Raising Age to Buy Guns Would Leave Some Vulnerable

posted on March 8, 2018

In the wake of a 19-year-old’s rampage at a Florida high school, one of the easiest “solutions” that anti-gunners have suggested is to raise the age requirement for buying a rifle. Sounds simple, right? If 19-year-olds can’t legally buy a gun, no 19-year-old would ever terrorize unprotected schoolchildren. So goes the argument, anyway.

But, sometimes simple-sounding solutions sound simple for a reason—and that is, they don’t really solve the problem. It’s more akin to the marketing ploy of changing the packaging for a product that isn’t selling, and hoping that sales pick up.

Law-abiding gun owners, of course, know that this latest push to deprive adults—people who are old enough to vote and who are old enough to put their lives on the line in defense of our country and its freedoms—is just a feel-good approach that will allow lawmakers to pat themselves on the back and tell themselves that they “did something” after another tragedy.

One of the better-known examples of why college-age women should be able to carry involved Amanda Collins, who was raped within shouting distance of the campus police office while she was a student at the University of Nevada-Reno.

John Lott, of the Crime Prevention Center, takes the case a little bit further. Rather than just pointing out that criminals don’t obey the laws—that’s why they are criminals, after all—and saying they’ll find a way to do their dastardly deeds regardless of words in the annals of state or federal law, Lott talks about the absurdity of leaving a whole class of young adults vulnerable to the whims of criminals. Notably among those whom politicians are now trying to arbitrarily disarm are college-age women.

Women are already at a natural size and strength disadvantage when it comes to fighting off a stalker or would-be rapist if they have to depend only on hand-to-hand fighting. That’s one of the primary reasons women choose to carry: they know a gun levels the playing field.

One of the better-known examples of why college-age women should be able to carry involved Amanda Collins, who was raped within shouting distance of the campus police office while she was a student at the University of Nevada-Reno.

Responsible gun owners recognize a sad fact of life. Today’s reality is such that police officers cannot be everywhere. A police presence can deter crime when the men and women in blue make a show of force at designated functions, like security at a parade. But in everyday affairs, they are more likely to be called after a crime is committed. Thus, the responsibility of protecting yourself and your loved ones has always been more on the individual. And that inalienable right to protect ourselves is one of the reasons our firearms freedom is so important to preserve.

Lott, who never shies away from citing statistics and research to bolster his views, offers a look back at 1994, when the federal government first instituted an age restriction for buying a rifle.

The lawmakers settled on the age of 18, likely for the aforementioned reasons of that being the age when people are deemed to be adults—adults who can vote and serve in the military. And the lawmakers figured that would stop teenagers from getting their hands on any type of gun.

But then Lott discusses a study that discounts what the politicians on the anti-gun bandwagon said then and what they are saying again today. Thomas Marvell’s peer-reviewed study, published in the Journal of Law and Economics, concluded that the results of the age restriction  were in direct opposition to what the politicians promised: “Where the 1994 laws seem to have an impact, the suggestion is almost always that crime increases; thus, there is no evidence that these bans had their intended effect.”

Indeed, Marvell found that the age requirement was associated with a 5.1 percent increase in the homicide rate, and a 6 percent increase in firearm homicides.

He also noted that because juveniles are vulnerable targets, keeping them from lawfully being able to buy a firearm leaves them more susceptible to falling prey to a crime. That logic can be applied across genders, too, Lott argues.

If you know someone who would fall into the age group of those who would be made more vulnerable from another gun control law that doesn’t really protect people, stand up to the anti-gunners. Point out how an age restriction for purchasing firearms could lead to more deaths than it would ever stop. And reach out to state and federal lawmakers who are going along with what the mainstream media is touting as public sentiment. Tell them to take off their blinders and look at the real picture, not the image the anti-gun crowd is painting.



graphic of U.S.
graphic of U.S.

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