In ancient Greece when someone committed a murder the weapon was destroyed because the Ancient Greeks believed that fate was decided by the gods so the murder was not as responsible for the crime as the weapon itself.
Instrumentality when used in reference to weapons is the hypothesis that the increased availability of weapons in a certain area also increases that areas likelihood of weapon based offences.
Essentially the increased availability of guns increases the chances that a criminal will choose a gun as their weapon of choice for committing crimes, not to mention this also increases the range of crimes this criminal can initiate. The result of this is of course the intensification of violence, simply put more guns equals more gun crime (Cook, 1991;
Zimring & Hawkins, 1997).
The relevance of this theory is that the use of guns as opposed to knives is more likely to cause an injury or a death. So if a criminal substitutes a knife for a gun a robbery the likelihood that the victim may be hurt or killed increases because guns cause more serious wounds that knives, they are more effective at long range and they can be used to assault multiple people, not to mention gun accidents are a very real threat.
The instrumentality hypothesis does not in any way suggest that crime will increase because of increased gun availability just that the likelihood that criminals will substitute knives and other weapons for guns will increase thus resulting in more homicides.
There are also theories that suggest that increased gun availability decreases crime because it empowers the general public and discourages criminals from targeting innocent people that could be carrying a gun thus shifting the balance of power if the aggressor is unarmed or using a knife but further complicates things if they too have a gun. This obviously does nothing to address the fact that this will no doubt increase gun related violence as a whole because two guns don’t make a right, you’re just increasing the likelihood of someone being shot and killed.
Gun control is without a doubt a tentative issue which should be dealt with in a way that preserves people’s right to defend themselves but also preserves human life. We live in an age where children use guns to settle arguments, something has to be done, but who’s really at fault?
I think if a child shoots another child, that child has no concept of right and wrong or life and death and the parents need to stop blaming guns for their own failings, the problem isn’t that guns exist it’s that parents are unaware of their children possessing them or that they just don’t care that their child is having problems at school.
Schools try to stop kids bringing guns to schools with metal detectors but that doesn’t deal with the root problem, it’s treating the symptom instead of the disease. Metal detectors just limits shooting taking place in school it doesn’t actually stop them. It’s a cop out. It’s just a way to limit the schools liability and make a school like a prison. They don’t care whether the kids die only that they don’t die on school property.
"Gun violence in and around our schools is simply unconscionable and must end.”
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (CNN. January 31 2013)
It just seems like a PR campaign, not that gun violence should end, just that it should end in schools, surely it should just be ended but obviously they realise that’s impossible.
Vice President Joe Biden talks more thorough Back ground checks, mental health checks, stricter checks at gun shows, penalties for straw purchasers, people who buy guns to give them to other people but why does it take a tragedy to have these issues addressed?
Biden comments on the ban on assault rifles active from 1994 to 2004 emphasising that it may have made policing easier but he goes on to say that assault rifles and the rate of fire aren’t the problem aren’t the problem.
The actual problem lies in magazine capacity, Bide talks briefly on the Connecticut shooting perpetrated by Adam Lanza, stating the high body count was due to the fact he used a gun with a thirty round capacity. “Maybe if he took longer, maybe one more kid would be alive” (Biden 2013)
I personally think both those argument are ridiculous, the rate of fire and the capacity of the gun have nothing to do with gun violence. Banning assault weapons won’t get rid of gun crime, it just means the killers can kill a little bit less. If they can’t get hold of an ak47 they’ll use a shotgun, if they can’t get a shotgun they’ll use a handgun and if they can’t get a handgun they’ll use a knife, if they can’t use a knife they’ll use a fork.
The problem isn’t how efficient America's psychopaths are at killing; the problem is that they’re killing in the first place. We should be trying to prevent school shootings not trying making them nicer, this is not parking tickets we’re talking about, we’re talking about people killing each other, there’s no middle ground there’s life or death, all or nothing. So either ban all guns or don’t bother and try to find a way to stop people losing their minds
I can tell where people are coming from, they think if people didn’t have access to assault rifles they wouldn’t pluck up the courage to go on shootings but Virginia tech is the worst school shooting in American history and the perpetrator of that crime used handguns. So it doesn’t really make a difference, if a crazy person wants to go on a shooting spree he will, so we should be trying to prevent help these people not trying to take their toys.
The registering gun owners makes sense but Executive Vice president of the NRA Wayne LaPierre raises a good point in that it infringes not only on Americans right to bear arms but also on their right to privacy but that’s what this argument boils down to, are you going to give up your freedom/privacy or your guns? The question you should be asking right back is; why should I have to choose between them?
In 1966 Thomas Hamilton, a 43-year-old former Scout leader, burst into the gymnasium of a primary school in the Scottish town of Dunblane.
Hamilton killed 15 children within minutes the 16th died later in hospital. while trying to shield her pupils their teacher, Gwen Mayor, a 44-year-old mother of two, was killed. Hamilton then turned one of his four handguns on himself.
This was one of the worst incidents of gun violence in Britain; it had a massive impact on Scotland, and the rest of the UK and around the world. In the aftermath disgusted residents of Dunblane wanted to know someone like Hamilton was allowed to acquire a gun license. 750,000 signatures were collected in the Up against gun ownership, because of the 1987 Hungerford massacre, in which one lone gunman killed 16 people, Britain developed the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 – which made registration mandatory for people who owned shotguns and banning semi-automatic and pump-action weapons.
A year and a half after the Dunblane massacre, UK law had banned all private ownership of handguns, resulting in Britain having some of the toughest gun laws in the world.
In Britain there has never been a ‘gun culture like in the U.S but there were, in Britain 200,000 legally registered handguns before the ban. Heavy fines to prison terms of up to 10 years were put in place for anyone found in possession of illegal firearms.
"It was one of the most shocking things that has ever happened in this country and it united the country in a feeling that we had to do something," Gill Marshall Andrews, of the Gun Control Network, told CNN. "And I don't think that it would have been possible to make the kind of progress that we have made without that tragedy”
The ban seemed to have no real affect at the beginning, the crimes involving guns in England and Wales actually rose during the late 1990’s peaking at 24,094 offenses in 2003/04. Since the number has fallen each year. According to official crime figures in 2010/11 11,227 offenses were reported.
Despite this Britain’s gun laws have been under constant scrutiny, in 2010 12 people were killed in a four hour shutting spree in Cumbria, northern England.
Peter Squires a member of the Gun Control Network and professor of criminology at Brighton University said there is a small but significant decline in the use of firearms since Dunblane. The figures aren’t everything but "the murder rate has fallen and all the indicators are moving in the right direction."
"Any weapon can be misused in a crime. Gun control will never be a complete solution to events like the mass shooting we saw in Connecticut. The swamp of gun use has not been fully drained and while tighter gun control removes risk on an incremental basis, significant numbers of weapons remain in Britain."
The conclusion is although decreasing the amount of guns or banning certain types of guns may slightly decrease the amount of gun violence, any weapon can be used to commit violence, the root cause of violence is more important than taking away the tools used to commit violence.
“A 14-year-old student suffered a gunshot wound to the head Thursday outside a middle
“A teen who performed at events around President Barack Obama's inauguration was shot to
death in Chicago this week, and now her story has become part of the debate in Washington over gun violence nationwide” CNN. Chicago. 2013. Television
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Shear, Michael. D. “N.R.A Leader Denounces Obama’s Call for Gun Control” The New York
Times January 22, 2013: Print
Wilkinson, P. (2013) CNN Dunblane: How UK school massacre led to tighter gun control.