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.
And why do people forget that making a crude gun is a trivial exercise? And someone suitably motivated can make an automatic variety too. Once the concept behind the weapon is common knowledge, it's essentially impossible to ban or fully regulate.
I have no problems with people having a hand gun for protection or a rifle for hunting but should the average person be allowed access to powerful automatic military style weapons over the counter? Maybe some control is needed in that area?
This is an incredibly ignorant statement. "Automatic military style weapons" are already very strictly controlled. And have been since the 1930s. Furthermore, only one or two of the firearms on this registry has ever been used in a crime. You need to fill out a yard of paperwork to get one, and because it is now illegal to manufacture them for this market, the ones that exist command ridiculous five-figure prices.
What you see that looks like an "automatic military style weapon," is usually a semi-automatic version of the military weapon, where it is necessary to pull the trigger each time you want the gun to fire. The news media doesn't point this out very often either out of ignorance or mendacity.
Thank you Steve.
Automatic (more accurately, fully-automatic) means it keeps firing as long as you hold the trigger down. This is commonly called a "machine gun" or "automatic weapon". This type of weapon is ILLEGAL without a special Federal license, and not in all states (even with the license, you cannot own a weapon manufactured after 1986, when the law was passed).
What are perfectly legal and always have been, are semi-automatic firearms such as the theater shooter's AR-15. "Military-style" only means that it is black and scary-looking. It has nothing to do with the functioning of the firearm. AR-15s are civilian clones of the military M-16/M-4 family of guns. However, unlike their military counterparts, they are semi-automatic only, and they operate just like any semi-automatic handgun does: load a magazine, charge the weapon, and it will only fire one round at a time. So it is incorrect to refer to the theater shooter's AR-15 as an automatic weapon, but I see this all the time.
Also, an AR fires .223 ammo, which is actually underpowered compared with common hunting calibers. It's more of a varmint caliber. Ranchers shoot coyotes and prairie dogs with them, but they're not for deer hunting.
I'm under the impression that semi's can be converted to full's. It probably requires metalworking skills, suitable tools, and a set of instructions, but I don't even need to look using google to know that the instructions are out there.
Wherever there's a will...
...there's relatives --
I had to search for this...
Can be done. Not recommended. Looks like the "lone gunman mowing down innocent victims with a fully automatic weapon" is just a fantasy. A handheld gun would be useless after 3 bursts. The killer in the recent case had 6,000 rounds supposedly bought online. So, what did he do with them all? He couldn't possibly have shot them all in his brief time in the madman's spotlight. Probably either still in his apartment, vehicle, or backpack - unfired - the majority of them anyways.
I agree absolutely that it is the responsibility of the individual to behave in a civil manner and that if somebody snaps, they will do whatever they can with whatever means they have available to carry out their attacks.
In a modern civilised society. No matter your mental health. It is wrong for people to have guns, for the sake of having guns. Guns are awful and simply make acts like this easier for people to carry out should they choose to do so. No one needs the right to carry a gun. It's ludicrous and draconian and poisons society.
Plenty of people are also needlessly killed every year by people with guns in manners totally different to the Batman murders.
People are wrongly shot dead for being on the wrong property, thanks to somebody's 'right' to bare arms.
Who made them, judge, jury and executioner in that situation? The laws to bare arms are out dated and need to be revoked. No it would not stop killing happening, but there is no need to make the possibility of it easier.
When will humanity grow up from this most adolescent of slumbers?
Now we know that the perp of this horror, John Holmes, booby-trapped his house with very sophisticated explosives and incendiaries.
He could have left the guns at home and brought a very powerful bomb in a backpack, placed it on a seat, and detonated it from the parking lot of the theater.
Is the problem the weapon or the will to use it?
If you take away the right of the homeowner to own a gun and he obeys the law (setting aside the fact that many will not), he may find himself faced with a burglar who is better armed than he is.
The will to endulge in violence, to create weapons, to plan, and execute. To live in a social context where violence is entertainment, a source of power 'over', and a quietly accepted outlet for rage and validation. In short, inspite of our rhethorical flowerly words to the contrary, we romance violence, and shock and awe!
@James - not defending Americans especially, but American action films gross millions in all foreign markets overseas. All the world seems to have a place, at least in their fantasies, for violence.
Regarding American action films in foreign markets - in the mid-1980s when I was in China, the two most popular American films were The Sound of Music, and Rambo. (I always wondered about the selection of American media allowed in by the gov't there.)
American movies do not make that much money in American movie theatres. I've written a couple of screenplays, and I have some degree of familiarity as to how the system works.
Sure, you see that certain blockbuster films gross umpteen million dollars at the boxoffice, but the theatres get 50% of that, off the top, then production costs are repaid, leaving very little for the movie's investors, and trust me, without investors, no movie gets made.
Once the film has finished its booking at the first-run movie theatres, it moves on to the 2nd run theatres (the $2 theatres), and from there, to foreign markets, and finally, to DVD, while some make it on further, to TV, first domestic, then foreign.
These additional markets, as well as sale of franchise items (fast-food restaurant and other TV commercials, action figures, etc.), is how investors get repaid.
The point of my post, was that it's not only Americans who like violent movies - if there wasn't a high demand in foreign markets, American markets alone wouldn't make such movies profitable, and profit is the bottom line.