Do Stricter Laws Prevent Crime?

Alaina Abnet, Junior Editor

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The United States of America has one of the highest crime rates in the world. Is this because our laws aren’t strict enough? The United States has experienced a total of 16 school shootings in the year of 2018. That’s 13 weeks into the year!

As of now the states vary their gun laws throughout the US. The top ten states with the strictest gun laws are the following: Pennsylvannia, Illinois, Rhode Island, Maryland, Hawaii, Conneticut, New York, Massachusets, New Jersey, and California. Now the question becomes are the strict gun laws enough? Illinois has one of the highest violent crime rates, yet one of the strictest in gun laws. It is in the matter that if you want something,  you’re going to get it. If someone wants a gun and are not qualified for it, they will get one, even if it is illegal. Illinois has neighboring states that have more lenient gun laws in which they purchase their guns and bring them back.

On the contrary, with stricter gun laws it does make it tougher on the individual to get his/her hands on the item. According to The Washington Post, “…Congress proposed a nationwide 10-year ban in 1994… The effectiveness of the ban was inconclusive…” While “ Gun violence declined nationwide in the 2000s” (Lewis, 2017), it isn’t a proven fact that this decline was due to the gun ban launched by Congress, although that may be what people conclude. There are numerous variables that couldn’t be controlled or monitored. All in all, states could make it stricter on the residents when trying to purchase a gun. There are a variety of ways to insert a stricter policy as in background checks, psychological tests, age requirements, permits, and any other requirements the state feels as necessary.

In July of 2011, Norway had a terroist attack. Since that attack Norway has not experienced a mass shooting. Norway has a high percentage of gun owners, but typically they are only used for hunting. According to The Chicago Tribune, “Meanwhile, the Norwegian government now appears to have a majority for its plan to ban semiautomatic rifles…” (Noack, 2018). Australia has a firearms agreement that prohibits semiautomatic and automatic assault rifles. They also have a requirement on purchasing a gun where you must be licensed, registered, and you must follow a “genuine need” and follow that with a safety course. Analysts have made the discovery that the measures taken have proven to be beneficial with  the decrease of mass shootings. Overall, the stricter gun laws prove to show a decrease of shootings and violent crimes.

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Do Stricter Laws Prevent Crime?