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.
I think it's both. But we can't put the genie back in the bottle, and take away everyone's guns. With a gun, it's very easy to slaughter a bunch of people if you are so inclined. As to what made America that way, I don't know.
I agree. It's people who are the basic problem.
This is such a uniquely American discussion I can't but smile at it. I think Newsbiscuit perhaps best illustrates how it looks to an outsider:
USA to become a people-free gun reserve
Faced with the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) compelling argument that ‘guns don’t kill people, people do’, President Obama has decided to ban people from the United States.
‘It has been far too easy to obtain people in America’ said Obama. ‘While we have tried to limit people through immigration policies, people nakedly get round this by simply breeding. With this unchecked proliferation of people, guns have no trouble finding a person to fire them. Shockingly, in isolated areas people even outnumber guns.’
Under Obama’s people control plan, all Americans will be relocated to Canada, and all guns will remain in the United States. ‘Without people to fire the guns, and without people to fire guns at, shootings will completely disappear’ noted Obama.
That's funny, Arcus - you might say it made my day --
I don't think of gun control as a means to stop killings from happening, determined people can and always have found ways of achieving what they need. But, guns (especially hand guns) exist for two purposes: killing people, and the threat of killing people. Would anyone argue over the legal sale of nerve gas? Its not that a determined and educated person couldn't concoct deadly devices, but why is everyone so intent protecting the ownership of murder devices? It shouldn't be the right of a person to own or carry grenades, or anthrax; then why is it the case for devices engineered to send projectiles through peoples skulls? Seems this idea is just culturally perpetuated rather than logically, and we all know about other culturally perpetuated ideas that <edit>'socially'</edit>trump logic.
What is the self defense or home defense value of nerve gas?
Guns are the ONLY weapon I can think of good for home defense (other than a pit bull). A pit bull might prevent a street attack. However, the upkeep on guns is much lower.
Defense against what? Marauding bandits, gangs, thieves? Pretty sure nerve gas would have the same effect has guns, probably much easier to defend your home against a group of attackers. But I'd rather have a lock on my door, a video surveillance system and cell phone to call for support. I'd don't know which is worse, a group of determined attackers that know I'm unarmed, or know I'm armed.
The idea is that guns offer a better form of self protection due to their manageability. Of course, as an idea it is utterly ridiculous as the average person is inept at weapons handling.
Dog handling as well. But something is better than nothing.
No one should be allowed a gun of any kind without a class in weapons training.