In Jacob Sullum’s “Shots in the Dark” piece, he discusses the inefficacy of gun control. He claims that gun restriction has done nothing at worst, and is subtle at best. He supports this claim by bringing up the CDC’s statement that there is no grounded evidence for the efficacy of gun control. He utilizes the CDC’s statement, an association often pro-control, to reason that over the past 70 years, gun control has done little if anything for Americans, and will continue to do so.
Conversely, Nicholas Kristoff attacks those who oppose gun control, extolling its efficacy and need to be regulated in the U.S.A. Nicholas Kristoff’s discusses gun control in “Will Politicians Ever Protect us From Guns?”
“When a terrorist massacred 50 people at two New Zealand mosques last week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern immediately grasped the nettle. ”I can tell you one thing right now,” she told a news conference. ”Our gun laws will change” (Kristoff).
That’s what effective leadership looks like. New Zealand’s cabinet has now agreed in principle to overhaul those laws, experts are reviewing ways to make the country safer from firearms and, Ardern promised, ”within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism, we will have announced reforms.”
Contrast that with the United States, where just since 1970, more Americans have died from guns (1.45 million, including murders, suicides and accidents) than died in all the wars in American history (1.4 million). More Americans die from guns every 10 weeks than died in the entire Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined, yet we still don’t have gun safety rules as rigorous as New Zealand’s even before the mosques were attacked.
He asks why, in certain nations, change actually happens when violence occurs, but points out that our country doesn’t change. He claims the United States’ leadership is weak and not focused on change. He supports this claim by pointing out that after a shooting in Australia in 1996, change was immediately made, as was change in 2019 after a shooting in New Zealand. They reason from this that the government is weak in the United States, and too prone to listen to the NRA, not enact change and reform. Sullum made a valid point by pointing out the inadequacy of gun control by using a statement by the CDC, an unbiased source that looked for flaws in current control and former. Kristoff made a valid point when he stated that other governments are more likely to reform and change, especially poignant when he brought in the data of Australia and New Zealand.
Although Kristoff had more data to support his claim, it rang with bias and opinion, whereas Sullum simply used one data point and built off of it, without present emotional agenda.