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.
Gun control laws only prevent the honest citizens from carrying and preventing this type of activity. If a properly trained CCW carrying citizen had been in that theater, it is likely that he or she would have returned fire to stop the attack quickly.
While there are no guarantees, I assert that if more honest citizens carried responsibly, there would be less horrific incidents such as Aurora.
As a recent example, just a few days ago, a 71 year old CCW holder stopped an armed robbery attempt at an internet cafe. If criminals realized that citizens can and will be armed, know how to use those arms, and are trained to use those arms; then they might think twice before attempting these crimes.
Tea party-backed Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) says that the right to own high-capacity ammunitions magazines like the 100-round drum that was used to kill at least a dozen people in Colorado last week is a "basic freedom" that is protected by the U.S. Constitution.
I made the mistake of casually mentioning to a neighbor (an NRA member) that the window across the street from his house was broken. He got angry, went in his house, got his .45 automatic, and came out to threaten me with it. He accused me of implying that he had shot out the window. Actually, that had never crossed my mind until that moment. It’s gun nuts like him I’m afraid of, not some unarmed, black teenager with a hoodie and Skittles. By the way, the neighbor next door to him is also an NRA member, and his house is cram-packed with guns, he boasts. I give them both wide berth. This country is insane!
This is the kind of thing that rarely happens in civilized countries. That's why it was such a shock when the mass killing took place in Norway: it's something that almost never happens anywhere in Scandinavia. Sadly, in America, it's commonplace. The same day the massacre in Aurora took place, the same thing, though on a smaller scale, took place in a theater in Chicago, and it went virtually unnoticed. 10,000 Americans, on average, die each year from guns - 20,000, if you count accidents and suicide, but we hardly notice or care. It's what America is famous for. We are a nation of wannabe Wyatt Earps. And we have the NRA to fuel that fantasy in order to make the gun & ammo industry obscenely wealthy.
RE: "we have the NRA to fuel that fantasy in order to make the gun & ammo industry obscenely wealthy."
And the worst of it is, in a supposedly democratic country, the NRA, backed by that "obscenely wealty gun and ammo industry," has the deep pockets to make sure that any politician in favor of gun control, never gets reelectged.
Yes, I think the theory of gun control could work if it is implemented early enough in the country's history. Unfortunately it is waaay too late to even talk about it in the U S because of the number of guns now on the streets and in the system. So I guess the simple answer is NO.
Gun control laws or any laws do not prevent anyone from doing anything they only annoy people and piss people off.
"Crime is naught but misdirected energy. So long as every institution of today, economic, political, social, and moral, conspires to misdirect human energy into wrong channels; so long as most people are out of place doing the things they hate to do, living a life they loath to live, crime will be inevitable, and all the laws on the statutes can only increase, but never do away with crime." - Emma Goldman
Crazy people will always do crazy things
Danny - that's a very insightful quotation, hope you don't mind if I borrow it --
Timothy Leary was a head of his time and you should feel free to quote him as well: "Turn on, tune in, drop out." ;)
I agree with your point Unseen, but just to clarify, Israel and Switzerland have greater rates of gun possession due to military call-up. Government-issued assault rifles are kept in the homes of eligible adults, which for Israel means both sexes. The rifles are kept unloaded, and thus are harmless. Ammunition is given out by the military when and if they are called up. So this is not the same case as in the US. A similar system to this was in place during Saddam's rule over Iraq, incidentally, and many of those assault rifles I'm told ended up with the insurgents, who also got ahold of ammunition for them. Simply to clarify, these countries are not a comparable example to here. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, but that does not include to me every possible caliber of weapon. Restrictions upon assault rifles seem constitutional, legal and reasonable personally.
It seems one reason the "data" doesn't help is that no two examples are really totally comparable.