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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You're conflating regulation on what types of firearms are available to the public with removing the right to own them altogether - again.
You can regulate against assault weapons without infringing on a right to bear arms.
Based on the Supremes' hard line on the City of Chicago law, I wouldn't hold my breath that they will uphold much limitation. The best hope is for a couple of the Justices to retire or die during Obama's term.
You are talking about restricting the right to own arms, but as I've pointed out elsewhere, there's no cosmic law requiring a crook or killer to OWN the gun he uses to perpetrate the crime.
Rights aren't automatic. People must show that they are worthy of them, and there is sufficient history to suggest that not all Americans are deserving.
If you allow a child to have unfettered access to chocolate, and the child gorges itself on the stuff, you'd step in fairly quickly and limit the child's access to it.
The rights of the individual have to be balanced by the rights of others. The rights of 26 people to life itself have just been irrevocably withdrawn because of the rights of one individual to own a ridiculous arsenal have been abused.
All of our societies must balance the rights of one person against another.
I want the right to be gun free. In a society where other people have guns that becomes more difficult. What about my right to walk down the street without fear that the next upset person I meet might have a gun?
In Australia I have that right and I am so very glad. Guns and gun violence can still be problems here, but I don't fear them in my daily life, because they are highly unlikely to be a problem.
I would even guess that criminals are less likely to actually fire a gun in a country with tight gun laws, because the person/business you are robbing probably doesn't have one, so there is no need to go to that extent.
Individual rights and collective rights are highly connected, in my world, Our collective right to a fear free life is more important than your individual right to own a gun.
Constitutional rights ARE automatic in the United States. You have them until you do something to lose them.
Any comparison with parents and children is irrelevant. Children aren't born with the right to each chocolate or watch TV. However, they are born protected by the Constitution without having to earn or deserve it.