After every major shooting, the gun control advocates can be counted on to ask "NOW can't you see the need for gun control?" But does gun control really make sense?
Would gun control have prevented this slaughter? I doubt it. Guns will continue to be available for the person determined to get one, and the kind of person who does something like the Colorado movie theater shooting would be determined.
The problem isn't the weapon, it's the intent, and there are plenty of other ways to kill. There are even plenty of ways to kill en masse. A bomb brought into the theater could have killed more as could an incendiary device. In other contexts, there's poisoning food or water.
Is the cause of gun violence really the availability of guns or is it the nature of the people who use them? Other countries have similar or greater rates of gun possession (I believe both Israel and Switzerland have higher rates), but they don't have nearly the rate of gun violence.
The difference in gun violence between Switzerland and the United States comes down to the difference between the Swiss people and Americans, and I don't see Americans changing in any fundamental way anytime soon.
@James Cox, it was a joke directed at the poster who kept using "bare" when he meant "bear". If you ever look at ancient Roman statues or pictures you will see that the people typically had ... bare arms. :)
And the Roman Empire did eventually collapse, but I really doubt it had anything to do with their fashion sense.
Michael - Jack the Ripper wasn't American and he didn't use a gun - there are derranged people in every culture, and if guns are removed from the equation, they'll use knives, and if knives are banned, they'll use rocks. I'm not sure a ban on rocks would work that well.
Come on, man, it's BEAR arms. "Bare" means naked. "To bear" means to carry or wield.
I want to own guns. They are fun. I must have something inherently wrong with me. Either that or you have trouble imagining that other people have different lifestyles and experiences than you do, which is unfortunate.
Sorry, I just can't resist this...
So, any society where the the people have the right to go without sleeves is doomed to destroy itself. That is what "bare arms" means. :) You've made this mistake more than once in this discussion. "Bear" means to carry or support (or it's an animal of the genus Ursa). "Bare" means to uncover or exposed, or the state of being uncovered. Don't you just LOVE those homonyms? :p
Edit: Oops. I didn't see the other posters pointing out the same mistake until I read further. That's OK. Once I can see as a simple typo. Twice? I start to either see educational deficiencies or English (or it's derivatives) may not be the speakers native language.
I rather have the option to be able to have fire arms than not. It is my personal opinion not to have a firearm but a lot of my friends carry their weapons and they are ( In my opinion) people of high moral grade. I believe if we measure out the number of lunatics vs the number of non crazies, I have a good feeling that the numbers would show that there are more reasonable people toting guns than not. Even if the majority was turned around, would it not be better to be able to carry a gun than not?
I agree with you 100%, I want to continue owning a gun. Even if they pass laws against guns, I will still own weapons. Maybe not guns but I will arm myself to the teeth with other stuff. I will not be left defenceless in a world of thugs, PERIOD!!!
If they pass laws against ownership of guns and allow the cops to continue to carry, you can expect a lot of shit. You can expect gangs killing cops to take their guns and sell them or use them in other crimes, cops will probably be in much more of a dominant position when the government knows that most people are unarmed. It just sounds all bad, a world I wouldn't want to live in.
I don't believe there will ever come a day when we will not need weapons. Call me a pessimist, but I have no faith in the goodwill of my fellow men. If you want to hurt someone badly enough, you will find a way, and the responsibility falls on the shoulders of those who decide to do harm, not the tools they used. The primary argument is that if he hadn't had a gun, he wouldn't have been able to do what he did. That's wrong. He could have made an IED. He could have blocked the doors and burned the place to the ground. He WANTED to kill those people, and gun or no gun, he was going to do it.
Was this man stopped by a gun toting citizen? No. Is every shooting spree, robbery, rape, and violent crime stopped by good men with guns? No. The existence of guns does not prevent crime, and does not guarantee that the crimes will be stopped before they cost someone their life, but they DO serve a purpose. Weapons guarantee that we can remain self reliant. Guns guarantee that we don't have to wait on the police to arrive to save the day. I live in a very rural area. The nearest police station is ten miles away, through twisting, winding roads. If someone is breaking into my house and trying to kill me, I'll be lucky if the cops get there in time to hear my dying breath. A gun can and would save my life, and more importantly, the lives of anyone else in my home threatened by this individual. Is that a long shot? Are the odds all that great that a criminal would try to break into my home? No, it's unlikely. However, I'd rather have the gun and never have cause to use it, then not have it when I need it the most.
Guns are objects, used by men and women to different ends. All the legislation in the world won't stop people from getting their hands on guns, and even an outright ban on guns is a terrible option. Banning guns completely means that the people have no way of revolting, of rebelling, when they've had enough of an oppressive government's bullshit. When the protests aren't working, and the government is dragging people out of their homes to the Gulags and the Death Camps, how do you fight back if you have no weapons?
Consider if a few of the adults had been armed amidst that horrific rampage at Norway's Utoya Island, or if there were 50 armed students during the Virginia Tech massacre. Guns also SAVE lives.
As an Australian - and sorry if this offends - I think American gun laws are, well, sort of crazy. I'm sorry, but it seems to me a no brainer that if any citizen, such as this perpetrator, can access such a bludgeon of weaponry, then of course you're going to have more mass killings.
Now, over here in Australia, we have our own crazy laws, policies and things we accept unthinkingly as a culture:
just to name a few. So we're by no means a perfect culture. But we don't have gun massacres, and there's a lot of red tape to go through to get any sort of firearm.
Perhaps I simply don't know enough criminal types ...? No, my argument still stands: our news broadcasts are free of such events.
Sorry, America. Change needed at your end, I think.
Such a change won't be just in relation to gun ownership, it would open us up to a violation of a set of personal freedoms we have come to cherish. Granted, we don't always have that principle applied consistently (like the problem you have with the aborigines), but won't sacrifice them for a form of physical safety. Australia to support its gun laws must allow, among other things, random inspections of the homes of gun owners - no court order or a showing of at least probable cause (and mere possession does not constitute such). That means the executive department of the government has wide discretion over the property rights of its citizens without prior review. That is part and parcel a police state. Australian culture is comfortable with the notion of that authority and accepts it, But in the U.S. such a relationship with the government being an external, sovereign authority to its citizenship is quite alien still.
@ Richard - Random inspections of the homes of gun owners - this is done through the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia - through the lists they have, and the police have - to make sure everybody with guns, do the right thing - and have their guns in a Safe Gun Storage Unit - if one belongs to this association, and they have a license, and registered with the police.These people know they will be inspected.
Australia to support the gun laws must allow, among other things, random inspections of the homes of gun owners - no court order or a showing of at least probable cause (and mere possession not constitute such).
Not true. Police CANNOT go into anybody's house, without a court order, and therefore a good reason for entering into that house. But it is usually for growing Marijuana , not finding guns.
it would open us up to a violation of a set of personal freedoms we have come to cherish. Yaayy - Personal Freedoms - more important to me, and my personal freedom, is that I can go out, and be pretty sure I am not going to get caught up in someone's shooting spree.
Loads of things wrong with Australia - guns are not one of them.
The Shooter's Club idea is better than what is in England, I'll grant that.
And the typical American does go out without fear of entering into a shooting spree. What you are hearing is media hype. Of course there are neighborhoods that are dangerous. I walked into a bad neighborhood that I had walked through lots of times unmolested and became a victim of a violent, unprovoked assault (possibly racially motivated too!). No guns or other weapons involved. Just an older teenager from a minority group who was very big and quick with his fists. But outside of that neighborhood I could walk miles, day or night (and did) without a trace of concern for my safety.
You are seeing a lot of media hype. That thing is happening here in part due to the law of large numbers, but not only is the frequency been going down (without changes in the laws), but if you examined our history in terms of spacing and location you will see very wide distribution and normal statistical clustering. The greater majority of gun owners here are responsible and stable without further oversight. Oh, and many of them belong to some form of gun club and do voluntarily want you make as law in Australia.
And for the record I rarely lock my house, even when I'm away - and I live in a major community in the Kansas City metroplex - crime is simply that low where I live.