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.

Tags: batman, colorado, control, gun, shooting

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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.

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.

As has been said elsewhere, there are plenty of examples and counterexamples both ways. And the cause may be cultural differences between U.S. citizens and people in other countries. I think Swedes may not be as different from Americans as, say, Japanese people or Kenyans, but they'd find fitting into an American city surrounded by Americans as culturally shocking.

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.

Guns can kill for good or ill. Killing an intruder into one's home would be a good thing in many Americans' eyes as would killing someone engaging in a potentially deadly assault on oneself. Most gun owners don't own guns so that they can go out and kill someone. That attitude is probably common among gang members, but they would likely ignore any regulations anyway, and by being in touch with the underworld, they can totally bypass all the legalities.

I don't care how you slice it, recreational target shooting is just practice for the real thing.

That is your attitude, not a fact. Do you feel the same about bow and arrow target shooting? You can kill someone with a bow and arrow, and probably a lot more painfully and cruelly than with a head shot.

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.

They should because it's their constitutional right. It would take a constitutional amendment to modify the 2nd Amendment (the right to keep and bear arms), which is pretty close to an impossibility, especially in a country where so many do own guns or believe people should have that right even if they don't own a gun themselves.

Pardon my late response.

First of all, I think it's a bit of a misunderstanding of the topic to suggest that the presence or absence of gun control laws is the only thing that affects crime rates. This is why statistics are so confusing, they're too specific. If there is less poverty / more available education is an area, there is likely to be less violent crime; that's a statistic that has nothing to do with guns.

You didn't address my point as to how it's a mistake of logic to equate the regulation of guns to the regulation of alcohol or drugs. However I'm glad to see that you've implicitly admitted that "guns kill" despite the tired old line: "guns don't kill... yadda yadda yadda." 

Personally, I'm glad that I was born and raised in a part of the world where my family and I don't necessarily feel like we need to own a gun to be safe. I need to point that out before I talk about this. However I feel that, in the case of an intruder, for example, owning a gun can also serve to make the situation more dangerous:

- The intruder is less likely to attack you if they don't see you as a threat.

- You may mistakenly shoot somebody else in the confusion.

- You may shoot an innocent person who you merely believe to an intruder.

OR, like we recently got to see in the news:

- You may go out in the street and engage in a fight with someone you believe to be suspicious for no good reason (confident because you own a gun), then end up shooting and killing them because you're beginning to lose the fight and the presence of the gun made the situation more unstable (you claim to be afraid that the other person was going for the gun).

For years gun manufacturers have played towards people's fears and paranoia to sell weapons, which as far as I can tell breeds fear and paranoia that incites crime. I understand that there are plenty of responsible gun owners out there, but I firmly believe that, in life or death situations (or just tense, uncertain situations), people often act irrationally. This, coupled with the ability to end a life immediately, spells disaster.

Next point: No, I don't feel the same why about bow and arrow target shooting. Even you have to admit that bows and arrows are not as effective at maiming and killing scores of individuals as the brutal AR-15 which injured almost 60 and killed and additional 12 in a matter of minutes. Please admit that to yourself.

Last point: Listen, I love the founding fathers of our country. I think that some of them still count among some of the most brilliant minds in history. In fact, I'm probably personally indebted to them for founding a nation based on religious freedom. However, on the point of guns and the second amendment, I believe that they made a mistake: they were too vague. In their time, they used muskets which broke down easily, took time to reload even after just one shot, and were horribly inaccurate. They could not have imagined that level of firepower that we are capable of today.

The Constitution was meant to be a living document in order to adapt to changes in society. In the case of firearms, I believe that it's outdated.

First of all, I think it's a bit of a misunderstanding of the topic to suggest that the presence or absence of gun control laws is the only thing that affects crime rates. This is why statistics are so confusing, they're too specific. If there is less poverty / more available education is an area, there is likely to be less violent crime; that's a statistic that has nothing to do with guns.

I would count Thailand as one of the better educated countries in the world with a low illiteracy rate (less than 5%). At the same time, it is one of the least poor countries in the world, ranked right between The Netherlands and Canada. Yet, it has by some accounts the highest gun murder rate in the world! How would you account for that? And yes, it does have lax gun laws, but the root cause has to be something else.


You didn't address my point as to how it's a mistake of logic to equate the regulation of guns to the regulation of alcohol or drugs. However I'm glad to see that you've implicitly admitted that "guns kill" despite the tired old line: "guns don't kill... yadda yadda yadda."

Not following the "implicit" reference. A gun still only kills when someone decides to pull the trigger.


Personally, I'm glad that I was born and raised in a part of the world where my family and I don't necessarily feel like we need to own a gun to be safe. I need to point that out before I talk about this. However I feel that, in the case of an intruder, for example, owning a gun can also serve to make the situation more dangerous:

- The intruder is less likely to attack you if they don't see you as a threat.

- You may mistakenly shoot somebody else in the confusion.

- You may shoot an innocent person who you merely believe to an intruder.

OR, like we recently got to see in the news:

- You may go out in the street and engage in a fight with someone you believe to be suspicious for no good reason (confident because you own a gun), then end up shooting and killing them because you're beginning to lose the fight and the presence of the gun made the situation more unstable (you claim to be afraid that the other person was going for the gun).

For years gun manufacturers have played towards people's fears and paranoia to sell weapons, which as far as I can tell breeds fear and paranoia that incites crime. I understand that there are plenty of responsible gun owners out there, but I firmly believe that, in life or death situations (or just tense, uncertain situations), people often act irrationally. This, coupled with the ability to end a life immediately, spells disaster.

Any situation is full of maybes. You've listed a bunch of things that could happen and have happened on occasion, but you've provided no evidence it's the rule. I think one thing the past has shown is that intruders expect no resistance and will generally turn tail at the first sign of a life-threatening potential response. The sound of a shotgun cocking by itself has been known to have intruders beating a retreat.


Next point: No, I don't feel the same why about bow and arrow target shooting. Even you have to admit that bows and arrows are not as effective at maiming and killing scores of individuals as the brutal AR-15 which injured almost 60 and killed and additional 12 in a matter of minutes. Please admit that to yourself.

Oh for sure, but a rapid-fire weapon like an AK-47 is certainly not the weapon one most often would see at a shooting range. It doesn't really need much in the way of target practice does it? It's somewhat like pointing a garden hose.


Last point: Listen, I love the founding fathers of our country. I think that some of them still count among some of the most brilliant minds in history. In fact, I'm probably personally indebted to them for founding a nation based on religious freedom. However, on the point of guns and the second amendment, I believe that they made a mistake: they were too vague. In their time, they used muskets which broke down easily, took time to reload even after just one shot, and were horribly inaccurate. They could not have imagined that level of firepower that we are capable of today.

The Constitution was meant to be a living document in order to adapt to changes in society. In the case of firearms, I believe that it's outdated.

I agree that we need a Constitutional Convention, as you imply, but being more specific about controlling guns would be far down on the list of topics I'd want dealt with, behind making our electoral system more rational, limiting the time devoted to running for President, imposing some control on election spending, clarifying civil rights for women and gays, and a lot of other things. And besides, the support for the right to bear arms is so popular, a Constitutional Convention would likely make that right even stronger than it is now.

The bit about the implicit admission was just a little jab at your use of language. Your direct quote was stated that "Guns kill for good and bad..." which could be interpreted to be in direct contrast to an old line that I believe is overused: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." I just figured I'd have a bit of fun. It wasn't exactly a central point in my argument and I didn't mean to offend.

Your point about Thailand echoes my original statement: statistics only serve to confuse when they're too specific. In this way looking at one specific detail can be misleading if the whole picture isn't taken into account. I was being overly simple but I still mean what I said, essentially that examining the presence or gun control laws alone is not a good indicator of whether or not there will be violence. As far as Thailand is concerned, I am no expert, but could it be attributed to % of population living below poverty line, or numbers of people living in urban slums, income inequality, or something else? I don't know, it's a unique situation that I haven't researched.

At any rate, it's nice to see that we share some common ground on the issue of women's and gay rights, absolutely limitless campaign contributions (what I believe to be the prevailing problem in American politics at the moment), and certain other details that have nothing to do with guns.

Personally, I'm glad that I live in a state that enforces waiting periods and has restrictions on concealed carry. 

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