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.
In the very specific case of my country, getting the permit and gun is very expensive. Must criminals get their guns in the black market or stealing them directly from the military and police.
Basically, as it has been said before, if someone wants a gun he will find the way to get it.
I would think that making guns, or certain types of guns less available would eventually reduce their availability to criminals... just not within timelines with which most people would be satisfied.
That flies in the face of the principle of supply and demand. Making guns less available legally will just drive up the price of illegal guns.
Think of the "success" of the war on drugs.
RE: "Making guns less available legally will just drive up the price of illegal guns."
Which would at least put them out of reach for some, if not many. To be honest, I'd much rather see an AK-47 or an Uzzi in the hands of a Mafia mobster, who at least is a professional, has training in weaponry, and has a specific agenda generally related to his "business," than to see one in the hands of a crackhead (which is rare, because most would sell it for money to buy crack), an amateur first-timer, or an all-out nutjob like the one in Colorado.
Unlike illicit drugs, most (if not nearly all) illegally possessed firearms are legally produced to meet demands for legal possession.
I'm not sure that's true of Beretta and some of the other foreign companies who would be exempt from direct control by the American government. The drug cartels would buy guns and bring them up to the gangs they use to distribute drugs in the U.S., and they would sell guns just as they sell drugs. BTW, AK-47 is a design not a brand, and it's made all over the place.
Unlike a number of illicit drugs, firearms don't have addiction to support market demand.
Only if you don't count the street addicts that the gangs profit by. I would count that as addiction-based support.
So what will they do if/when their Government turns into a tyrannical regime? America is already well on its way to becoming a Police State, and "Banning Guns" just means the cops and the military will still have them, while the citizenry gets fucked. I'm pessimistic, and cynical, I know, but I can't support anything that removes peoples right to fight against their oppressors.
You cannot negotiate with everyone. We learned that in WW2, didn't we? Ambitious men and women are never satisfied with what they have, and while you're negotiating away inch after inch, they'll be preparing to take mile after mile. There is a point where protesting and marching in the streets achieves nothing, and the only solution is armed rebellion. How do you have a rebellion without weapons? You don't. The rebellion never happens, and you're forever trapped under the hell of your regime.
@Grady - the guns are here because the right to bear them is in the Constitution, and that right is there because Jefferson believed, and once actually said, that this country needs a revolution every 20 years. He foresaw that a tyrannical government could oppress a weaponless population. What he didn't foresee, were the many ways that right has been eroded by subsequent generations. Try going Eastwood, and walking down the street with a .45 strapped to your hip, and you'll quickly find that you don't always have the right to bear arms.
On the other hand, I must disagree that, "marching in the streets achieves nothing" - marching in the streets ended the war in Vietnam and brought about passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, both landmark victories for the American people.
I am an advocate of gun ownership, although I haven't owned one or killed anything larger than spiders and flies for many years now (armed only with a rolled up newspaper). If we voluntarily give up a Constitutional right, it will just be a matter of time before we're expected to give up another, but I also agree that no one needs a StreetSweeper or an assault rifle for either hunting or self-protection.
Has anyone considered going after the manufacturers? They're the ones who promote their sales and have the most to lose by their ban. In fact, a few thousand concerned Americans, "marching in the streets" outside their corporate headquarters in full view of an invited press, could well work to resolve that issue.
@Grady - the guns are here because the right to bear them is in the Constitution, and that right is there because Jefferson believed, and once actually said, that this country needs a revolution every 20 years. He foresaw that a tyrannical government could oppress a weaponless population. What he didn't foresee, were the many ways that right has been eroded by subsequent generations.
Jefferson also didn't anticipate that the military would be armed with a whole lot more than handguns, single-shot rifles, and small artillery. Today, any public who wanted to rebel against the American government would be armed with handguns, rifles, and assault weapons (no artillery to speak of) whereas the government would have a trained military and weapons of almost unimaginable superiority to what the public possesses (bazookas, grenade launchers, tanks, heavy artillery, and the ability to project power over several thousand miles when necessary).
An armed rebellion, even a popular one, would be an exercise in futility of epic proportions.
Although admittedly, it's once in a row, I agree with you completely - I was merely explaining how the "right" came to be in the first place.
And it's a right so entrenched and with such wide popular support that any attemp to curtail it to any effective degree won't even get out of the starting gate. It would take a constitutional convention, which ain't gonna happen. And if we did have one, I'd prefer it dealt with changing our electoral system before it did anything else.
The "Winner Take All" policies of the Electorial College denies the one-man, one vote principle.
The Electoral College isn't broken at the national level, it's broken at the state level. Only two states that I know of assign their electors on a percentage basis. The others are "Winner take all". The College exists to balance the elections between the smaller and larger states. It has its flaws, but the aim makes sense.
I think the INTENT of the aim is good, just not the results.