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.
Here is my source:
Would gun control laws have prevented the Batman Theater shooting?
Would gun control laws have prevented the Columbine shooting?
Would gun control have have prevented the Thurston shooting?
Would gun control laws have prevented the Virginia Tech Shooting?
Would gun control laws have prevented the Arizona shooting?
Thinking of gun control only in the context of individual incidents like those listed above is wrong-headed and probably one of the reasons why little has ever changed after this sort of incident. In any one of the cases I mentioned and more, the answer is that we'll never know for sure. A better question is the more general question of: Would better gun control help to reduce all gun related crimes?
I think better and more universal gun control would help reduce the incidence of all gun related crimes. For starters, better background checks are needed that includes a person's mental health history as well as criminal history. We need universal gun control standards that all states and all gun sellers are required to abide by. Right now we have such a patchwork of laws and loopholes that the statistics on gun control's effects on gun realted crimes is iffy at best (yes studies coming to conclusions on all sides of this argument are iffy). We can't drive legally without a lisense then why can in some places people own and use a gun without having a valid liscense and passing a liscensing test? The purpose of a gun is ultimately to kill, the purpose of a car is to get you from point A to point B yet the car is more regulated (in most cases) than the gun.
I can hear the responses already.
Well, criminals don't get guns legally.
So because criminals are breaking the law to get illegal guns that means we shouldn't have better gun control laws? Gun control laws aren't (or shouldn't be) made with just criminals in mind. They should also be made with the intent of preventing people who shouldn't have guns from getting them in the first place and preventing people from using them irresponsibly (aka teaching and making people aware of gun safety and proper handling).
Well, if a person is really intent on killing another person they'll just find another way of doing it.
So, because some people are really set on killing other people that means we shouldn't have better gun control laws?
I'd like to point out that a gun is a really easy to use and relatively impersonal way to kill other people (in comparison), especially lots of other people all at once. Stabbing, bludgeoning and killing with your own bare hands are very personal ways of killing and you can't kill a lot of people all at once by these methods and your victim is more likely to get away.
Bombs and chemicals require a lot more effort to effectively kill people and are a lot more volatile for the disgruntled layperson than gun is. With a bomb or chemical you have to either buy it or build/mix it. Buying these things is often prohibitively expensive. Making these things is dangerous and you are more likely to hurt yourself than anyone else unless you have some prior training. Then you still have to place the bomb/chemical without being caught in an optimal space and detonate it/release it at the right time. Seems like a lot of hassle when a gun is so easy in comparison. A gun takes a lot less premeditation than bombs and chemicals too.
Besides it's not only shooting sprees we are trying to address with gun control laws. More common (and less publicized) than shooting sprees are the heat-of-the-moment and accidental shootings.
All gun control laws do is inconvenience responsible gun owners.
Sorry, but there is no right to not be inconvenienced. People are inconvenienced all the time by all sorts of laws, rules, processes ect... Boo-frickin-hoo you have to wait for a background check to come in. Gun ownership comes with great responsibility and before you get to do that it's only fair to those around you to make sure that you have noting in your background that should prevent you form owning a gun. I know I'm a safe responsible person about if I owned a gun would use it safe and responsibly but I don't expect other people to just trust that that's the case.
It's all about culture.
Sure, culture pays a role in the rates of all sorts of crimes. I have no problem with working to change the US culture surrounding guns. I'd be great not to have to have rules about a lot of things. However, in the meantime we have the culture that we have (and IMO people are generally stupid/ignorant) and unfortunately that means (to me at least) that better more universal gun control laws are necessary to help reduce/prevent all gun related crimes.
* And for the record, I have absolutely no problem with people owning and using guns so long as the are willing to endure a few common sense gun control laws. Also, many of our current patchwork of gun control laws are bullshit so don't think for one second that I support each and every current gun control law there is out there or those that are being proposed.
That would all be very nice in a country that didn't have The 2nd Amendment. We should just feel lucky the courts aren't interpreting it to allow one to own a hydrogen bomb.
??? I'm honestly confused about your response.
What's confusing? We have a 2nd Amendment giving the public the right to keep and bear arms. These amendments are impossible to change without strong public support, which doesn't exist.
The 2nd amendment doesn't prohibit our society establishing gun control laws, especially considering the cultural changes that have happened since the writing of the constitution. There are many laws that concern other amendments too... as in you cannot use your free speech to incite violence or cause undue harm to others (not yelling fire in a crowded theater that isn't on fire).
There are plenty of gun control laws that the 2nd Amendment would prevent. It's there, it's real, it's the law.
To use your example, just as you can't use free speech to incite violence, you can't use a gun to kill people. In both cases, the law only goes into effect AFTER the offense.
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