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.
Becca - as most of us usually are --
I'm hearing pundits speculating that the perpetrator is delusional based on his statement "I'm The Joker," but I think that won't work as a defense unless there were instances while he was shopping for guns and bomb-making materials where he also made similar statements. He accumulated his weapons and materials over a period of months, which is a long time to go without revealing your mental illness, especially if it's as severe as he seems to have wanted it to seem.
Kinda on topic
Black and white thinking, mate. No need to create a black market by banning all guns - "simply" (and I know simply is not the same as easy) arrange a well-organized gun buy-back scheme a la Australia, limit the type of weapons available to people, and make it harder to become a gun owner. And this business of having a militiarized government and unarmed citizens - isn't that what a constitution is for? To protect citizens?
No, actually the American Constitution was written to protect our freedoms by trying to fairly regulate commerce and the government itself. One of the writers was Benjamin Franklin who had harsh words about people who chose security over liberty...
Would Gun Control Laws have prevented it? Possibly, but not guaranteed. It is a mindset about gun laws, and America's NRC is too entrenched, and has so much power, gun laws in America will never happen. It is too late.
Australia just doesn't have that mindset and attitude towards guns. Yep, Australia did have a gun buy back, and society applauded, and that was bought in by a right wing politician - and yes, there are illegal guns in our society, but mostly the guns are used by crims - to shoot each other. And I know, that if I lived in America, I would have a gun.
I couldn't get through the video above - Frigging scary - it is people like him, and that entrenched mentality - will see more massacres, and that is America.
America, and it's rampant gun use, where fear is totally instilled, scares me spit less. This latest massacre certainly won't be the last, there will be many more. To think that a child may go to school, and never come back, or go and see a movie..... who is next?
If you look at the statistics, the results of gun control laws internationally are very confusing. For example:
Russia's Murder Rate: 14.9 per 100,000 people <------ Strict gun control
Finland's Murder Rate: 2.17 per 100,00 people <------- Lax gun control
Switzerland's Murder Rate: 1.01 per 100.000 people <-------- Lax gun control
United States' Murder Rate: 5.0 per 100.000 people <----- Lax gun control
United Kingdom's Murder Rate: 1.28 per 100.000 people <------ Strict gun control
One needs to be careful when reading gun death statistics to know whether you are looking at the raw number of gun deaths or the percent per capita (a much more meaningful statistic). The U.S. is a big country and will of course have a higher number of raw gun-related murders than a much smaller country, whereas a small country can have a far higher gun murder rate per capita but a far smaller number of deaths. Take Thailand, for example. This tiny peace-loving(?) Buddhist country has the highest gun murder rate per capita in the world according to some stats (others may bump it down to #3, but it is way up at or near the top of the list).
One needs to be careful when cherry picking your examples, Unseen, and even more careful about mentioning the prevalence of weapons in households. For instance, what does strict and lax gun control mean?
Also, what's up with the red herring: your whole last paragraph is meaningless, for anyone with the slightest bit of common sense knows that total numbers are of little use without taking population into account.
I don't know where you get your data(a link would be nice), but from what I read, it is quite clear
:"Homicide rates tend to be related to firearm ownership levels. Everything else being equal, a reduction in the percentage of households owning firearms should occasion a drop in the homicide rate".
Evidence to the Cullen Inquiry 1996: Thomas Gabor, Professor of Criminology - University of Ottawa"
"The level of gun ownership world-wide is directly related to murder and suicide rates and specifically to the level of death by gunfire."
International Correlation between gun ownership and rates of homicide and suicide.' Professor Martin Killias, May 1993."
In fact, the correlation couldn't be clearer: http://www.gun-control-network.org/GF01.htm
I checked out your link. It seems you don't have good "radar" for propaganda from special interest groups. For example, the stats come from a group named Toronto Small Arms/Firearms Research. To me that smells like an anti-gun group. It wouldn't be a name chosen by a pro-gun group and is wouldn't be a name chosen by a group engaging in controlled and peer-reviewed social research.
It's the website of "The Gun Control Network," which is a rather obvious (just from the name) pro gun control organization. I don't imagine you'd take seriously any stats presented by "The Gun Rights Network."
Your chart showing the United States compared to other countries is a bit misleading. What it doesn't show is that a number of countries have higher gun homicide rates than the U.S. The chart leaves the (I believe intended) impression that the United States has the highest homicide rate in the world.
Also, while the homicide rate by guns is three or four times higher than by other means in the United States, other countries, Scotland for example, have non-gun homicide rates approximating the gun homicide rate. People in Scotland get killed by being stabbed or being beaten to death about as often as by being shot.
Also, including suicide rates in the discussion is a distraction deserving a separate discussion. I, for example, believe one has a right to commit suicide. This is a view held by many, The main argument against suicide by gun is that it's messy, but so is jumping off an overpass onto a freeway.
@Unseen - RE: "it's messy, but so is jumping off an overpass onto a freeway."
Onto a freeway, indisputably, but onto a less-busy two-lane blacktop, the buzzards are quite quick and efficient at cleanup.