If gun control does come, bear in mind it will be just part of a program to prevent such massacres in the future. If you listen to the gaggle of experts and pundits interviewed in the wake of these slaughters, many don't even see gun control as the biggest piece of the puzzle. Other pieces one hears proposed:
1) An end to violent shoot-em-up video games. I hope you like The Sims, because if they have their way, no more Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto.
2) More attention to mental illness, which threatens to catch people who are eccentric (or even "goth") in the same net as the true crazies. Concentration camps for schizophrenics and bipolars? Maybe not concentration camps but if the mentally ill suffer from public misperceptions now, things won't get better for them.
3) Throttling the violence available to the public via TV and movies. Imagine a world with no Batman or James Bond movies and no crime/police movies on TV. Instead nothing but chick flicks and "uplifting" or "inspiring" TV shows.
4) Getting God back into our everyday lives, focusing on the schools and on promoting Christian-oriented television.
The lesson: be careful what you wish for, because you may get it along with a few other things you won't like nearly as much.
I seriously doubt there will be successful legislative attempts to limit violence in media. Consuming violence for entertainment is central to our culture.
The DSM currently doesn't include eccentrics or goths. Paranoia is listed as a criterion for several conditions.
Of course there is a turn to religion. In the wake of every tragedy, people cling to their beliefs to make sense of it. It doesn't last.
I get the feeling that you oppose gun regulation. The problem with what you wish for--and have--is that we've gotten a few other things along with deregulation that we don't like nearly as much. 1,000,000 deaths since 1968. That's more civilians than soldiers lost in WWII. Be careful what you wish for.
I don't oppose gun regulation per se. I oppose legislation that won't work. They tried to ban alcohol in the early 1900's. How did that work out? More recently, they've tried to crack down on marijuana and other drugs. As in the case of prohibiting alcohol, it simply isn't working.
Why would banning guns work any better?
You jump from discussing regulation to discussing a ban. Who here is advocating a ban?
We learned from prohibition that a ban doesn't work, yet we still regulate alcohol. Personally, I advocate legalisation with regulation for all illicit drugs.
Why shouldn't regulation of gun access work--if other countries are able to make it work. Are we so different? Shouldn't we at least be willing to return to recent levels of regulation on the books? Why do civilians need assualt weapons? If you have nothing to hide, a background check is just an annoying formality.
Okay, if I grant you all of that, there's Plan B. If I want to go out in a blaze of glory after a massacre and somehow (doubtful as it is) you've managed to make guns totally unavailable to me through legislated regulation, recipes for making explosives are out there (Oklahoma City?), and the ingredients are widely available through grocery and hardware stores. I can make a bomb, set it off, and then blow myself up with a suicide vest after I've enjoyed the carnage.
Plan C involves poisons and is even easier than making explosives.
Why would banning guns work any better [than banning alcohol or drugs]?
There is one important difference. Bans on drugs and alcohol are tough because they are easy products to produce, demand is high, cost-per-use is cheap, consumption is quick, and you have frequent repeat customers.
You can't grow ammunition in a closet. You can't brew handguns in a bathtub. Even if you could, you still won't have regular customers buying new guns every week because they snorted the last ones and need more.
A ban on firearms would be easier to enforce relative to bans on drugs or alcohol. But it would still be difficult. Maybe it wouldn't work at all. But either way those who think it would work are going to try it, if they have the power and opportunity. If these mass shootings persist they just might eventually.
See my reply to Keiran.
We don't have a problem with frequent domestic bombing or mass poisening. Homeland security should be equipped to take care of that these types of threats. Could the availability of assault weapons have something to do with their popularity among spree killers? Perhaps it is the efficacy and the precision afforded by a assualt weapons that lends them to this type of violence.
[Y]ou've managed to make guns totally unavailable to me through legislated regulation, recipes for making explosives are out there.
The subtext: it's pointless to regulate guns because other things besides guns can be used to kill. Sure they can. But the question is will they be used as often?
How many modern industrialized countries with outright bans-- like Japan, United Kingdom, Germany-- are facing violent criminals who brandish homegrown bombs and poisons? If so, does it happen on a scale comparable to the number of criminals in the USA who commit their crimes while brandishing guns?
Your fallacy is a common one. You ignore the fact that Americans aren't Germans, Japanese, or Icelanders. We are almost uniquely antiauthoritarian and obsessed with preserving our rights. Many people who don't want guns will resist deconstructing to any degree the 2nd Amendment.
Your fallacy is a common one. You ignore the fact that Americans aren't Germans, Japanese, or Icelanders.
I didn't say America is Germany, Japan, or Iceland. I asked if violent criminals brandish homegrown poisons and bombs at comparable scales in countries where guns are banned.
If the answer is no, it's reasonable based on that evidence that a national ban on guns in the US may have similar results.
You say that's fallacious. How? Explain the error in reasoning. Provide evidence to the contrary. Or is it wrong because you just know it?
We are almost uniquely antiauthoritarian and obsessed with preserving our rights. Many people who don't want guns will resist deconstructing to any degree the 2nd Amendment.
I see. So now you've changed your own hypothetical scenario from "make guns totally unavailable" to "resist deconstructing [gun rights] to any degree".
Crackpot: Ban guns and people will use poisons and bombs instead!
Me: How do we know that? Does it happen in other countries?
Crackpot: That's fallacious!
Me: How so?
Crackpot: It just is! And now I'm reversing the scenario! A gun ban is impossible! See? Now your question is fallacious!
There is no need to remove all of these things with the guns, as many other countries with tough gun laws show. Australia for instance has access to all of the violent movies/videogames etc. and a run-of the-mill if not slightly lacking mental health system. However, we maintain a ban on most guns. Very few Australian's fear being threatened with a gun, because they just aren't on the street or easily available.
Yes, but one major difference is that apparently in Aussieland you don't have a constitutional right to own firearms. Once you give someone a right, it is a very big deal to take it away. Even people in the US who don't own guns often dislike the idea of taking rights from them even if they feel no immediate need to exercise them.