[The following is mature content and contains disturbing text.] Could gun control have worked if it had been instilled sooner? Maybe. But I believe it’s too late now. Here’s why I think US citizens lose if the government takes away guns.
In an extremely emotion-evoking statement during the democratic debates on September 12, Beto O’ Rourke announced his plan to take away AR-15 and Ak-47 semi-automatic weapons from Americans, should he be elected as president of the United States.
And he wasn’t subtle about it whatsoever.
Hell yes, we’re gonna take your AR-15;
Hell yeah, we’re going to take your AR-15. If it’s a weapon that was designed to kill people on the battlefield, we’re going to buy it back. pic.twitter.com/cCEWkG6y0X
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 13, 2019
“Hell yes, we’re gonna take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not gonna allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore,” he said.
In fairness to Beto, I would encourage readers to watch his whole statement in the video above in order to completely understand where he is coming from. In his pitch to America, he made it clear that he cannot stand for gun violence any longer.
He is sick of it, and so is everyone else. Something has to be done about the shootings that keep occurring. But is forcibly taking guns from US citizens the best way to solve the problem? I would argue that it isn’t. Bear with me.
I want to make my position clear, first: I would enthusiastically give up every gun I have if it meant people would not fall victim to mass shootings again. And I’m sure every gun owner I know would do the same. As a matter of fact, I know that to be true.
But taking guns away — when there are already so many out there — is not safe, and I believe it would lead to far more violence than what we are currently seeing. I’ll explain my reasoning in a second.
First, it is important to note that while O’ Rourke only mentioned the AR-15 and the AK-47 — what have come to be known as assault weapons — this could easily extend to all guns being banned. You see, the AK-47 and the AR-15 are both semi-automatic weapons.
What that means is that they shoot one bullet at a time. Squeeze the trigger one time, one bullet shoots. They are not machine guns. They are more like the deadlier version of a pistol. comparable, but different.
A hollow-point .45 pistol can do tons of damage as well. The differences between a pistol and a semi-automatic rifle are that the rifle is easier to shoot accurately, as it has a longer barrel. Rifles, in many cases, have higher-capacity magazines as well.
In that sense, rifles are more lethal. But the point is that, at the end of the day, this proposed ban really could be a threat to all semi-automatic guns. And to this point, Beto has already changed his mind once on guns. Last year, O’ Rourke said, “If you purchase that AR-15, if you own it, keep it. Continue to use it responsibly.”
A stark contrast from what he said on September 12.
For now, he is singling out semi-automatic rifles, but time will tell if he stays on that path or broadens to wanting to confiscate more semi-automatic guns in the future. It stands to reason he could really be referring to any semi-automatic weapon. No one really knows what’s going on in his mind but him.
Down to business.
What would happen if the US government were to step in and remove rifles? Or other types of guns as well? US gangs would run us over.
Why do I believe this? I lived in gun-strict Mexico for close to a year in the wake of El Chapo Guzman’s arrest. I lived in what was formerly his territory, as the gangs in the area battled for top position.
The violence of the power vacuum left by his removal consumed the area. What did this look like? Well, a few days after I arrived in Mexico, a body was found by the airport in a cooler, chopped into pieces. That was my “welcome news.”
After that, every few weeks, someone would ride up on a motorcycle and shoot and kill a rival gang member in the neighborhood right next to ours — not even a mile away from where I stayed.
I spent a ton of time in that neighborhood and got to know, very well, many of its residents — and the fear the people had over what was happening was palpable. The atmosphere was thick.
There was a sense of uncertainty in the air, and no one who had any sense about them asked any questions about what was happening, who was responsible, or why a certain person was killed.
In Mexico, to survive, you simply have to stay out of it. Don’t involve yourself, don’t ask questions, and las pandillas will leave you alone. That is the reality of living in gang-infested areas.
And how did gangs become so powerful in Mexico? Because there is no one to stop them — Mexican citizens are basically unarmed.
Mexico is extremely strict on gun ownership. Much, much stricter than in the US. As a result? Authorities have lost control. Gangs run everything.
In all of Mexico, civilians can only buy guns from one, single store, in one location. And a person can only buy one gun. Options are a pistol ranging from .22 – .380 caliber, or a hunting gun: a single-shot rifle or shotgun. Ammunition is also restricted to 200 rounds purchased annually.
So while Mexican citizens can purchase firearms, their options consist only of the weakest guns on the planet. Those pistol rounds are tiny, and a single-shot long-gun is nearly useless for self-defense. So, in essence, this means Mexican citizens are quite helpless to defend themselves against violence.
What happens as a result is that gangs, armed to the teeth, with high powered rifles simply roll up on a neighborhood and take control of the territory. There is absolutely no pushback — no threat to their attempts. The people end up, in essence, invaded, and they become the property of the gang: Sinaloa, Cartel Del Golfo, Tijuana Cartel — they take over, and no one can stop them.
Gangs don’t care about the law; they do as they wish. They threaten communities and rule over them with absolute power. They sell drugs, and they kidnap women and sell them for sex.
Take the story of Daniela, a woman who survived being abducted into this industry.
Per Vice: “Daniela remembers being driven blindfolded through the desert in northern Mexico, thinking she was going to her death. She recalls being told to get out of the van, uncover her eyes, and follow her armed captors into a large house and down into the cellar. She was obliged to watch what was going on, and tried to blank out her mind.
It didn’t work. She still remembers the scene — about five young women bound to pillars, surrounded by men who had paid a lot of money not just to rape them, but to torture and perhaps kill them as well.”
Those are the people who run Mexico now — citizens can’t do a thing about it.
What of the police? Can’t they stop this from happening? They banned guns; that means they can handle the gang violence and protect the citizens, right? They don’t allow citizens to protect themselves, so surely they themselves can keep innocent people safe, right?
No. They are overrun.
Mexican authorities cannot handle the problem on their hands. And to make matters worse, gangs have infiltrated the police now as well. The reason there are so many police departments in Mexico is that they create a new one every time the last one gets infiltrated.
It’s out of hand.
How has it gotten to this point? I believe when evil outguns good — when the firepower of a nation shifts from good people to people who blatantly break the law — gangs spread like cancer. And eventually, that cancer kills society. Not even the government can stop it.
The only people who have high-powered guns in Mexico are people who don’t care about the law. If Beto O’ Rourke, or someone of a similar thought pattern, were elected, the same thing would happen to us.
Now, imagine a US map with our gangs and their territories displayed like that. I believe we may end up having to think that way if our government were to confiscate guns. Whose territory am I in? Where is it safe to be and where is it not? You have to think that way in Mexico, and we would have to do the same thing here if we followed in their legal footsteps.
It would devolve into the US military against gangs, and there is no guarantee the military could handle that challenge.
These are things we must consider.
We already see some of this happening in the states in the US with the strictest gun laws. Chicago has very strict gun laws — and their gang violence is rampant. Another prime example of this is California. Terrible gang violence and extremely strict gun laws. New York is a third example.
Three huge US case studies in what happens when people who disobey the law outgun law-obeying citizens. Why would we want to further empower these gangs by banning weapons for law-abiding citizens? I don’t want skinheads running the US! It’s really that simple.
I can’t stand the thought of it.
Additionally, I believe there are already too many guns out there in the US for a mass confiscation to work.
According to The Washington Post, guns in the US outnumber people by a huge margin. On June 19, 2018, they reported the following: “There are more than 393 million civilian-owned firearms in the United States, or enough for every man, woman and child to own one and still have 67 million guns left over.”
US Assault rifle totals by themselves are hard to measure, but rough estimates have them at about 10-15 million.
Could gun control work if those numbers were smaller? I think it may have a chance. But now, I believe it is too late. There are just too many guns out there. Criminals have access to them whenever they want.
If Beto O’ Rourke, or a future candidate like him, had their way, and a mandatory buyback law of assault rifles passed, people who disobey the law — gangs and people with criminal intent — would hide their weapons and wait.
They would wait until the innocents were left defenseless, and then they would take over.
It is a dog eat dog world out there, and the citizens must be armed, as the second amendment guarantees. Someone who rapes and kills will not obey Beto O’ Rourke’s ban. He will smile as the government disarms his potential victims, and he will strike, uninhibited. This is true on both the small scale and the large scale.
And God forbid the day ever comes when a woman can no longer carry a gun to defend herself.
In combat, guns level the playing field. A woman can easily defend against an attacker if she is trained with a firearm. If she is left without one?
The outcome is horribly different.
On September 7, 2019, In Virginia Beach, VA, an estranged husband attempted to kill his wife. He drove all the way from Florida with zip ties, garbage bags, disguises, and a large wrench. When he arrived at the house, disguised, he hit his stepdaughter in the head with the wrench as she let the dog out.
After this, he went into the house and started to attack the wife. He broke some of her bones, but then the stepdaughter retrieved a firearm and shot him. In the spine. The man is now paralyzed.
In a similar instance, In Houston, on Tuesday, March 26, 2018, a woman in her fifties was attacked by three masked men. They “beat her, broke her jaw and took her wallet from her purse.” But at some point during the fight, she was able to run into her house. The men ran after her, kicking in her window. But the woman retrieved a firearm from the house and began to shoot at them.
They ran away.
These situations happen.
And how would this situation below, when three men attempted to rob a couple — weapons in hand — have played out were it not for the weapon the woman had?
How would this woman below have fared?
If those women weren’t allowed to have guns, what would have happened? How would the story have ended?
I rest my case.