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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The "really big" difference is there all right... and if the chief of police happens to be one of those who believes no private citizen should have a gun you won't get your gun no matter how sane he thinks you are.

The UK law is rule by men, not by law, and the wrong man can abuse that system for his own ends.  Imagine if a corrupt individual became a police chief; only his buddies would get guns and his buddies would not necessarily be sterling citizens.

On another note I don't know where you get the notion that "most of America" has a system like the UKs except for that difference, unless you imagine that "most of America" equals Chicago, LA, Detroit, NYC and Washington DC.

I'd agree with most of the replies above and, excuse me for making a generalisation, next time I'll prepare a 10,000 word essay on the subject.  Either that or you could stop being a pedant.

As for how it shows the threat of terrorism is overblown... I grew up under constant threat of terrorism, at least one bomb, or bomb scare a week throughout the whole of my childhood.  Until I reached my teens I had no idea why we were being kept behind after school or why a road was closed or the like.  Even when I learned of the threat it wasn't spoken of and everyone went about their business regardless.  Terror doesn't work if people refuse to be terrified.  It's governments, now, that are the true terrorists.  They're the ones creating fear amongst the people.

Terror doesn't work if people refuse to be terrified.  It's governments, now, that are the true terrorists.  They're the ones creating fear amongst the people.

I've often said, if we want to defeat the terrorists, we get rid of all the security, allow people to bring whatever they want on the plane and tell them "If we die we die; if we don't we don't" and then forbid the news sources from covering any planes that go down.

Like that will ever happen. Right now we have the system we have and the terrorists are working it...and will continue to do so. People fly scared even though there hasn't been a major terrorist attack on U.S. planes in quite a little while now.

I'd agree with most of the replies above and, excuse me for making a generalisation, next time I'll prepare a 10,000 word essay on the subject.  Either that or you could stop being a pedant.

Or you could stop making flatly wrong statements, covering them with the word "most" (when it would be much more appropriate to say "few") and then, when called on it, use that as an excuse to ignore the point made in the other two thirds of the post.

Your statement wasn't a "generalisation," it was ignorant bullshit, and pointing that out isn't pedantry.

Let me put it this way, your error was even more egregious than the error of someone who equates "London" with "Most of England"

What you describe is a "police state". That's when the executive branch of the government has final say on the rights and privileges of any given individual or group, and not the judicial branch (with juries, attorneys, and object rules of evidence). 

An argument can be made that gun control actually enabled this atrocity, as well as the Columbine and Virgina Tech slaughters,

I'm not sure about Virginia Tech, but I find that to be highly unlikely in this incident or in the Columbine shootings.  In this incident, it was a crowded, smoke-filled, dark environment which was crowded with startled, confused and panicked people.  The gunman was also wearing body armour.  It would be exceedingly difficult for someone to grasp the situation, correctly identify the threat, and neutralize an armoured assailant without further collateral damage in that kind of situation.  Furthermore, if multiple people were armed, it would be difficult for them to discern the difference between those firing defensively and those firing offensively.

With the Columbine incident, similar confusion creates problems.  It may seem apparent who the targets are in retrospect, but at the time, people in the building had little way of knowing.  Throw more guns into the mix on top of nerves and confusion, and how is any armed person supposed to reliably determine friend from foe amongst all other armed individuals?  Even if you rigged an id system, there's nothing to say the assailants couldn't exploit that as well.  Problematically, the assailants had quite the edge; they appeared willing to kill without reservation, and obviously weren't too concerned with dying given that they killed themselves in the end anyway.

As for acquiring arms, I don't know what other hypothetical avenues the assailants would have taken to acquire arms.  We only know how they were acquired in actuality.  James Holmes acquired the weapons through legal channels.  Dylan Klebold acquired them through a straw purchase in which a friend legally purchased the arms.  In either case, it seems that legal channels allowed them to acquire the weapons with relative ease, though the straw purchases were illegal.  It is that ease with which many gun control proponents seem to be concerned.  Would these attackers have gone to any lengths to acquire firearms?  Maybe.  I don't know.  The reality is that they didn't have to.  Make of that what you will.

These points are not intended as support for gun control.  I simply disagree with the notion that gun control arguably enabled these killings, or increased their severity in any way.  I find it unlikely.

I'm sure that being hit by a bullet, even with body armor on is very painful and dazing. I'm not sure whatever he was wearing on his head would have made a head shot ineffective. I suspect a head shot would have disable him temporarily at least.

As for this argument I often hear that "How could you be sure you don't hit a couple innocent people before taking the perpetrator down?" my reply is that he shot 70 people, 12 fatally. Suppose you shot two people, one fatally, by mistake before finally taking him down. If that meant he shot only 35 people 6 of them fatally and you shot two, one fatally, that still means 5 people DIDN'T have to die and 30 people were injured in the total exchange instead of 58.

Not shooting in order not to have an innocent's blood on one's hands...that's rather selfish logic when one looks at the math.

Supposedly a ballistic helmet, vest and leggings as well as a throat protector.

As for selfish logic, this assumes an optimal scenario which cannot actually ever be measured in practice.  We can't evaluate that kind of 'math'.  It would be quite difficult to evaluate how many people would or would not have been killed changing any variable.  That doesn't mean we cannot recognize complications and obstacles to using firearms defensively in such a scenario.  

The odds seem very heavily stacked against defensive firearms use in this particular scenario.  The defender would have to have presence of mind to evaluate such an unexpected scenario in a short period of time, be able to identify the threat clearly, have a clear enough shot, be a decent mark or within close range, have the conviction to shoot another human being, and either have minimal risk of affecting innocent bystanders or not be possessed of any overriding concern for them.  To top it off, the defender would have no guarantee of success and has to face the potential for drawing the assailant's attention to themselves.

Hypothetical plusses and minuses to the kill count don't actually add up to anything in a scenario that has already played out.  I am not forming an argument that gun control reduced casualties.  I am stating the complications to the argument that gun control increased them.  The likelihood that such an argument would bear fruit is low.

I would think if I were there and I'd already seen him shoot maybe 10 people it might occur to me he could kill quite a few more and that it might be time to DO SOMETHING! No math needed.

I'm not questioning whether or not you would do something.  I'm stating that doing something effective to stop him or reduce casualties would be difficult even with a firearm, and that the impact of your hypothetical doings can't be easily determined with any reliability.

True, but here's a guy shooting about every 5 or 6 seconds, and hitting his target most of the time, so the outcome of letting it go on for very long is pretty easy to predict.

A barrage of shots to someone, even wearing body armor (which is "armor" only metaphorically, after all) might daze him enough to take him out. And...like I said, I don't believe there is armor that effectively protects the head, especially the face. 

The most reasonable thing, for sure, is to run in an "It's every man for himself so get outta my way!" mode. However, someone who risked returning fire in the interest of ending the killing would certainly not be held in low regard.

I would think if you, or anyone else, were there and you'd see him shoot maybe 10 people you might be startled and stuck in a shock state. The whole thing was probably over before anyone even realized what happened. Humans are no different than chicken when stuff like this happens. Most people probably just pissed their pants, jerked and trampled each other like headless chicken in an attempt to get out of their seats and run towards a door, if they had any sense of orientation left at all after they were teargased. You probably couldn't get any of those people to spell out their own names in that moment, let alone realize what's going on, locate the guy, pull a gun, aim and headshot him. Not to mention that the majority of the audience were batman fans, which basically makes them bedwetting nerds. Sitting here and debating what could've been done is kind of pointless.

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