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.

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Ah, you'd expect to be killed.  Better to just go the honest route and get it over with.

Okay, Wikipedia tells me these are the top 12 countries as far as guns-per-capita. Eliminating countries with some sort of insurrection or civil war going on, I think you can see that your theory doesn't hold water in any consistent way.

 United States 88.8 1
 Serbia 58.2 2
 Yemen 54.8 3
 Switzerland 45.7 4
 Cyprus 36.4 5
 Saudi Arabia 35 6
 Iraq 34.2 7
 Finland 32 8
 Uruguay 31.8 9
 Sweden 31.6 10
 Norway 31.3 11
 France 31.2 12

Exactly Judith - do Americans understand the perception of American society, from an outsiders point of view - I don't think so. As Simon said 'The genie is out of the bottle', impossible to stop Americans from 'their right to bear arms' etc. etc. And those lovely folk up in the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia prepareing for Armageddon , with their sub machines guns, ready to kill the marauding city people -That's ok, you will just have to put up with disenfranchised psychos, who can go to a shop and buy whatever they like - way to go - of course, there are illegal guns being bought into Australia, and that is the operative word 'illegal', At least it is a start - crims here like shooting each other - and we have had the aberrational disenfranchised psycho, but it is rare, not every year or two. America is a scary society, and the perception is that they are generally violent - maybe wrong perception, but that is the perception.

Its far more likely that the mentality behind the things you are talking about would have the gun owners killing off the non-gun owners much before they kill each other. You said it yourself, the use of guns is largely used against the ones without them.  Whether Americans realize it or not, they are the evil empire rolling over poor and defenseless people while their media indoctrinates them with 'they the bad guys' message all the while talking about 'our heroic troops' and american flags waving over everything they want the public to buy into.  Patriotism is the same cultural disease that religion is.

It's easy for someone who doesn't live in the U.S. to form the impression (perhaps based on their own country) that the press here is little more than a propaganda arm of the government, but believe me the mainstream American press (and I mean even the major TV networks) likes nothing more than bad news or a scandal. And goes tenfold for the alternative press.

Except for Fox and CNN --

It may be just my own perception, but it seems that the more this country attempts to restrict our various rights as people, the more badly-behaved we seem to become.  My husband is 35 years old.  In high school, he could take keep his hunting rifle in his truck at school (we live in a rural community).  No one ever shot the hell out of anyone else.  I think the bigger issue is not restricting access to things, but determining the underlying issues of our society that is causing this increasing violence, frustration, mental illness.

For the record, we are "gun-weilders."  It feeds our family and we behave lawfully.

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 --



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