happen because laws aren’t magic and human nature isn’t that cooperative. But it all comes down to rifles, particularly AR-15’s, being are lot more scary-looking than pistol or thus they are more powerful topics for pushing an the idea of civilian disarmament.
You might think, “Hey, they are just trying to save lives”. To that I respond; “these people need to stop pretending they are only interested in savings lives”. I believe gun control advocates truly see gun ownership as a great sin or as massive character flaw and this is the reason they fight for gun control. If saving lives was their sole objective then there are a lot of other things they should be tackling. Without even discussing the moral reprehensibility that comes along with enforcing victimless crimes, like gun control, here are some things that are more fatal than murders with guns. So, if keeping people from dying really is your only cause then here you go…
Bad driving – Number of Deaths: 40,327
Heart Disease – Number of Deaths: 635,260
Diabetes – Number of Deaths: 80,058
Accidental Poisoning – Number of Deaths: 58,335
Accidental Falls – Number of Deaths: 34,673
Respiratory diseases – Number of Deaths: 154,596
Medical Mistakes – Estimated Number of deaths: 250,000
Murders Committed with Guns – Number of Deaths: 11,004
All data applies to the year of 2016 in the United States of America.
With these numbers, it now raises some questions: Are these gun control supporters simply shallow virtue-signallers, are they well-intentioned but woefully uninformed people looking to do good, are they just reactionary, are they simple supporters of the government using force to lessen the prevalence of gun ownership? To state it once more. The age of 21 one isn’t special, it just happened to be older than the mass murderer’s age. And, the reason it was called for was because there was a mass shooting and mass shootings are shocking and unsettling, so people who are sentimental and who lack a healthy skepticism of government “react” rather than reason.
To end this article, I implore you to not always look to government to solve social issues. Things are not always as simple as they first seem. And for the love of God, do not sacrifice every else’s freedom for your “security”.