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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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. 

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

I'm betting that waiting period doesn't cover private sales or sales at gun shows. It certainly doesn't cover the guy who's buying a gun out of the trunk of the car. Controlling law abiding citizens will always be fairly easy. Why? Because they abide by the law.

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.

What measure are you using?
This does not appear to be true using GDP, GDP (PPP), GDP per capita (PPP), and Thailand has a higher Gini coefficient than either Canada or the Netherlands.

I see: poverty index.

Would gun control laws have prevented the Batman Theater shooting?

Would gun control laws have prevented the Columbine shooting?

Would gun control have have prevented the Thurston shooting?

Would gun control laws have prevented the Virginia Tech Shooting?

Would gun control laws have prevented the Arizona shooting?  

Thinking of gun control only in the context of individual incidents like those listed above is wrong-headed and probably one of the reasons why little has ever changed after this sort of incident. In any one of the cases I mentioned and more, the answer is that we'll never know for sure. A better question is the more general question of: Would better gun control help to reduce all gun related crimes?  

I think better and more universal gun control would help reduce the incidence of all gun related crimes. For starters, better background checks are needed that includes a person's mental health history as well as criminal history. We need universal gun control standards that all states and all gun sellers are required to abide by. Right now we have such a patchwork of laws and loopholes that the statistics on gun control's effects on gun realted crimes is iffy at best (yes studies coming to conclusions on all sides of this argument are iffy). We can't drive legally without a lisense then why can in some places people own and use a gun without having a valid liscense and passing a liscensing test? The purpose of a gun is ultimately to kill, the purpose of a car is to get you from point A to point B yet the car is more regulated (in most cases) than the gun.

I can hear the responses already.

Well, criminals don't get guns legally.

So because criminals are breaking the law to get illegal guns that means we shouldn't have better gun control laws? Gun control laws aren't (or shouldn't be) made with just criminals in mind. They should also be made with the intent of preventing people who shouldn't have guns from getting them in the first place and preventing people from using them irresponsibly (aka teaching and making people aware of gun safety and proper handling).

Well, if a person is really intent on killing another person they'll just find another way of doing it.

So, because some people are really set on killing other people that means we shouldn't have better gun control laws?

I'd like to point out that a gun is a really easy to use and relatively impersonal way to kill other people (in comparison), especially lots of other people all at once. Stabbing, bludgeoning and killing with your own bare hands are very personal ways of killing and you can't kill a lot of people all at once by these methods and your victim is more likely to get away.

Bombs and chemicals require a lot more effort to effectively kill people and are a lot more volatile for the disgruntled layperson than gun is. With a bomb or chemical you have to either buy it or build/mix it. Buying these things is often prohibitively expensive. Making these things is dangerous and you are more likely to hurt yourself than anyone else unless you have some prior training. Then you still have to place the bomb/chemical without being caught in an optimal space and detonate it/release it at the right time. Seems like a lot of hassle when a gun is so easy in comparison. A gun takes a lot less premeditation than bombs and chemicals too.

Besides it's not only shooting sprees we are trying to address with gun control laws. More common (and less publicized) than shooting sprees are the heat-of-the-moment and accidental shootings.

All gun control laws do is inconvenience responsible gun owners.

Sorry, but there is no right to not be inconvenienced. People are inconvenienced all the time by all sorts of laws, rules, processes ect... Boo-frickin-hoo you have to wait for a background check to come in. Gun ownership comes with great responsibility and before you get to do that it's only fair to those around you to make sure that you have noting in your background that should prevent you form owning a gun. I know I'm a safe responsible person about if I owned a gun would use it safe and responsibly but I don't expect other people to just trust that that's the case.

It's all about culture.

Sure, culture pays a role in the rates of all sorts of crimes. I have no problem with working to change the US culture surrounding guns. I'd be great not to have to have rules about a lot of things. However, in the meantime we have the culture that we have (and IMO people are generally stupid/ignorant) and unfortunately that means (to me at least) that better more universal gun control laws are necessary to help reduce/prevent all gun related crimes.

* And for the record, I have absolutely no problem with people owning and using guns so long as the are willing to endure a few common sense gun control laws. Also, many of our current patchwork of gun control laws are bullshit so don't think for one second that I support each and every current gun control law there is out there or those that are being proposed.

That would all be very nice in a country that didn't have The 2nd Amendment. We should just feel lucky the courts aren't interpreting it to allow one to own a hydrogen bomb.

??? I'm honestly confused about your response.

What's confusing? We have a 2nd Amendment giving the public the right to keep and bear arms. These amendments are impossible to change without strong public support, which doesn't exist.

The 2nd amendment doesn't prohibit our society establishing gun control laws, especially considering the cultural changes that have happened since the writing of the constitution. There are many laws that concern other amendments too... as in you cannot use your free speech to incite violence or cause undue harm to others (not yelling fire in a crowded theater that isn't on fire).

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