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Can we talk about guns now?
Posted Aug 6, 2012 - 13:06:25

Can we talk about guns now, or should we wait until the next spree shooter? I mean, that's really the question here.

When I was younger, I was firmly pro-gun control. Of course, I was in junior high when one of the High School vice principals in my town was shot by a former student, and I was a senior in high school when the Columbine shooting occurred.

But slowly, over a decade, I softened. I think it has to do with living in Eau Claire for a decade, where even the left wing people are hunters... and a lot own guns for that purpose. I still opposed conceal and carry laws (which, for the record, freak me out), but I began to "understand" arguments for home protection.

The events of the last few weeks, one of which occurred in the same metropolitan area that I grew up in, has caused me to do one thing: revert.

I understand owning a rifle for hunting. I get that. That gun has a purpose. But there is no purpose for a hand gun or an assault rifle other than killing human beings. Both the tragedies Aurora, CO and Oak Creek, WI could not have happened if these weapons were off the street.

And before anyone feeds me one line about how they need to be able to "protect their home," let me remind you statistics show that a weapon you own is more likely to be used against you than anything else. And in both of these shootings, even if someone in the crowd HAD a firearm, they wouldn't have been able to use it to stop the killer -- as they'd risk hitting another innocent bystander.

You don't need a handgun. You don't need an assault rifle. You just don't. There are zero rational reasons to have them in your house, and they enable those who choose to take the path of violence to end far too many lives.

The sticky wicket here, of course, is the Second Amendment. But we observe limitations on every other amendment, why not that one as well? The Second Amendment was written by the same generation that had just fought a war of independence, and firearms were not the efficient killing machines that they are today. It's a different world, and we need restrictions on that which has no other purpose than ending the lives of our fellow citizens.

You can't yell fire in a crowded theater, why the hell should you be allowed to carry a gun into one?
- Traegorn

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He wasn't allowed to walk into a movie theatre with a firearm. That's why he planned his massacre there. See also Luby's Cafeteria, a massacre that everyone expected would lead to more gun control and ended up leading to it's repeal once survivors spoke up abut the firearms they'd had to leave outside. Mass shootings happen where firearms are prohibited, not where they are ubiquitous.
As for home defense and so on, that's a different argument, but in mass shooting the evidence (as predicted by criminological and classical economic theory) is overwhelmingly anti-gun control.
I was referencing a line from Schenck vs. US, which put limitations on the first amendment - I understand that firearms were banned from the Aurora theater.  That's not the point.

Statistics show that easier access to firearms leads to higher incidents of gun violence.   The science is on my side on this one.  The problem with gun control in America is that it's always done in half measures.  Weak gun control is worse than no gun control -- it merely drives people to the alternatives.
(Also, Wisconsin only recently has had concealed carry - and the shooter owned his weapons legally)
I'm sorry, I love your comics and all, but you are simply wrong on this. As long as bad guys are able to get guns, and they will, despite any laws against it, since they are criminals by definition, I need a gun to protect myself and my family. You don't seriously believe that this deranged idiot could not have obtained a gun illegally? The police are not enough - they don't live at my house or follow me around. Unless you have a way to get rid of all guns all over the world, the Second Amendment is my guarantee of personal protection. I'm not even going to get into the part where I may feel the need to defend myself against the government some day (yes, I'm one of those people that believe the government should fear us rather than the other way around.) God willing, I will never need to use the weapon, but better to have it if you need it. Of course, I also believe in proper training, which does seem to be lacking.
Why do shootings always produce responses like this? Let's look at the flipside: what if almost everyone of age in that theater had a personal firearm? There would have been one dead loony, and a lot more not dead potential victims, I think. I will never understand the line of thinking that believes that simply making something illegal will affect criminal or deranged behavior in any way. It only makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to defend and protect themselves. I am personally not interested in being protected by the government - I can do it myself, cheaper, and better, thanks.
No responsible gun user would have been able to get off a shot in either shooting, because they'd risk hitting someone besides the shooter.  Seriously.  Even if everyone had been armed, the shooter would have killed just as many people.  Seriously.

You honestly think your gun offers you protection?  Statistics don't back you up on that.  Again - people who own guns are much more likely to get shot than people who don't keep guns in their home.  The numbers back me up on that.

Also, countries with stricter gun control laws don't have this problem.  You don't get spree shooters in the UK my friend.

And if you want to know why this sort of event prompts people like me asking these questions -- it's because a lot of people just got killed in my home town by someone who owned legal firearms. When people get killed with legally purchased weapons of death in my backyard, you're damned straight I'm going to want to ask some questions.
I don't want to argue as I have my opinions that are mixed. But i want you to know Trae as knowing some people from the UK, the gun control in returns turns the crimes more into stabbings. Now since I don't live there, I don't know if there is any news on it but I doubt the UK is going into Knife control because more stabbings occur instead of shootings.
Langland, it's a lot harder to stab 30 people than it is to shoot 30 people.
True true, however the big picture of gun control is to reduce the violence associated to guns but instead it will just converted to more stabbings. Sure the mass amounts of people stabbed is not likely but it still goes into a new set of problems. I guess that's why i have mixed feelings about Gun control.
I won't go so far to say you are wrong, as everyone is entitled to their own opinion, especially as how it's -your- site.

anyway, there is an old cliche that ------ don't kill people, people kill people.   everyone will have their weapon of choice, or convienence.

may i cite the sarin gas attacks in japan, the backpack bombs of the UK on 7/7, the airplanes on 9/11, many reports of machete attacks in mexico and columbia, and also the recent hunting rifle attack in norway.

banning any particular type of weapon does not eliminate mass-attack violence, the sort of person that is going to commit such an act will find a way.  

recall that the aurora shooter also booby-trapped his apartment.   had the police not been cautious, the resulting fire would likely have taken out the entire apartment building, resulting in more loss of life.

shall we then ban string, propane, gas cans, and all the other bits used in creating these bombs?   look at the oklahoma city bombing...  farmer's fertilizer, diesel fuel (petro), and a rental truck.   which of these shall we ban?  

let us also remember that bans themselves don't work.   it has been said that if you ban guns, only criminals have them.   as has also been said, or, should i say, alleged: banning guns in england cut down shootings.   from the words of some business associates that live in london, this is most certainly -not- the case.    not only did more criminals get guns, they could now be assured that the man on the street would -not- have one.   guess who wins?

similarly, while the USA does not ban guns outright, there is lots of incident of so-called 'gun free zones'.  these only mean the criminals with weapons can safely assume there won't be -other- guns around.

i think i'm losing my thread, but I felt you needed to have a different perspective.  I don't expect it will convince you in any way.

-TJ

  




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