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? 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. In the same way giving the college professors guns is just adding to the problem, as I’ve displayed through this essay more gun’s increasing the likelihood of serious injury, the positives of deterrence do not outweigh the negatives of serious injury and death. In short; when guns are the problem more guns are not the solution.
“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
Memoli, Michael. A. “Biden Presses for Action on Gun Measures” L.A Times January 26
Shear, Michael. D. “N.R.A Leader Denounces Obama’s Call for Gun Control” The New York
Times January 22, 2013: Print