Causal Rewrite — KevinBacon

Gun Laws: A Hit or Miss on Mortality and Crime Rates

As humans we are always looking for the fastest and easiest solutions to our problems, when it is possible to do so. This human characteristic pertains to the case of gun control. Anti-gun activists believe that with more gun laws and stricter policies, crime rates, murders, and homicides, where a gun was the weapon, will decrease. However these individuals have failed to see that there is no correlation between gun laws and crime. Gun policies such as not being able to own a rifle or handgun, and restrictions on the amount of weapons one can own do not stop crime. They fail to improve society and by no means put an end to violent crimes, murders, and homicides.

By definition criminals are individuals who disobey the law. Is it really plausible to believe that once a gun control law is passed, such as you cant own or carry a handgun, that these criminals will listen to this law. If these lawbreakers are robbing banks and murdering people with guns, they have already gone far enough, and will not pay any mind to these gun laws. A clear indication of this behavior is seen in the article, “How Criminals Get Guns,” by Dan Noyes. Towards the end of the article Noyes states that about 8% of the 124,000 retail gun dealers in the United States have sold handguns that were used in a crime. Where is the other 98% hidden then. Noyes answers this in his article when he describes the illegal means criminals take to get guns. They can obtain them through straw purchases, corrupt at home and commercial gun dealers, and of course in the underground market.

Not every single crime that happens in the world is recorded. It is nearly impossible to do so, and this means many crimes go unreported. Imagine the sheer amount of murders, and homicides that occur out of the public’s knowledge. There is a chance the murder weapon was a gun, and there is also a chance that it was not a gun. How do we know that a stricter gun law has decreased the mortality rate of some nation? Even if the numbers look like they are in favor of the gun law, not all the data is there. There is a chance that countless crimes went unrecorded.

In the article “Police Tactic: Keeping Crime Reports Off the Books,” by Al Baker and Joseph Goldstein, not recording crimes is actually a strategy used to keep the recorded crime rates down. This makes the data look better than it actually is. In addition, Goldstein and Baker list the other reasons to be: “to avoid the dull task of preparing reports; others may fear discipline for errors in paperwork. Sometimes officers run out of time because they are directed to another job.” This article was published by the New York Times and applies to the N.Y.P.D. The amount of unreported crimes has seen a decrease, and has dropped from 4.4 percent in 2000 to about 1.5 percent in 2011. Even though this rate is dropping it still is present in today’s world. This also is just crime that is reported to police. There is almost definitely more crime that occurs “underground” that law enforcement is not even aware of. So how can we account for all the murders and homicides caused by guns? The simple answer is we can’t. Police also might have their own viewpoints on gun control and gun laws. It is a police officers responsibility to make sure the citizens he is in charge of are safe. Sometimes in order to achieve this safety, the citizens should be armed. A police officer is a figure of public safety and 95% of the time they are carrying a firearm. This viewpoint of gun safety might lead an officer not to report that someone owns a gun, because it is for protection and safety, rather than for criminal means.

Implementing stricter policies wouldn’t affect those who carry out unknown crimes. If the police do not know about the crime committed, why would it matter if the suspect followed the gun laws in use? Disregard to these gun laws comes in its strongest form when we look at another underground aspect. This is the underground gun market. Just like bootlegging alcohol during prohibition, the underground gun market was established under the circumstances that made it harder to legally own a weapon. Gun laws do not pertain to these markets, and the weapons distributed in them are unregistered. According to the article “Underground Gun Markets,” across America the vast majority of criminals do not purchase their weapons through a legal process.

Since gun laws are aimed at making society safer by decreasing the availability of guns, they could almost be considered useless when the criminals committing crimes are buying guns illegally. According to the book “Can Gun Control Work?” by James Jacobs, if more guns resulted in more crime then the United States would have the highest suicide rate and a higher homicide rate. However this correlation can be easily refuted. Millions of households around the U.S own firearms, and is more than most countries in the world. However, our crime rates are not as high as some of these other nations. For example, in the article “Gun Violence: How the U.S Compares With Other Countries” by Nurith Aizeman, Brazil, a country with far less guns than the United States, had about 19.34 violent gun deaths per 100,000 people. This was more than 5 times as much as the U.S’s 3.85 deaths. Also, in other Latin American countries such as Colombia and Guatemala the amount of violent gun deaths per 100,000 people reached over 20 persons.  This trend shows there is no need for strict gun laws, where they would have no effect on a country where most of the population is responsible with their firearms. There is no relation between gun laws and crime rates, because the crime rates are not dependent on the amount of weapons in circulation, instead they rely on the mental states of who obtains them.

If there had to be any correlation between gun control and violent crimes, interestingly enough, it would be that more gun control causes an increase in crime rate. This notion is pretty counter-intuitive but it can be clearly seen in some European nations. Many countries in Europe have very strict gun policies, however the crime rates do not match up as one would think they should. The Harvard study “Gun Control is Counterproductive,” shines light on the fact that countries with strict gun laws witness higher murder rates than those who’s laws are less strict. This study focused on nine European nations with the lowest gun ownership rates (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000). The article also states, that these nations had a combined murder rate that was about 3 times greater than nine other nations with the greatest ownership rate of firearms (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000). Now murders and crimes committed throughout the world are not only carried out with the use of firearms. People are killed by knives, and countless other weapons. Crime rates can also be a bit shaky and inaccurate due to countless factors. This study should not prove that gun ownership decreases crime or on other end, increases it. However it should highlight the fact that gun control is ineffective at preventing murder. It is counterproductive and does not benefit society.

The article, “Guns in Other Countries,” provides clear evidence that is in support of rising crime rates are a result of strict gun laws. This article posted on gunfacts.info, debunks the myth that Britain has a low crime rate due to strict gun control. It states that Britain actually has the highest violent crime rate in all of Europe, and even more than the U.S and South Africa. Britain’s violent crime rate for 100,000 residents was about 2,034 instances which is much larger than the United State’s 446 instances. This article goes on to say that about 67% of British residents surveyed said that as a result of rising knife and gun violence, the area they live in was not as safe as it was five years ago. One would think because of the strict gun control policies in England, there would be a reduction in gun crime. According to this article, the driving factors behind gun violence are not legal, they are more culturally influenced.

More gun laws and stricter policies would not help the world’s problem with murder and crime. This is not a viable solution. Instead these ideas would just create more anger and irritability from the side that is pro-gun. This is just fuel for the fire of the debate between pro-gun and anti-gun activists. As unfair as it is, only one side can win this argument. One side will be right, and seeing that gun laws are counterproductive and also upset millions of gun owners, there shouldn’t be more of these laws enacted. Taking a step back from these laws, means that the anti-gun activist side ultimately loses in the game of gun control.

References

Aizenman, N. (2017, October 06). Gun Violence: How The U.S. Compares With Other Countries. Retrieved December 5, 2018, from https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/10/06/555861898/gun-violence-how-the-u-s-compares-to-other-countries

Cook, P. J., Ludwig, J., Venkatesh, S. A., & Braga, A. A. (2005, November 07). Underground Gun Markets. Retrieved October 21, 2018, from https://www.nber.org/papers/w11737

GOLDSTEIN, A. B. (2011, December 30). N.Y.P.D. Leaves Offenses Unrecorded to Keep Crime Rates Down. Retrieved October 21, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/nyregion/nypd-leaves-offenses-unrecorded-to-keep-crime-rates-down.html

Gun Control and Crime in non-US Countries. (2018, May 14). Retrieved December 5, 2018, from http://www.gunfacts.info/gun-control-myths/guns-in-other-countries/

Harvard Study: Gun Control Is Counterproductive. (2018). Retrieved November 4, 2018, from https://www.theacru.org/2007/05/08/harvard_study_gun_control_is_counterproductive/

Jacobs, J. B. (2002). Can Gun Control Work? Retrieved October 21, 2018, from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dpzN711aYlQC&oi=fnd&pg=PR15&dq=why gun control doesn’t work&ots=atIgrSsxHS&sig=aaEDwMulkkBHYhINAg6IBlNV6v8#v=onepage&q=why gun control doesn’t work&f=false

Noyes, D. (n.d.). How Criminals Get Guns. Retrieved December 4, 2018, from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/guns/procon/guns.html

 

Rebuttal Rewrite — Kevinbacon

The Other End of the Barrel: The Side That Sees Correlation Between Gun Laws and Crime Rates

Sometimes it is not so easy to see the other side of an argument. In the case of correlation between strict gun policies and crime rates, there is another side that a light should be shown on. This side argues that if implemented correctly, tighter gun laws can reduce crimes rates, more specifically murder and suicide rates. In the article, “The Research is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives” the author, German Lopez, vouches for the side that believes in the positive effects of gun control. In the article Lopez makes the claim that more guns lead to more deaths. Lopez uses multiple graphs and illustrations to support his side. One of the illustrations he uses shows how there are 29.7 homicides by firearm per 1 million people in the U.S. This is substantially higher than the other countries listed in the chart. Switzerland comes in at second with 7.7 homicides per 1 million citizens. However Lopez only compares European nations to the U.S (with the exceptions of Canada, New Zealand, and Australia). These countries have far less people than the United States, and the citizens of each would most likely own firearms for different reasons. However, if you compare the violent gun deaths in the U.S to other countries as seen in “Gun Violence: How the U.S Compares to Other Countries” by Nurith Aizenman, the U.S’s violent gun deaths per 100,000 people is actually a fraction compared to Brazil, Colombia and other countries. The U.S.’s rate is 3.85 deaths per 100,000 people, this was substantially lower compared the Brazil’s 19.34 and Colombia’s 25.94. One might make the claim, “it is outrageous to compare the U.S to Colombia, a crime stricken country.” However, it is also ridiculous to compare the U.S’s gun caused homicide rates with Switzerland. Each country has a totally different population with different cultures and views. The events that go on in each country will be different, and cannot be compared on the same scale.

Lopez goes on to say that more gun laws will help decrease the U.S’s homicide rates by guns. One key factor, Lopez says, that attributes to the high rates of homicide, is the fact that Americans own the most guns. This heightened availability of firearms leads to a higher homicide rate. The US has the highest rate of gun ownership at 88.8 guns per 100 people. With more guns leaves more room for accidents along with a higher chance of crime. Since America has such an infatuation with firearms the rate of homicides carried out by a firearm should naturally go up. However, adding more gun laws to this mix will not be effective at solving this issue. The obsession Americans have with guns is not something that can be taken away by law. Gun ownership is something our founding fathers stood for, and this can be seen through the second amendment. Many Americans would rather die or be thrown in jail, rather then have their guns taken away. By implementing stricter policies, this will just anger the community who owns firearms. Most people will not listen to these rules. One might now say, “What about background checks to make sure the crazy people do not acquire weapons.” Well these crazy people can still buy guns on in the underground market. Until the government cracks down on the illegal buying and selling of firearms, many people who should not own guns, can buy them. Also, background checks will not decrease the amount of guns currently in the possession of U.S citizens. With more guns, more homicides might occur. This is an indisputable fact, however the way our nation should go about to solve this, is not through stricter gun policies.

In Brazil, researchers put much confidence in the positive results from gun control measures. New policies have been perceived as beneficial towards reducing the violence toll in Brazil. According to the article, “Reductions In Firearm-Related Mortality and Hospitalizations in Brazil After Gun Control,” firearm related mortality declined 8 percent from 2003 to 2004. More than a decade’s time had passed since an improvement like this had occurred. About 5,563 firearm related deaths had been avoided from these new legislations in 2004. The article advocates for these policies passed in the early 2000’s and provides evidence and data associated with the research. According to the article, Brazil has one of the highest homicide rates and about one person is murdered every twelve minutes. About 90% of all homicides that occur in the age group of 15-44 are carried out with a gun. The homicide numbers in Brazil double those of the United States. However, this shows that Brazil is in a different situation than the U.S. The crime rates cannot be compared between the two nations, therefor gun laws would have completely different outcomes in both places. There is a higher amount of overall crime in Brazil than there is in the U.S. In addition more murders are carried out with a firearm in Brazil. This signifies that they have a much larger gun problem than the U.S does. The results of these gun laws might have proved successful in Brazil, but the outcome of these policies in the U.S would most likely be totally different due to cultural and societal differences. Americans take pride and value in the 2nd amendment. This is why many of us own firearms. In Brazil many people need guns to protect themselves from violent people on the streets. The atmosphere in both countries can be polar opposites.

References:   

Aizenman, N. (2017, October 06). Gun Violence: How The U.S. Compares With Other Countries. Retrieved December 2, 2018, from https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/10/06/555861898/gun-violence-how-the-u-s-compares-to-other-countries

De Fátima Marinho de Souza, M., Macinko, J., Pereira Alencar, A., Carvalho Malta, D., & Libânio de Morais Neto, O. (2007, March/April). Reductions In Firearm-Related Mortality And Hospitalizations In Brazil After Gun Control. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.26.2.575

Lopez, G. (2017, October 04). The research is clear: Gun control saves lives. Retrieved December 2, 2018, from https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/4/16418754/gun-control-washington-post

Bibliography — Kevinbacon

1.  Lott, J. R. (2010). “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition.” Retrieved December 1, 2018.

Background: This book provides a deeper look into the correlation between gun control and crimes. It also provides numerous accounts and cases where an individual broke off an attack, or saved their own life by using/brandishing a gun. The novel also includes many pro-gun statistics such as a survey in 2002 indicated that about 95% of the time weapons were used for defense, they only had to be brandished to repel the attacker.

How I used it: This source helped me look at the issue of gun control as, more control means more crime. It took the counterintuitive approach to gun control which helped me support my thesis. I specifically took an example from the book talking about how an elderly woman fended off a criminal with her gun. The criminal was trying to break into her home, and when he saw she had a firearm he turned around and ran away. This source helped me demonstrate that with stricter gun control, this old lady might of not had the means to defend herself and would have been a victim to a burglary or even a murder.

2. Jacobs, J. B. (2002, September 12). “Can Gun Control Work?” Retrieved November 28, 2018.

Background: This novel provides a lot of background information on violent crimes such as multiple killings and rampage killers. This source also pushes the idea that most crimes are committed without a firearm in the U.S, so the problem isn’t the easily accessible gun market. The source goes on the provide many charts and statistics relating violence and crimes in the U.S to other factors such as poverty, and non gun-related factors.

How I used it: I used this source in my research paper to highlight a correlation that does not exist. In Can Gun Control work the author talks about how if more guns results in more crime then the United States would have the highest rate of suicides and homicides. However, we do not have the highest rates compared to other nations.

3. Stossel, J. (2007, April 26). “Gun Control isn’t Crime Control.” Retrieved November 28, 2018.

Background: This article gives a first hand account on how the UK passed a very strict gun control law, banning citizens from owning basically any type of handgun. This law however, did not immediately remove all of the handguns in circulation in England. There is still an estimated 250,000 handguns still in the UK and now that they are banned only the criminals will be in possessions of these weapons.

How I used it: This will help my hypothesis because it demonstrates that enforcing strict gun laws and taking away the weapons of civilians, just leads to the criminals being the only people owning weapons. How can the average citizen defend themselves against weapons when they have none? No one wants a society where only the outlaws have weapons. Within my essay I included this source to explain exactly how gun control is not the same as crime control. I used the shooting of 16 kids in Dunblane, England. This tragic event was recorded in Gun Control isn’t Crime Control. The U.K had passed very strict gun control laws but it did not stop this fatal shooting from happening.  

4. Kopel, D. B. (1988, July 11). “Trust the People: The Case Against Gun Control.” Retrieved November 12, 2018.

Background: Gun control revolves around the false idea that the average American citizen should not be trusted with a firearm. The article goes on to compare gun laws to the violation of our rights, such as if search and seizure was violated. It also victimizes those who need weapons for self defense the most, such as African Americans and women. 

How I used it: This source was not very useful when writing my research paper and I did not include it in my essay. However it did give me some insight on the different types of gun laws that can effect individuals such as, licensing, waiting periods, and bans. Also it lead me to realize, gun control leads to the victimization of people who would most likely be effected by crimes. Banning guns might be as effective as banning alcohol to lower the number of drunk driving accidents. Many times when individuals are told not to do something, they do it anyway, and with consequences. This article made me ask myself, who is more trustworthy, the people or the government? Overall, this article helped me develop my thoughts on this issue, even though it wasn’t utilized as a source in my research paper. 

5. Harvard Study: Gun Control is Counterproductive.” (2018). Retrieved November 28, 2018.

Background: This study highlights the fact that there is no correlation between violent crime and gun ownership. In fact, there is a negative correlation, where more gun ownership leads to lower murder and suicide rates. A handful of European nations, who had a lower rate of gun owners was compared to other nations with more gun owners. The murder rate was three times higher in the countries who had less citizens with firearms. Taking away gun ownership can cause a nation, such as Russia, into totalitarian and police state. These kind of environments can be more dangerous for citizens.    

How I used it: I used this Harvard study in my essay to demonstrate how more gun control leads to more crime. I utilized the portion of this source discussing how strict gun laws have effected the murder rates in 18 European countries. There were 9 countries with lenient gun laws and 9 with strict ones. The strict ones showed a higher murder rate than the countries who had more lenient laws. This supports the claim that tighter guns laws lead to higher murder rates.   

6. De Fátima Marinho de Souza, M., Macinko, J., Pereira Alencar, A., Carvalho Malta, D., & Libânio de Morais Neto, O. (2007, March/April). “Reductions In Firearm-Related Mortality And Hospitalizations In Brazil After Gun Control.” Retrieved November 28, 2018. 

Background: In this article a study was conducted in multiple cities and state capitals in Brazil. The correlations between newly established gun laws and homicide and hospital rates are analyzed. This article accredits the 8% drop in firearm mortality rates to new gun laws passed by the Brazilian government.

How I used it: This article was extremely beneficial for the development of my essay. I utilized this article both to support my thesis and in the rebuttal section of my essay. In order to support my thesis I first examined and then refuted the information found in this study. Yes, the homicide rates had decreased by about 8.2% but the data was only recorded in major cities and capitals. It also only took into consideration crimes reported by the police. The police, especially in a country like Brazil, do not report every crime and many crimes go unseen by the public. In my rebuttal I used this source to compare the United States to Brazil. Two totally different environments call for totally different crime outcomes. They simply can not be compared thoroughly, therefore the fact that this article vouches for the effectiveness of gun control laws is invalid.

7. Baker, A., & Goldstein, J. (2011, December 30). “Police Tactic: Keeping Crime Reports Off the Books.” The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2018.

Background: In this article written for the New York Times, instances where citizens reported a crime, but the crime was never taken serious by authorities are discussed. The reasons for why the police would not record some crimes are also brought up. These include; it wasn’t important enough, the police did not want to go through the trouble of filing the paper work, and the suspect could not be identified.

How I used it: In my essay I use this article in support of my thesis that, more gun control does not lead to less crime. A big factor in determining the Mouton of crime that occurs is figuring out first if the crime was even recorded. I bring in examples from the text that demonstrate why police may fail to record crimes that occur. Officers can get held up doing other tasks for their job, they might not want to file the paper work, or they might see the crime as insignificant in the grand scheme of their job. Also I pull facts from the text such as the rate of unreported crimes by the NYPD in 2000 was 4.4%.

8. Cook, P. J., Ludwig, J., Venkatesh, S., & Braga, A. A. (2005, November 07). “Underground Gun Markets.” Retrieved November 28, 2018.

Background: This working paper describes the economic aspects of the underground gun market by interviewing those involved, and by looking at statistics. Over 500,000 guns are stolen each year for the underground market. This research was conducted in the city of Chicago. Those interviewed consisted of, gang members, gun dealers, professional thieves, prostitutes, police, teens and school security guards. These first hand accounts prove successful in achieving relevant information and insight on the illegal gun trade. This paper is an example of how criminals will go to any extent to buy guns.

How I used it: This article was useful when arguing against gun control laws. With strict gun policies comes the development of this underground market. When criminals can get their hands on guns due to tighter laws, they turn towards illegal means to obtain them. This is a direct consequence of gun laws. When criminals get their guns from these markets it is very tough and sometimes even impossible to track down and locate the weapons.

9. Cook, P. J., & Ludwig, J. (2004, September 06). “The Social Costs of Gun Ownership.” Retrieved November 28, 2018.

Background: This paper takes a look at the many sides regarding gun control. It takes a look at many hypothesis’s such as more guns, more crime, and more guns, less crime. It also discusses how many people have gun ownership in the US and how most guns are owned by citizens who have four or more guns. It also looks at the distribution of guns, where most people own guns in middle class, average income, suburban areas. The social cost of household gun ownership is anywhere between $100 to $600 in the United States.

How I used it: I did not incorporate this source into my research paper. However, it did lead me to other helpful sources such as The Underground Gun Market. Both these sources were situated on the same website. To add, this paper showed me what types of people owned the most guns in the US. This helped me develop my ideas on how guns are important for safety and protection, especially for women and minorities in cities.

10. Azrael, D., Cook, P. J., & Miller, M. (2001, October 01). “State and Local Prevalence of Firearm Ownership: Measurement, Structure, and Trends.” Retrieved November 15, 2018.

Background: This paper compared suicide rates with firearms to other crimes and trends. It also shows that the geographic ownership of guns in the United States has remained stable over many years. This means that people are consistently owning and buying guns. This is because of social reasons and also traditions. This paper also attempts to measure the effects of gun prevalence in the United States. It does this through surveys which are issues through the state and locally. National surveys are also used but tend to be more spotty and less accurate.

How I used it: I did not include this paper within my research paper. It was interesting to see the effects of gun prevalence in the United States, and how it impacts homicide and suicide rates.

11. Lombardo, C. (2017, November 08). “10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Gun Control.” Retrieved November 28, 2018.

Background: This article takes a look at both sides of gun control. It lists 10 advantages and 10 disadvantages of gun control. Some of the disadvantages included were, people fear guns because they do not understand them, and the value of human life isn’t changed from gun control. Many people are not instructed about guns and gun safety and just looking at a gun installs fear in their minds. When properly taught how to handle a gun it becomes less deadly, and frightening. Also, people who value human life less than the average person wont be persuaded to stop their deadly actions through gun control laws. Yes, it might make it harder for someone to acquire a gun, but they still have that absurd tendency within them to wrongfully take someone’s life.

How I used it: I used the disadvantages to gun control to support the argument in my research essay. I specifically looked at the last listed disadvantage which claims that gun control won’t change the way some people value human life. In other words, killers will not be persuaded to stop killing people if a gun control law is passed. Some people have this instinct to kill embedded within them, and it is more of a psychological issue. Gun control doesn’t stop these killers, it only slows them down. This disadvantage supports my claim that gun control does not affect crime rates.

12. Aizenman, N. (2017, October 06). “Gun Violence: How The U.S. Compares With Other Countries.” Retrieved December 2, 2018.

Background: This source looks at how the United States ranks against other countries in the world when it comes to violent gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2016 (United States ranks the 31st highest in gun violence). It gets the data from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation database. This large database tracks the amount of deaths in every country, every year, by any possible cause of death. This article also depicts using multiple illustrations, how the United States compares to Africa and the Middle East’s violent gun death rates. The more indication of socioeconomic success present in a country, usually the lower the rate of gun violence will be. Examples of these socioeconomic success factors are income per person and average education level.

How I used it: This article was a useful source when constructing my rebuttal for my research essay. This source counter argued claims made by another source that I had used. The other source claimed that the United States had a significantly higher homicide rate from firearms than many other nations. However, this source showed that there are many other countries with much higher firearm induced homicide rates, than the United States. This point is shown through the use of multiple graphs and illustrations. The one graph I utilized showed the United State’s Violent gun death rate per 100,000 people in 2016, as 3.85. Both Brazil and Colombia had much higher rates, Brazil’s being 19.34 and Colombia’s being 25.94. This source helped me argue that there were in fact other countries with substantially higher gun violence rates, who might have also implemented gun control policies.

13. Noyes, D. (n.d.). “How Criminals Get Guns.” Retrieved December 4, 2018.

Background: This source looks at the methods for the illegal buying and selling of firearms. Some of these methods, asides from theft, are; straw-purchases, which is when someone who wishes to remain anonymous has a companion purchase a firearm for them. Individuals do this when they cannot legally buy a gun or want it to remain a secret. Corrupt at-home and commercial firearms dealers are another large source of illegal firearm purchase. Unlicensed street dealers who obtain their firearms through illegal business with dealers who are licensed are also very common. This article also talks about the black market for guns in the United States, and how easy it can be for almost any citizen to acquire a firearm.

How I used it: I used the numerous facts from this source to strengthen the sections of my research paper dealing with the availability of illegal guns. I used each different means of illegal firearm purchase that this article had listed, as well as the fact that only about 8% of our nation’s 124,000 retail gun dealers have sold handguns that were used in crimes.

14. “Gun Control and Crime in non-US Countries.” (2018, May 14). Retrieved December 5, 2018.

Background: This source lists myths and facts pertaining to gun control. It advocates for the idea that there is no correlation between gun control and crime. It looks at the crime rates of many countries, and examines how England in particular has a high rate of crime, but very strict gun laws.

How I used it: The facts and myths listed in this source were useful when incorporated into my essay. I used each fact and myth to further strengthen an develop my points in the essay. The section of this article that focused on Britain’s crime rates and gun control flowed effectively with other sources I found regarding the same information. They all highlighted on the fact that Britain has a very high violent crime rate, and very strict gun policies. Less guns equal more crime.

Reflective — Kevinbacon

Core Value 1. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

Writing truly is a social process. Constructive criticism and edits from our peers and instructors are key factors in the development of writing. Many times it is very useful for a set of fresh eyes to take a look at what we’ve written. More often than not, these reviewers and editors will find new mistakes and possibly help us add more content to our writing. All of this applies to my work, especially in my Causal Argument assignment. Going into this assignment I was unsure what to write about. Writing about the causes and effects pertaining to the effects of gun control on crime proved to be a challenge. However, because of the feedback and comments my professor provided I was able to more effectively demonstrate the causes and their effects. This feedback proved to be helpful and helped me look at the other details pertaining to my hypothesis. To add, the conference my professor and I had was a very beneficial social/interactive process, which helped me further culminate my ideas for the causal argument. This assignment also tackled the exploration, discovery, and development portions of the first Core Value. The causal argument forced me to conduct further research regarding gun control and the causes and effects that follow it. I certainly explored and discovered new sources and viewpoints on the issue. Seeing what many experts and gun owners had to say certainly helped me develop my own ideas and understanding of such a complex issue.

Core Value 2. My work demonstrates that I read critically, and that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities. 

Critical reading might be the most important building block to any writing course. In order to write about new information, one must first read. This critical reading skill is an important skill to posses and helps us stitch different texts together to form arguments and meaning. A piece of my writing work that encompasses this value is my Stone Money Assignment. For this assignment I read Milton Friedman’s “The Island of Stone Money” paper critically and carefully. From there I pieced together aspects of his essay with the concepts I became familiar with in the NPR Broadcast on stone money. These new thoughts seemed extremely abstract to me at first. Each piece of literature touched on the thought of what really constitutes to wealth? Is it just the number one sees on their bank account statement online, or is it the size of the stone they “own” which is currently sitting on the ocean floor? Both the broadcast and the scholarly paper had many parallels pertaining to money. Both pieces of literature also touch on the location and presence of money. In the NPR broadcast, the islanders of Yap believed that even if an individual did not have their large stone with them, they were still wealthy if they claimed to own it. Their stone was located somewhere else at the time. This relates to the concept of the French storing their gold in US banks. The French had not physically held each individual piece of gold in France, but they made claim to it, and therefore it was theirs. These counterintuitive ideas regarding currency certainly changed the way I look at money. By utilizing critical reading, I was able to put both Friedman’s paper and the Stone Money NPR Broadcast into conversation with one another.

Core Value 3. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

An example of my writing which demonstrates the rhetorical analysis of the purpose, audience and context of writing is my Safer Saws assignment. Within this assignment I had to look at multiple sources making different claims on the saw stop issue. I focused on articles that were written for different audiences such as customers, saw manufacturers, and hardware stores. I also evaluated claims made by the saw stop company and it’s creator, Steve Gass. Steve Gass believed that his saw stop technology was revolutionary and should be issued on every saw. However, the manufacturers and policy makers of saws viewed this idea differently. In fact, they all rejected Gass’s safety technology because it would have too many practical and economic implications. This assignment is a perfect example of a multi-sided argument and helped me see the different purposes to an argument. Within the assignment I looked at factual claims made by “The Bosch Tools SawStop Lawsuit” and from “Table Saw Injury Lawyers.” These are just two examples of the different audiences and voices contributing to this issue. To conclude, for this Safer Saws assignment a video was shown in class showcasing the features of Gass’s technology. This visual is an argument demonstrating the safety capabilities of the saw stop and also shows how much faith Steve Gass has put into his technology.

Core Value 4: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

An example of my work which incorporates, locates, and evaluates illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations, is my Visual Rhetoric Assignment. My visual rhetoric assignment strongly incorporates and evaluates illustrations to support my own ideas. The whole purpose of this assignment was to watch a short ad without any sounds, and then to visually describe, in detail, each frame. In order to accurately paint a visual picture in the audiences’ head, I carefully described every aspect of each scene. This included the specific clothes each character was wearing, their facial expressions and body language, and also any objects or scenery noticeable in the background. By meticulously describing the details of each scene, I then could draw conclusions and inferences about the message of the ad. For example, in my ad a boy was pictured lying on the floor of the living room in an awkward position. This position stood out to me as one of a dead body at a crime scene. The boy’s dad then rushes up to him, and shakes him to wake him up. The dad had much urgency in doing so, and these actions made me think of a fatal shooting at a crime scene. Later on in the ad we learn the purpose is about gun safety in family homes. The actions and appearances of each actor in the ad never explicitly tell the audience what they are trying to convey. However I could make the inference that the ad was about some serious type of shooting or loss of life. Just by looking and interpreting the visuals I could draw these conclusions of my own. This further translates in my writing because it has taught me to look at the small details within any type of literature piece, and examine these details carefully because there might be a deeper meaning in them. Sometimes insignificant details can be significant.

Core Value 5. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation. 

With writing comes much ethical responsibility. It is crucial that we give credit to, and cite our sources. This is especially true in academic writing. Not only should we cite our sources to give them credit, but we also have to accurately represent and explain the information they posses, and be careful not to twist around someone else’s message. An example of my work that holds true to these ethical responsibilities is my White Paper assignment. My white paper does exactly what this core value represents. It both accurately cites the various sources I have incorporated in my research essay, and it also briefly explains each source’s ideas and significance. Every source that I have evaluated for my research paper is located in my white paper. I was very careful in making sure that I accurately recorded the meaning of each source and gave the author credit when credit was due. My white paper made it very easy to keep track of all my sources and to make sure I had cited each new piece of information right after I had come across it. Even if the source was not utilized in the final drafts of my research paper, it was still recorded in my white paper.

Research — Kevinbacon

Taking an Aim at Gun Laws

Gun opponents will still claim, without evidence, that more guns equal more violence even though violence statistics and crime rates are so infamously inaccurate that no cause and effect conclusions can be drawn from them. Gun control might hinder some gun violence, but overall, crimes will still be committed through other means. Comparing gun ownership to crime rates is like comparing the number of shop-rites in the U.S to obesity levels. Yes, if there were more stores, food may be more readily available, but that doesn’t affect one’s self control and eating habits which would lead to obesity.

Not every single crime that happens in the world is recorded. It is near impossible to do so, and this means many crimes go unreported. Imagine the sheer amount of murders, and homicides that occur out of the public’s knowledge. This means that there is a chance more gun crimes have occurred than what has been recorded in the books. In the article, “Police Tactic: Keeping Crime Reports Off the Books” written by Al Baker and Joseph Goldsteinnot recording crimes is actually a strategy used to keep the recorded crime rates down. This makes the data look better than it actually is. In addition, other reason for police not reporting every crime can be, “to avoid the dull task of preparing reports; others may fear discipline for errors in paperwork. Sometimes officers run out of time because they are directed to another job.” This article was published by the New York Times and applies to the N.Y.P.D. The amount of unreported crimes has seen a decrease, and has dropped from 4.4 percent in 2000 to about 1.5 percent in 2011. Even though this rate is dropping it still is present in today’s world. This also is crime that is just reported to police. There is almost definitely more crime that occurs “underground” that law enforcement is not even aware of. So how can we account for all the murders and homicides caused by guns? The simple answer is we can’t.

There have been countless research efforts to prove the viability of gun control in countries where the crime rates may be high. Brazil, a very populated country in South America has a very high homicide rate, and has been dealing with gun control for quite some time. A study, in the article “Reductions In Firearm Related Mortality and Hospitalizations In Brazil After Gun Control” by Maria de Fatima Marinho de Souza, was conducted in Brazil to show the effects of multiple new gun control laws on homicide rates. These new laws passed in October 2003 aimed to regulate the amount of firearms coming into the country, make owning unregistered guns illegal, made carrying firearms outside of homes and businesses illegal, enforced background checks, and made the minimum age to buy a gun 25. The experiment was conducted by using a linear time-series regression model to record the data.

 To analyze the impact of the legislation on
firearm mortality, we used a linear time-series
regression approach to model the best-fitting
mortality line based on the historical time series
built from observations from each of
Brazil’s twenty-seven federative units
(twenty-six states and the federal district) for
each six-month period between 1996 and 2004
(18 observations for all 27 federative units =
486 total observations). The equation of this
line was used to predict values and 95 percent
confidence intervals for 2004/2005. Predicted
values were then compared with observed values
for the same period.11 We analyzed city-specific
rates using the same approach, but we
used only the capital city of each state as the
unit of analysis.

Overall the results showed that homicides decreased 8.2 percent as compared to the 2003 levels. There are many inconsistencies with this study. First, this study only focuses on the crimes recorded. Who knows how many other “underground” crimes were committed during the 2003-2004 period? This would lead to many more variables playing into the outcome of the study. In addition city specific rates were calculated but only the capital city of each state was used as data inputs. This covers the crime only occurring in specific cities which naturally will be much higher than rural and suburban areas. This creates an inaccurate representation of crime and gun correlation. It does not take into account the homicides of nearby places not located in the city. In addition, this study takes into account only homicide rates in Brazil. This is just one crime in a largely populated country. There are literally countless other crimes being committed that may or may not involve firearms.

The article, “Gun Control isn’t Crime Control” written by John Stossel of ABC News, highlights one reason on how gun control isn’t crime control. This viewpoint does not have to do with the accuracy of recorded crimes, but the outcomes of having more or less guns, especially on school campuses. In the article Stossel argues, “After the 1997 shooting of 16 kids in Dunblane, England, the United Kingdom passed one of the strictest gun-control laws in the world, banning its citizens from owning almost all types of handguns… But this didn’t decrease the amount of gun-related crime in the U.K. In fact, gun-related crime has nearly doubled in the U.K. since the ban was enacted.” In this case there was no relation to gun control and gun-related crime. The crime rate still increased after the ban. The reasoning behind this is, criminals do not follow the law. What makes someone a criminal in the first place. If someone is going to rob a bank, they already have plans to break the law. This means they are definitely not going to consider the gun laws, especially if they need one to commit the crime. These strict gun laws only impact the law abiding citizens who wouldn’t commit a crime in the first place. There really is not an effective way to stop criminals from using weapons, even if a ban has been enacted. On the other hand, later in the article Stossel mentions, “A disgruntled student opened fire on the school’s campus, killing three and wounding more. The law school also prohibited guns on campus, but fortunately two students happened to have firearms in their cars. When the pair heard gunshots, they retrieved their weapons and trained them on the killer, helping restrain him until authorities arrived.” By breaking the school’s law and having their firearms on campus these two students restrained the shooter. Without their weapons handy who knows how many more lives this killer would have taken. Both parties, the shooter and the heroic students broke the law by having their firearms on campus. This led to a positive effect which was ultimately stopping the killer. This strengthens the fact that crime rates cannot be correlated to gun control. Whether guns were allowed or not, the shooter still would of claimed three innocent lives and injured others. Maybe if guns were prohibited the shooter would have been stopped sooner, or maybe if the two other students took the law seriously they would not have had their weapons, so the shooter would not have been restrained as quickly. The main point of the article is summed up effectively at the end:

There’s no way to know whether Seung-Hui Cho’s murderous rampage could have been stopped in a similar way, but what’s certain is that strict gun control laws do not always have the effect that legislators intend. More guns (in the right hands) can stop crime, and fewer guns (in the wrong hands) can make for more crime. Gun control isn’t crime control.

There are too many factors that flow into the crime rates, which make it close to impossible to record everything. Crimes occur in secret, and much of what happens doesn’t get leaked into the media or the public’s knowledge. There are millions of guns and gun owners out there and even more people committing crimes everyday. The number of unregistered guns and unaccounted murders, homicides, etc grows steadily each day. Also, crime can be stopped by more good people having guns, but less guns in the wrong hands can increase crime. There are still being crimes committed even if only a handful of criminals get their hands on weapons.

Implementing stricter policies wouldn’t affect those who carry out unknown crimes. If the police do not know about the crime committed, why would it matter if the suspect followed the gun laws in use. Disregard to these gun laws comes in its strongest form when we look at another underground aspect. The article, “Underground Gun Markets” by Philip J. Cook, Jens Ludwig, Sudhir A. Venkatesh, and Anthony A. Brag, focuses on the economic and social consequences these markets have. Just like bootlegging alcohol during prohibition, the underground gun market was established under the circumstances that made it harder to legally own a weapon. This underground market is a direct consequence of strict gun control. Those who could no longer obtain guns turned to a more lucrative method, and thus the black market for firearms was born. Gun laws do not pertain to these markets, and the weapons distributed in them are unregistered. Across America the vast majority of criminals do not purchase their weapons through a legal process. This makes it virtually impossible to track down weapons used in murders and other crimes.

Since gun laws are aimed at making society safer by decreasing the availability of guns, they could almost be considered useless when the criminals committing crimes are buying guns illegally. According to the book Can Gun Control Work? by James Jacobs, if more guns resulted in more crime then the United States would have the highest suicide rate and a higher homicide rate. However this correlation can be easily refuted. Millions of households around the U.S own firearms, and is more than most countries in the world. However, our crime rates are not as high as some of these other nations. For example, in the article “Gun Violence: How the U.S Compares With Other Countries” by Nurith Aizeman, Brazil, a country with far less guns than the United States, had about 19.34 violent gun deaths per 100,000 people. This was more than 5 times as much as the U.S’s 3.85 deaths. Also, in other Latin American countries such as Colombia and Guatemala the number of violent gun deaths per 100,000 people reached over 20 persons.  This trend shows there is no need for strict gun laws, where they would have no affect on a country where most of the population is responsible with their firearms. There is no relation between gun laws and crime rates, because the crime rates are not dependent on the amount of weapons in circulation, instead they rely on the mental states of who obtains them.

Gun control might reduce the number of firearms in homes and on the streets, but it will not change the morals and values of those bent on committing crimes with guns. In the article, “10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Gun Control” written by Crystal Lombardo, the last disadvantage listed is, “it wont change the value of a human life.” Some individuals lack the respect for human life, and do not value it like the average person does. This lack of respect a person would have is programmed into them and no law on gun control will stop them from thinking like this. As horrific as it sounds it is true. Serial killers and shooters do not value human life, and for the most part take no guilt or remorse in killing others. This is how their minds work and unfortunately there is no way of changing this, even if the government made it more difficult for them to acquire a firearm. This instinct to kill will always be there. Gangs also use guns to take control over territories and for safety because they feel that their lives take less value than others. These gangs will always find ways to get their hands on weapons because it is necessary for survival in their environment. These issues with gun control lie deeper in society, and maybe if we turned to alternative methods such as programs that help out those in gangs, and provide them with a safer environment, we would see positive results instead of violating our second amendment.

If there had to be any correlation between gun control and violent crimes, interestingly enough, it would be that more gun control causes an increase in crime rate. This notion is pretty counter-intuitive but it is clearly seen in some European nations. Many countries in Europe have very strict gun policies, however the crime rates do not match up as one would think they should. The Harvard study, “Gun Control is Counterproductive” shines light on the fact that countries with strict gun laws witness higher murder rates than those who’s laws are less strict. This study focused on nine European nations with the lowest gun ownership rates (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000). The article also states, these nations had a combined murder rate that was about 3 times greater than nine other nations with the highest ownership rate of firearms (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000). These facts defeat the argument that gun control and reduced rates of gun ownership cause less crime.

Another supporting factor that contributes to the idea that more gun control causes more crime is evident when looking at self defense cases. Individuals use guns to protect themselves and to deter attackers. Just by brandishing a gun, a female can fend off someone trying to rape her. In the novel, More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition, by John R Lott, a prime example of a gun used for self defense is explained. Lott says, “But I have seen a criminal who was so frightened of an armed seventy-year-old woman that in his panic to get away, he turned and ran right into a wall! (He was busy trying to kick down her door, when she opened a curtain and pointed a gun at him).” Here, the elderly woman’s ownership of a firearm proved useful in saving her property and possibly even her life. On the other side, if there had been strict gun laws that forbid the elderly woman from owning a gun her possessions and life could have been easily taken from her. She would have had no means of self defense and the crime would of been carried out by the criminal. In this instance we see that more gun control can cause more crime.

The article, “Guns in Other Countries” provides clear evidence that is in support of rising crime rates are a result of strict gun laws. This article posted on gunfacts.info, debunks the myth that Britain has a low crime rate due to strict gun control. It states that Britain actually has the highest violent crime rate in all of Europe, and even more than the U.S and South Africa. Britain’s violent crime rate for 100,000 residents was about 2,034 instances which is much larger than the United State’s 446 instances. This article goes on to say that about 67% of British residents surveyed said that as a result of rising knife and gun violence, the area they live in was not as safe as it was five years ago. One would think because of the strict gun control policies in England, there would be a reduction in gun crime. According to this article, the driving factors behind gun violence are not legal, they are more culturally influenced.

Sometimes it is not so easy to see the other side of an argument. In the case of correlation between strict gun policies and crime rates, there is another side that a light should be shown on. This side argues that if implemented correctly, tighter gun laws can reduce crimes rates, more specifically murder and suicide rates. In the article, “The Research is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives” the author, German Lopez, vouches for the side that believes in the positive effects of gun control. In the article Lopez makes the claim that more guns lead to more deaths. Lopez uses multiple graphs and illustrations to support his side. One of the illustrations he uses shows how there are 29.7 homicides by firearm per 1 million people in the U.S. This is substantially higher than the other countries listed in the chart. Switzerland comes in at second with 7.7 homicides per 1 million citizens. However Lopez only compares European nations to the U.S (with the exceptions of Canada, New Zealand, and Australia). These countries have far less people than the United States, and the citizens of each would most likely own firearms for different reasons. However, if one compares violent gun deaths in the U.S to other countries as seen in “Gun Violence: How the U.S Compares to Other Countries” by Nurith Aizenman, the U.S’s violent gun deaths per 100,000 people is actually a fraction compared to Brazil’s, Colombia’s and other countries’. The U.S.’s rate is 3.85 deaths per 100,000 people, this was substantially lower compared the Brazil’s 19.34 and Colombia’s 25.94. One might make the claim, “it is outrageous to compare the U.S to Colombia, a crime stricken country.” However, it is also ridiculous to compare the U.S’s gun caused homicide rates with Switzerland. Each country has a totally different population with different cultures and views. The events that go on in each country will be different, and cannot be compared on the same scale.

Lopez goes on to say that more gun laws will help decrease the U.S’s homicide rates by guns. One key factor, Lopez says, that attributes to the high rates of homicide, is the fact that Americans own the most guns. This heightened availability of firearms leads to a higher homicide rate. The US has the highest rate of gun ownership at 88.8 guns per 100 people. With more guns leaves more room for accidents along with a higher chance of crime. Since America has such an infatuation with firearms the rate of homicides carried out by a firearm should naturally go up. However, adding more gun laws to this mix will not be effective at solving this issue. The obsession Americans have with guns is not something that can be taken away by law. Gun ownership is something our founding fathers stood for, and this can be seen through the second amendment. Many Americans would rather die or be thrown in jail, rather than have their guns taken away. By implementing stricter policies, this will just anger the community who owns firearms. Most people will not listen to these rules. One might now say, “What about background checks to make sure the crazy people do not acquire weapons?” Well these crazy people can still buy guns on in the underground market. Until the government cracks down on the illegal buying and selling of firearms, many people who should not own guns, can buy them. Also, background checks will not decrease the amount of guns currently in the possession of U.S citizens. With more guns, more homicides might occur. This is an indisputable fact, however the way our nation should go about to solve this, is not through stricter gun policies.

As humans we are always looking for the fastest and easiest solutions to our problems, when it’s possible to do so. This human characteristic pertains to the case of gun control. Anti-gun activists believe that with more gun laws and stricter policies, crime rates, murders, and homicides, where a gun was the weapon, will decrease. However these individuals have failed to see that there is no correlation between gun laws and crime. Gun policies such as not being able to own a rifle or handgun, and restrictions on the number of weapons one can own would not help the world’s problem with murder and crime. This is not a viable solution. Instead these ideas would just create more anger and irritability in the United States and throughout the world.

References:     

Aizenman, N. (2017, October 06). Gun Violence: How The U.S. Compares With OtherCountries. Retrieved December 2, 2018, from https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/10/06/555861898/gun-violence-how-the-u-s-compares-to-other-countries

Baker, A., & Goldstein, J. (2011, December 30). N.Y.P.D. Leaves Offenses Unrecorded to Keep Crime Rates Down. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/nyregion/nypd-leaves-offenses-unrecorded-to-keep-crime-rates-down.html  

Cook, P. J., Ludwig, J., Venkatesh, S., & Braga, A. A. (2005, November 07). Underground Gun Markets. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://www.nber.org/papers/w11737

De Fátima Marinho de Souza, M., Macinko, J., Pereira Alencar, A., Carvalho Malta, D., & Libânio de Morais Neto, O. (2007, March/April). Reductions In Firearm-Related Mortality And Hospitalizations In Brazil After Gun Control. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.26.2.575

Gun Control and Crime in non-US Countries. (2018, May 14). Retrieved December 5, 2018, from http://www.gunfacts.info/gun-control-myths/guns-in-other-countries/ 

Harvard Study: Gun Control Is Counterproductive. (2018). Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://www.theacru.org/2007/05/08/harvard_study_gun_control_is_counterproductive/

Jacobs, J. B. (2002, September 12). Can Gun Control Work? Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dpzN711aYlQC&oi=fnd&pg=PR15&dq=why gun control doesn’t work&ots=atIgrSsxHS&sig=aaEDwMulkkBHYhINAg6IBlNV6v8#v=onepage&q=why gun control doesn’t work&f=false

Lombardo, C. (2017, November 08). 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Gun Control. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://vittana.org/10-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-gun-control

Lopez, G. (2017, October 04). The research is clear: Gun control saves lives. Retrieved December 2, 2018, from https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/4/16418754/gun-control-washington-post

Lott, J. R. (2010). More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition. Retrieved December 1, 2018, from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=j6cMYKRgqQ8C&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=lenient gun control&ots=_5aZVi17dQ&sig=lYmZp8U9rFSdE-RIClrYbr0RDIE#v=onepage&q&f=false 

Stossel, J. (2007, April 26). Gun Control Isn’t Crime Control. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=3083618&page=1

Visual Rewrite — Kevinbacon

0:00 – The ad starts out with a cartoon of a man wearing a hat driving a small train. This train looks to be carrying either gold or wood planks. The train is coming out of a tunnel and blowing smoke out as it moves across the TV screen. The cartoon looks very happy, bright, and childish. This cartoon is probably being watched by a child, this signifies who the ad will be emphasizing.

0:01 – Train continues to move across TV screen bouncing up and down. You can tell its on a TV screen because of the distinct lines and colors of the screen. The director most likely includes this cartoon to signify innocence and childhood through the beginning of the ad. The cartoon gives us a sense that there will be a kid in the ad, or at least someone of innocence.

0:02 – Camera zooms out to confirm the train is a cartoon on the TV. We can now see an entire living room which looks quite messy. There are toys on the table and scattered on the floor. There are pillows on the ground and the couch looks disturbed. All of these aspects give a homey type feeling, maybe a Monday morning  perhaps after the weekend. However, the mess in the house might indicate that the people living there are messy and disorganized. This mess may be present all the time, or possibly just for the day/weekend. Laying on the carpet in front of the TV is a little boy wearing pajamas. The boy is laying in an unnatural position almost as if he is shaped like a dead body outline at a crime scene. The director might have done this on purpose to foreshadow some type of danger. This motionless pose the boy holds almost conveys concern to the viewer. The child is so still that he might be dead. The director of the ad might want the audience to think the boy was dead, or injured not sleeping in the living room. Next, an adult man wearing a blue button down long-sleeve shirt, blue jeans, and work boots kneels down to get the boy’s attention. This is most likely his dad or older brother. The cartoon of the train is still displayed on the TV. In the background we can see some art in what looks to be a living/dining room. The director of the video displays the scene like this to show that they are situated in a home. Also they are most likely family. However, where is the mother? At this point we have only seen the boy and the man who could possibly be his father. Perhaps the parents are divorced and without the presence of mom, the house became very cluttered. This scene could be of the boy staying at his dad’s house for the duration of the weekend.

0:03 – The camera begins to zoom into the man kneeling down to the boy, and the man shakes the boy at his sides. He does this to wake him up most likely. At first it seems like the man is concerned about the boy because he is lying in such an awkward position. He kneels down rather quickly to move the boy. The man then begins to tickle the boy. This shows that they have some type of relationship, probably father and son. The boy’s father might want him to wake up for school or breakfast. This clip is interesting because of the initial awkward pose of the boy and how quickly the man kneels down to greet him. This made it seem as if the boy was in danger and the father went over to make sure he was alright. However, it quickly becomes evident that the father is just playing with his son, and this changes the mood from alarming to more safe and secure.

0:04 – The boy gets up after the man shakes him. The camera then shows a close up of the man’s face. He appears to be smiling and happy as he tickles the boy. This further strengthens the fact that this is the boy’s father or close family member. The boy and the man must have some type of bond. There was no concern on the mans face as he moves the boy, even though he kneeled down with concern.

0:07 – The man gets up after a few moments and walks away, as the camera pans down on the boy. The boy is laying on his back facing up looking at his dad as he walks away. The way the boy is looking almost signifies that he is thinking about something. Perhaps he has a question for his dad. This also signifies that the boy looks up to his dad.

0:11 – The camera angle changes to show the man walking into what looks like the kitchen. On the table there are cups and bowls stacked in one another, probably dirty. In the background of the kitchen you can see what look to be like a lot of dirty dishes. The man’s wallet and some silverware are on the table next to the cups and bowls. These dirty dishes are probably from Sunday/weekend dinner and now its the beginning of the week so they will be cleaned. These dishes show the transition from a relaxed weekend to the reality of the work week. This mess could also signify the amount of leniency the dad has towards the boy. Perhaps his dad is not strict and the boy can get away with leaving his toys and dishes out.

0:14 – The man continues to walk further into the kitchen. You can see he is wearing a dark blue grayish long sleeved collard shirt. As he gets further into the kitchen he begins to roll up his sleeves, perhaps to wash his hands. As he rolls up his sleeves the man looks over from the kitchen. He is looking back at the boy who is still in the room where we first saw him. The man looks over as if he is being called or being asked a question. At this point his son is probably asking him a question. His view diverts from the sink to looking in the other room. The man’s clothes indicate he either got back from work or is going to work. These clothes and the attention he gives his son show that he is a family oriented man.

0:15 – The camera angle changes once again to a close up of the boy, now standing up in the same room. The boy’s focus is an upward glance, most likely looking at his dad. The boy almost looks worried as if he is asking his dad a serious question. The look on the boy’s face shows fear and makes it look as if hes concerned with what his dad has to say. Having this sudden camera movement and angled at his face shows the serious inquiry the boy has. Standing up also shows he has a serious question for his dad.

0:16 – The boy mouths a sentence quite quickly and continues to look up at his dad. This reassures us that the question he asked was directed towards the dad. The entire time the boy is asking the question he looks nervous or worried. At the same time there is a sense of curiosity/unknowing coming from the boy. Possibly whatever the boy is asking is very serious. The question is directed at the dad from the boy, so he knows his father has the answer.

0:17 – The ad then transitions to a black screen with white writing. We now learn that the ad is about gun safety. The first message states that 8 kids a day are accidentally killed or injured by family fire. This statistic seems a exaggerated. I would not think 8 children are killed everyday by gun misuse.

0:22 – The next set of words says, Family Fire is a shooting involving an improperly stored gun. This gives us the definition of the ad.

0:30 – The ad ends here with the statement, make your home safer at endfamilyfire.org. The black background with the white writing makes the messages stand out visually. It makes them more bold and easier to read. However, without this writing at the end, the ad would fail to make its point.

The ad did not do a strong enough job conveying the overall message. Besides the written words appearing on the screen at the end, the only clues to what this ad could be about are when the boy is lying on the floor in the same shape as a dead body at a crime scene, and the fact that based on the father’s appearance and situation he might own a gun. The father seems to really care about his son and the ad shows no sign of a mother, so the dad might be very protective of his family. He most likely owns a gun for this protection.

The visuals confused me more than guided me to the message. Listening to the video without sound, makes the ad seem like it could be about anything. No guns or gun safety are shown throughout the ad. While listening to the video with audio it is a little more clear to decipher the message before the writing appears. This is because the kid asks his dad about guns.

 

 

Rebuttal — Kevinbacon

The Other End of the Barrel: The Side That Sees Correlation Between Gun Laws and Crime Rates

Sometimes it is not so easy to see the other side of an argument. In the case of correlation between gun laws and crime rates, there is another broad side that a light should be shown on. This side beleives t of those who are in favor of gun laws and believe that if implemented correctly, they can reduce crime rates. In the article, “The Research is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives” the author, German Lopez, makes the claim that it is useful to look at the effects gun control policies have had on foreign countries. He uses Britain and Australia as examples. The results in these countries showed that gun murders and homicides might have decreased, but more people were being killed by other weapons such as knives and by blunt force trauma. The amount of mass shootings and killings in these nations was low compared to America’s. These gun laws might have stopped killings from guns, but individuals are still being killed by different means. This leads to the conclusion that foreign gun laws shouldn’t influence what Americas policy should be. Lopez also makes the claim that more guns lead to more deaths. Common sense allows us to assume the fact that if there are more guns present in a nation, then there will be more gun deaths. The US has the highest rate of gun ownership at 88.8 guns per 100 people. With more guns leaves more room for accidents along with a higher chance of crime. Since America has such an infatuation with firearms there are more possibilities for crimes and homicides. Being such a different style country from others who have guns, such as Australia and Britain, gun policies might prove useful in deterring crime and homicide rates resulting from firearms. However, it is difficult to test if these policies would work because the government is very strict when it comes to enforcing them.

In Brazil, researchers put much confidence in the positive results from gun control measures. New policies have been perceived as beneficial towards reducing the violence toll in Brazil. According to the article, “Reductions In Firearm-Related Mortality and Hospitalizations in Brazil After Gun Control,” firearm related mortality declined 8 percent from 2003 to 2004. More than a decade’s time had passed since an improvement like this had occurred. About 5,563 firearm related deaths had been avoided from these new legislations in 2004. The article advocates for these policies passed in the early 2000’s and provides evidence and data associated with the research. Brazil has one of the highest homicide rates and about one person is murdered every twelve minutes (Souza, Macinko, Alencar, Malta, Neto, 507). About 90% of all homicides that occur in the age group of 15-44 are carried out with a gun (Souza, 507). The homicide numbers in Brazil double those of the United States. However, this shows that Brazil is in a different situation than the U.S. The crime rates cannot be compared between the two nations, therefor gun laws would have completely different outcomes in both places. There is a higher amount of overall crime in Brazil than there is in the U.S. In addition more murders are carried out with a firearm in Brazil. This signifies that they have a much larger gun problem than the U.S does. The results of these gun laws might have proved successful in Brazil, but the outcome of these policies in the U.S would most likely be totally different due to cultural and societal differences.

 

References:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/4/16418754/gun-control-washington-post.  The research is clear: Gun control saves lives. Lopez, G, 4 October 2017. 30 October 2018.

“Reductions in Firearm-Related Mortality and Hospitalizations in Brazil After Gun Control.” UpDate: International Report. Maria de Fátima Marinho de Souza, James Macinko, Airlane Pereira Alencar, Deborah Carvalho Malta, and Otaliba Libânio de Morais Neto, March/April 2007. 15 October 2018.