This is a pretty hot topic at the moment, so here’s my $0.02
Just banning weapons is not the solution, and cannot be the only solution on the table. The growing number of attacks using firearms (handguns, rifles, assault weapons) is a symptom of a larger problem, and one that I think most people aren’t paying enough attention to.
The problem is the all of these lunatics shooting up malls and schools are…. LUNATICS. They are crazy and dysfunctional people who needed help long before they decided that shooting a bunch of people was a worthwhile solution to their problem. Correct me if I’m wrong, but each and every one of these folks who went on a rampage was generally acknowledged as an outsider, a loner, someone who didn’t fit in, was “weird”, anti-social, etc, etc, etc.
These folks need to find (or be given) help waaaaaay earlier. This serves two purposes.
- Hopefully prevent this person from wanting to go on a rampage in the first place
- Get them on watch lists to prevent them from having access to weapons
If you DON’T identify these people in time, then it doesn’t matter how strict your controls are, they will find a way to get the weapons. Usually the shooters have no previous criminal record and would likely make it through any background check currently proposed unless they were committed earlier, or even “treated” earlier which likely would have prevented the problem in the first place. Further, if you have a crazy person in your house you shouldn’t be allowed to have them either. While there is nothing technically preventing this person from going to a neighbor’s house and stealing their guns, its much harder to do that then just go into their parents closet and arming themselves.
Video games don’t make normal people go on rampages. Movies don’t make normal people go on rampages. How many MILLIONS of people played Call of Duty, Battlefield, or Black Ops last year? The year before that? The year before that? Those millions of people are not out rampaging in the streets shooting everybody. Now, a broken and dysfunctional person *may* go out on a rampage after playing one of these games. But if you’re hanging on by that slim of a thread then you needed to find help sooner.
“Why do you need an AK-47 to hunt deer?!?!?!” is the typical question asked when the topic of assault rifles comes up. Honestly… I can’t answer that. Seems a bit… much… to kill a deer. Military experience has shown me however that automatic weapons are a HOOT to shoot in the proper controlled environment. So if they ban them, I’m OK with that. If they don’t get banned, well I want one to shoot at the range. And in case of zombie apocalypse, invasion by N. Korea or Aliens (see what I did there?) they will come in handy.
You can’t ban guns altogether. Australia did so to drastic effect. Crime rate and specifically home invasions went through the roof. If you don’t want to look that far, then just look at this article by Jeffrey Scott Shapiro at WSJ regarding the gun ban in Washington DC. Crime soared, DC became the Murder Capital, and home invasions soared. Why home invasions? Well, if a criminal wants to rob you of your money, jewels, or TV he will enter your house. They don’t care if you’re home because the worst you can do is use harsh language. I’m pretty sure a physical confrontation will only leave the homeowner on the short end.
You have to tailor the rules around the lunatics who WANT to go shoot people and not responsible gun owners. Any rule changes have to allow the ability for normal people to have access to firearms for home defense, hunting, and sport (ie I shoot because it’s fun). The rules should only affect the loonies. A Looney will not care if he can’t get an assault rifle (although it would make his life easier), he’ll just carry ten 9mm pistols instead. Impose a limit on magazine size? OK, they’ll just carry ten six-shooters. And that’s just if they decide to use guns instead of migrating to other means of destruction if the weapons is too difficult. If you ban weapons but leave all the loonies running around, they will just. find. another. way.
Did you know that televised pro sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, etc) do not show people who run onto the field? The reason is they don’t want to give the runner any publicity (they just quietly goto jail), notoriety, or otherwise give other people the IDEA that they can do the same. So they’ve reduced the problem by showing it on TV less. Guess what gets full 24 hour coverage for days on end? That’s right. Shootings. So here’s another pro-tip: Stop giving these shooters so much publicity. This wouldn’t be a problem for normal people, but the loonies seem to use this as motivation to try it themselves. There is frequently a rash of “me too” shootings shortly after a major one.
We have to avoid knee-jerk reactions like the laughable TSA and their toothpaste regulations. Only 3oz? SURE, I’ll just bring TWENTY TUBES of “toothpaste” in 1oz containers and TSA is too dumb to realize the folly. The only people harmed by that rule are regular people who are now stuck using “travel” size which -may- last more than one brushing or they have to buy toothpaste at their destination and then throw it away. Meanwhile the Taliban is laughing at us while brushing their tooth…
So here’s the bottom line.
- Make gun control laws that make sense -> Prevent un-responsible gun owners from owning or obtaining guns, while allowing responsible gun owners to own guns.
- Fix the PROBLEM which is crazy people with guns. Emphasis on the CRAZY.