An old adage maintains that “guns don’t kill people…people kill people”. While one could assert this position and still enjoy neutrality in the debate over gun control, the underlying issues and ongoing debate are far more complex and deserve more research and analysis. This paper provides a closer look at the gun control issue-more specifically, the question of whether or not gun control laws really reduce crime will be coupled with a look at one specific legal mechanism-the Canada Gun Registry, in an effort to shed more light on the topic and reach a well informed conclusion. One Viewpoint- Gun Control Laws are Effective in Reducing Crime
In recent decades, the legal system has stepped forward and instituted a myriad of laws aimed at controlling the sale and possession of guns, in an effort to reduce crime overall. This sounds like a logical step in the right direction on the face, but the true question-are gun control laws effective in reducing crime- is akin to a coin with 2 very different sides. The period that most gun control advocates cite as the beginning of the modern gun control movement is the 1990s, during which many cities created stronger gun laws, enforced existing guns laws more aggressively, and increased the jail sentences for those who broke the gun laws.
The subsequent drop in firearm violence in the United States can fairly be associated with the gun law renaissance as it were- as evidenced by this quote from a pivotal study on the topic: “As recently as 1993, America’s homicide rate was at a near historic high; by mid-1999 it was lower than at any time since the 1960s, and all indications are that it is continuing to fall” (Wintemute, 2000, p. 75).
Compelling evidence that something definitely took place to bring about such a rapid reversal in the amount and severity of crime, which also brings about the issue of the role of guns in the consequences of crimes that do occur. Sources such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have gone on record with studies indicating that when a firearm is used in the commission of a crime, the likelihood of an assault or fatality occurring during that criminal act rises exponentially- nearly 500% to be exact (Wintemute, 2000).