When Can We Talk About Gun Control?

This year, more than any other I can recall, really feels like the year of the gun in America. So many people have died and been injured in high profile mass shootings, with things kicking up heavily in July. Tuscaloosa saw a mass shooting, and then there was about one every week for another month. Even The Onion tried to run a satirical article about how everyone was rejoicing that it had been a week since the nation’s last mass shooting, and mere hours after they posted it, there was a shooting in New York City. Their response? An update to say “Never Mind.”

Just recently, the gun issue was brought back up with a high profile murder-suicide of an NFL player’s girlfriend, committed by Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher. It picked up even more steam when NBC sports broadcaster Bob Costas read from a pro-gun control column about Belcher. And tonight, it’s likely to get another boost of conversation, thanks to a shooting in an Oregon mall, with two dead.

But every time these tragedies occur, we’re told that it’s rude and inconsiderate to talk about gun control. Fox News, for example, just went nuts on Costas. Of course, it’s perfectly alright to stump for lessening gun control soon after a tragedy, like they did on Fox News after the tragedy in Norway.

After all, people that support the Second Amendment to the nearly fanatical point never want to talk about gun control. Because they’re convinced that gun control equals a ban on all guns and the destruction of the Second Amendment. They have painted the opposition as so extreme, they think they know how every conversation will go. And since they don’t want to hear it, they try to play the “cheap” card, the “tragedy” card and keep the conversation muted. A free speech issue, might I add, and people that are fond of the First Amendment are more than happy to have conversations about regulation and why it may or may not be bad, generally speaking. As President Josiah Bartlet from “The West Wing” said on Twitter today, “If we cannot talk about gun control legislation in the aftermath of a tragedy, we will never be able to talk about gun control legislation. Maybe that’s the point.”

In pretty much every single argument I’ve gotten into about why we should try to limit guns or try to regulate them more in some way or another, a few topics always seem to be brought up: Knife deaths, “You can’t stop them all” and self-defense.

See, if I mention just how many gun deaths there are in America compared to somewhere like the United Kingdom where there are far stricter gun laws, they point out how many stabbings there are. If I talk about regulating guns or bullets to attempt to limit the number of homicides, the rebuttal of “Someone willing to kill’s going to find a way. You can kill with [fill in with a far more innocuous weapon here, like piano wire].” And inevitably the idea that we need guns to defend against criminals that have guns gets mentioned.

Well, here’s just a few little nuggets to ponder, not that any proponents of gun rights will listen, because they’ve spent so long trying to get people to stop talking, why bother listening at all? First, yeah, there are a higher number of stabbings in the U.K. than in the U.S. What’s your point, exactly? I’m pretty sure that the percentage doesn’t even come close to the percentage of gun-related homicides in the U.S., so if we could see the percentage drop and become all knife-related, then fine. Second, exactly how many knife-related mass killings are there? How many people can walk into a mall or a church or a school with a knife and slay multiple people before they’re stopped? Third, there was a very recent story about a 7-year-old boy being shot by his father outside of a gun store, accidentally. Exactly how many accidental knife deaths are there every year?

Will gun control eliminate gun violence? Certainly not. Not even close. Would it maybe, just maybe see the number of deaths per year drop, even slightly? It might. So, no, we’re not able to stop it all. People will find ways to kill. But isn’t seeing one less murder enough of a reason to try?

Isn’t the possibility of at least one less gun-related murder, one less death per year enough of a reason to talk about solutions?

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14 thoughts on “When Can We Talk About Gun Control?

  1. List of X says:

    And I love how the pro-gun people love to talk how the law-abiding citizens carrying guns will always stop a criminal from mass-murdering others. Even in the states where you can carry a gun, Has that ever

  2. List of X says:

    (Oops, clicked on post comment too early) …has that ever happened once? Ever? And two, if we are talking about those law-abiding citizens who drive drunk, get into fights in bars, vote for Michele Bachmann, think Jesus rode the dinosaurs, or are afraid that UN and Obama want to steal their freedoms, then I’d prefer that only the criminals have guns, thank you very much.

  3. Chaeotica says:

    I don’t mind law-abiding citizens having guns. That doesn’t mean I think everyone who wants one should have one. And just because a sufficiently determined individual will find a way doesn’t mean we should make it _easy_.

    So, some of my thoughts/suggestion on gun control:
    1. Anyone who wants a license must be able to pass a background check (preferably of the same type as is given for someone trying to get a Secret-level security clearance).
    2. Anyone who wants a license must be able to pass a mandatory gun care and safety class.
    3. Anyone purchasing a gun must provide proof of license.
    4. Anyone purchasing a gun must register the gun with the police within a certain time of purchase. This process should include providing the police with a ballistics sample from that gun. The owner also has the responsibility of reporting guns missing or stolen immediately, and must file transfer of ownership paperwork as part of the process of reselling the gun.

    I also think that gun owners should have a mandated amount of supervised range time to maintain their license, kind of like how certain certifications require X number of CEUs each year in order to remain valid.

    Yeah, there’d still be a large market for illegal guns. Can’t stop that. But maybe it would make things harder for casual criminals, and if the ballistics are on file, the police don’t necessarily have to have the weapon before they can start looking for suspects. Who knows; maybe more people would learn about liability and responsibility if they had to jump through these kind of hoops, and it would probably be immensely more effective than the crap people have to suffer through at the airport.

    • List of X says:

      I don’t mind having law-abiding citizens owning guns, in theory. The problem is that the people who actively WANT to have guns are often least qualified to have them.

  4. Andre Perez says:

    Honestly – I think it’s safe to say that this would never have happened if they had more “no gun” signs at the mall.

    Since criminals/crazies are known for obeying the law, it stands to reason that passing new laws will make a big difference, and not just take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens.

    But if we ban all guns, then that would solve the problem! Wait here is a small pamphlet that gives step by step instructions for building a full automatic sub machine gun with nothing but hand tools and stuff from Home Depot. Paul Lutty is the author, google Lutty SMG.

    http://www.thehomegunsmith.com/

    Oops! I guess that idea is out the window.

    We know that countries that have strict gun control don’t have mass shootings, and this stuff only happens in America, right! No, not really

    England 1987 – Ryan, Michael Robert, shot/killed 16 people (and his dog) and wounded 15 others.

    France 1989 – Dornier, Christian, shot/killed 15 people and wounded 8 others.

    France 1995 – Éric Borel, shot/killed 15 people (including his family) and wounded 4 others.

    England 2010 – Bird, Derrick, shot/killed 12 people and wounded 12 others.

    But wait this is a modern phenomenon, right? No – it’s not.

    Japan 1938, Toi, Mutsuo, shot/killed 30 people (most of his village) and wounded 3 others.

    There are many more examples, but the point is that laws don’t stop crazy people or criminals, neither care about the law.

    For the record – a Semi-auto rifle fires 1 bullet for every pull of the trigger, a so called “assault rifle” is basically a “scary” looking rifle – otherwise the same as a hunting rifle. I can make a “high capacity” magazine out of scrap metal, spring and a file, even more simple – turn a “low capacity” magazine into a high capacity magazine in 10 minutes.

    As a final note – you will notice for some reason that these rampage killers only do this in places with “no gun” signs. That way, they know that one of the potential victims will not shot them in the back of the head. They can just shot until the police arrive.

    • linaloki says:

      Because posting “No guns” signs is clearly the only possible regulation that can be taken.

      Ever hear of a crime of passion or a crime of opportunity? Criminals aren’t born criminals. They start as law abiding citizens. At some point, the break it. So, your law abiding citizens with guns of today can easily become your mass murderer of tomorrow.

      Once again, NO ONE has EVER, to the best of my knowledge, said they want all guns banned. Frankly, I think the world would be a better place if guns didn’t exist, but we’re a bit past that being a reality, now aren’t we?

      I like how you’ve got 5 examples from different countries spanning 72 years. Meanwhile, I can pull up 5 examples from the United States spanning a total of 6 months. Gun regulation won’t eliminate gun violence, just as regulating cars hasn’t eliminated accidents, vehicular manslaughter, et cetera. But if you’re going to argue that regulations on cars, like licenses and laws making driving while intoxicated illegal, have done absolutely nothing to potentially curtail the number of vehicular deaths in America, then I’m going to laugh at you and ask what drugs you’re taking because boy oh boy do they seem to be a bit of a trip.

      If you can prove to me right now that more guns and less regulations will actually save lives, then I will shut up about how we should consider making guns and bullets perhaps a little more difficult to get. But you can’t actually do that. Because it’s simply not true. So, while violent deaths continue to pile up from gun crimes, something like 27 gun-related murders daily in America, I’m going to argue that maybe we should start looking at cracking down on things. Register guns with ballistic samples with the police. Minimum number of guns owned. Limits on the amount of ammunition purchasable within certain time periods. Certain firearms, like rocket launchers, banned from civilian use. Increase the penalty of illegal ownership of a gun. Make use of a gun while intoxicated heavily criminal.

      I’m willing to bet mine will actually do something. Won’t stop everything. But it’ll stop some.

      • Andre Perez says:

        If strict gun control could stop rampage killers the examples I gave would not have happened, because those countries have all the laws you propose plus a lot more. 5 examples not enough? Ok – I’ll give you more:

        Canada 1989 – Lépine, Marc, Killed 14 and wounded 14.
        New Zealand 1990 – Gray, David Malcolm, Killed 13 and wounded 3.
        Australia 1996 – Bryant, Martin John, Killed 35 and wounded 21.
        South Africa 1992 – Delport, Callie, Killed 9 and wounded 19.
        China 2001 – Hu Wenhai and Liu Haiwang, Killed 14 and wounded 3.
        South Africa 2002 – Vukwana, Bulelani, Killed 11 and wounded 6.
        China 2006 – Qiu Xinghua, Killed 11 and wounded 2.
        China 2006 – Bai Ningyang, Killed 12 and wounded 5.
        Finland 2008 – Saari, Matti Juhani, Killed 10 and wounded 1.
        Germany 2009 – Kretschmer, Tim, Killed 13 and wounded 9.
        China 2010 – Wu Huanming, Killed 11 and wounded 1.
        Norway 2011 – Breivik, Anders Behring, Killed 75 and wounded 242.
        France 2012 – Merah, Mohammed, Killed 7 and wounded 8.

        I could literally go on and on for hours, but you get the point.

        What I am showing you is that strict gun control would not stop these mass murders, because crazy people don’t care about your laws (your laws only effect law abiding citizens).
        – You crack down on Ammunition: law abiding citizens will have a hard time getting ammunition. Criminals/crazies will purchase ammo on the black market or make their own. Google “expedient homemade ammunition” for instructions on making ammunition with common hardware store items.

        – You ban so called “assault weapons” (these are just “scary” looking rifles. Black rifles! With bayonet lugs! And collapsible but stocks!): Law abiding citizens will buy les “scary” looking hunting rifles that have the same capability. Criminals/crazies won’t care either way; the hunting rifle has the same capability.

        – You ban Semi-auto rifles (Automatic rifles are currently already illegal): Law abiding citizens will have to use bolt action rifles and revolvers. Criminals/crazies will buy what they want on the black market or make their own automatic weapons. Google “Lutty SMG” for a step by step instruction guide. All you need is a hand drill, some metal files and junk from Home Depot. You can see the weapon in action on YouTube video.

      • linaloki says:

        Oh, good for you. More examples. Meanwhile, less than a week later, I’m reading news about a shooting in an elementary school.

        Seriously. I just don’t get it. I’m not saying stricter laws will end gun violence. But your suggestion seems to be that stricter gun laws will not only not prevent gun violence but INCREASE it. How? Seriously, how? When you look at the deaths per capita from guns in America and compare them to countries with stricter gun laws (which, to be fair, isn’t hard to pull off since we’re just short of giving free guns in Happy Meals), America’s gun related deaths soar far above and beyond the deaths of any of these countries. Can you prove, for a fact, that without those gun laws they had in place, the number of shootings, mass or otherwise, would have remained the same?

        No. You can’t. So, please, for the love of God, stop pretending you can.

        Again, people are not born criminals. There is absolutely no difference between a law-abiding citizen and a criminal when they start life out. Every criminal and/or crazy person was at some point a law-abiding citizen. So stop pretending that defending their rights is some glorious quest, because you’re simply protecting criminals’ abilities to get guns, too.

        There are things to try. How much ammunition does a person need every month? Handgun ammunition, I mean. People don’t tend to hunt with them. So why not have a cap? A magazine or two a month, that’s it. People buying more are suspicious. Have people register every weapon with the cops. Tag those easily purchasable items as potentially dangerous, and if someone buys up a suspicious amount in a certain period of time, look into them, like law enforcement sometimes does with bomb-making materials.

        How on earth would this be a bad thing to try? If a gun law prevents even a single death, how is it a bad idea?

  5. Andre Perez says:

    China 2012 Dec 14 (Today) A mentally ill villager armed with a knife Friday stabbed an 85-year-old woman and 22 school children at the gate of a primary school in China, officials said.

    Strict gun control does not stop crazies! (Not even a little)

    You are correct that generally, countries with strict gun control have less shooting incidents. Other crimes tend to go up however. Your chances of being murdered by other means go up, so do your chances of being raped. For example –

    The following countries have higher per capita murder rates then the USA: Germany, New Zealand, France, Australia, Italy, Netherlands and many others (the US is not even in the top 50 per capita).

    The following countries have higher per capita instances of rape then the USA: England, Germany, New Zealand, Belgium, Finland and many others (the US is not even in the top 50 per capita).

    You can examine the statistics at this link: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita

    These are facts, you may not like them – but they are facts (European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control International Statistics on Crime and Justice, 2011)
    I’m Sorry if you find it disturbing that you are more likely to be murdered or raped in countries with strict gun control then you are in the USA; but those are the facts.

    • linaloki says:

      And those school children, to the best of my knowledge, all survived. Mental illness is a problem that needs to be looked at, too, but I’ll take injured kids over dead ones.

      And since you’re clearly not understanding that gun regulations aren’t bans and that I realize it won’t end all crime forever and ever, I’m going to just leave you with some facts.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/nine-facts-about-guns-and-mass-shootings-in-the-united-states/

      • Andre Perez says:

        No answer on the per capita murder rate in gun control countries being higher than the USA? I’m disappointed – I was waiting. I would rather have a higher chance of being a victim of gun violence in the USA then being killed some other way in one of your gun free utopias.

        Not sure if any of the China victims died (yet); but they just as easily could have (personally, I think a knife is a superior weapon at very close range, in my hands anyway).

        You must have missed number 3 on that list you linked.
        “3. Lots of guns don’t necessarily mean lots of shootings, as you can see in Israel and Switzerland.”

      • linaloki says:

        I’m not replying to your rather bogus statistics or your attempts to falsely equate my stances with some idiotic stance you’ve concocted and pretend all liberally minded people have because it’s rather pointless. In fairness, you were never going to change your mind anyway. To you, it’s better to do nothing and let these tragedies keep happening than try something that could maybe save a single life but lose some redneck a single bullet from his collection.

        Go back and read No. 3 again. Especially the update where he says he was incorrect and Israel and Sweden actually have VERY strict gun laws that the U.S. should maybe follow. Which is to my point: A country can have a lot of guns… AND a lot of regulation. You want tons of guns with little to no regulation. If so, I suggest living in Venezuela or Mexico. You can have all the guns and non-regulation you want. And the wonderful murdery death bits that come with it.

  6. Andre Perez says:

    I’m sorry you feel that you have to resort to name calling like “redneck.” It’s unfortunate, and brings discredit to liberal minded people everywhere.

    The title was “When Can We Talk About Gun Control?” so I thought we could start talking.

    Thos statistics are from the “European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control.” I’m not sure why you think they are bogus; they are not numbers from the NRA, or even the FBI. I guess you don’t like the numbers so you just declare them bogus and through some insults to our rural folk in America without explanation. Does that pass for honest open debate in your circle? Name calling? Arbitrary denial of facts from reliable sources without explanation? Liberalism is not what it used to be.

    Venezuela and Mexico both have strict gun control but very high crime and murder rates. I could just as easily suggest that you move to Sweden or Israel if you think they have it right? But I won’t, I support your right to speak free and try to convince your fellow Americans that useless laws are the answer.

    • linaloki says:

      Wasn’t calling you a redneck, and people down here (I’m from Alabama) don’t necessarily see it as an insult. Nor did I mean it as one. I was going off the stereotype of a rural Southern farmer owning guns. Which is a pretty solid stereotype. The South is pretty heavy in gun ownership. And lowered gun control laws. And gun violence.

      I’ve linked my own facts, which show that America is pretty heavy in violent crimes. One of the heaviest in the world. Far above and beyond, even compared to similar first world countries with strict gun laws. Anyway, Venezuela and Mexico aren’t really countries I’d say have strict gun laws, being that they don’t have strict laws. They’re heavy in corruption and cartel influence, particularly Venezuela.

      Anyway, today is not the best day for me to talk about gun control with a level head, and I’ve had about 15 different arguments with people that keep trying to tell me I want to ban all the guns and that I’m an anti-American liberal retard for wanting that, something I never actually said. Not to mention, 20 kids died today. Children. It makes me physically ill. The only thing I want to do is to try and make it so that we don’t see 20 more kids die tomorrow or the next day or ever again. That’s all I want. But I keep getting told that the mere suggestion of trying to prevent or talk about how to prevent such crimes is a heinous suggestion because it “infringes on people’s rights”.

      What of the right to not wake up and see 20 dead kids?

      America has a gun violence problem. Anyone that has been awake these past 6 months can see that. In my opinion, our having done nothing is clearly not lessening the rate of crime. In fact, we’ve had the majority of our worst gun killing sprees in the past 5 years. Things are getting worse, it would seem. So what’s the harm in doing something about it? We can look at all the other countries and make comparisons if we want, but none of them are our country. We don’t know what will happen until we try. So why not make it harder for the mentally unstable to get guns? Why not make federal regulations cracking down on the mentally handicapped or emotionally unstable being licensed? Or those with histories of criminal activity, particularly violent? Maybe lessen the number of bullets in magazines. Maybe make ammo more expensive. Maybe limit the number of guns you can own. There are SO MANY things to try. And if ANY of those things can save one single life… The man today apparently shot some 100-plus rounds into that class room. If the gun had only had 80 rounds in the magazine… could a life have been spared? Would we be reading about 19 children dead instead of 20? If a SINGLE life can be spared, a single child can be saved… then I just don’t see how it’s a bad idea, and I can’t understand why you would think it is.

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