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.
That would be the responsible, trained reaction, yes.
Which is amusing since I've never fired a gun in my life.
I'd have kept it holstered until I could be certain no one else would be hurt by my intervention.
I would assume that you wouldn't shoot until you were reasonably certain you had identified your target to perhaps a 75% or 80% certainty. Remember, the longer you wait, the more people he could kill. Remember he was shooting at a rate of perhaps 5 seconds. If you hesitated to be 100% certain, he could shoot perhaps 5 or 10 more people. A high price to pay for the highly personal and self-centered goal of keeping blood off your hands. Even in war, "friendly fire" is regarded as a necessary and acceptable risk to reach the higher goal of victory.
But me killing an innocent person makes the whole thing a wash, doesn't it? If I shoot an innocent person or he does, it doesn't matter: that person is still dead. What if I shot the wrong person and then, before he could get another shot off, another member of the audience tackled him? That would put that last death on me without having done anything positive at all. I don't particularly have a problem with guns, I have a problem with people who use them irresponsibly.
I find it odd that you call that a self-centered impulse. Would the family of someone I accidentally shot without properly identifying the target first feel the same way? Shooting randomly into the general area the perpetrator is in isn't "friendly fire" it's completely irresponsible.
@Haunter - granted, not having been there, we can all say what we would and would not have done with relative impunity, but analyze the situation - the body armor would have presented a problem, but still leaves a lot of unprotected body, and a chest hit, even in armor, can knowk you on your ass; he came in through an exit door, which should have given warning notice that he wasn't there legitimately; and, although it was after midnight, parking lot lights would have meant his eyes needed a moment of adjustment, while the theater-goer's eyes were already adjusted. I would have at least tried.
But he came in during the movie. There's no guarantee that anyone would have even noticed him entering. Also, there were already people in costume, so that would not have seemed strange on first glance (if they could even see it in the dark). Besides, who would ever think "this guy who just snuck into the movie is clearly going to start shooting"? Your first impulse is going to be to shrug and go back to the movie or to find an usher to eject the person, all depending on how much you care about someone sneaking into a movie.
Another thing about shooting at him: the shooter would have the film to his back so his eyes would have been used to the light cast by that. Viewers would have been used to the brighter light coming from the screen and would also have to combat their eyes adjusting for that light when trying to acquire the shooter's position. In addition to the stuff I said above.
I agree without a doubt with what you said about hindsight and distance from the situation making this an easy analysis though.
i dont understand this need to replay this event with alternate endings...almost ironic since it was at a theatre...
as far as gun control. we keep bringing it up after incidents. as with all government regulation incidents that create regulation fail. regulations have their best success when they are developed around goals. so instead of "how do we stop this one terrible thing" we could maybe say "reduce gun related homicides by 50% over 10 years". The surprise might be useful regulation that may actually have nothing to do with guns....
as far as the perpetrator....there is little that would stop someone like him. he is a pathetic human being beset by first world problems. may he die as inhumanely as the suffering he has caused.
Well said xi, well said.
Prohibition of liquor didn't work. Prohibition of drugs currently isn't working. What makes people think that prohibiting guns will work?
Finally, the only difference between a civilian assault rifle and a regular rifle is an assault rifle looks "scary".
The vast majority of "regular" rifles require the time-consuming act of "cocking" it, i.e., ejecting the fired round and inserting another round into the firing chamber, whereas assault rifles automatically fire multiple rounds per second. Other than that, I guess one could say there's little difference.
First of all, be careful to note that there are strict gun control laws in other parts of the world (take for instance Sweden), and they aren't falling apart at the seams.
The argument you're making is basically equating guns to drugs and alcohol. However, this is a BAD analogy. Drugs and alcohol primarily serve a recreational purpose, guns however serve only to maim or to kill. I don't care how you slice it, recreational target shooting is just practice for the real thing.
And by the way, pardon me because I haven't read all the responses to this thread (it is quite long at this point), but are you suggesting that average citizens should have access to heavy assault rifles like the AR-15 used in the Aurora shootings? Please explain why.