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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We live in a world where 'knowledge', can be researched via web, good librarys, resource people, you figure it out, etc. If you put a blockaide on resource access, such as weapons, knowledge could offer a work around. Knowledge is power. What I find interesting, is why more events like this do not happen?

I expect that there is a deep well of actual decency in the culture, that keeps most of us from acting out rage, revenge or just general craziness. A few of us excape into the ugly space that might surround us where every thing is allowed, or not suppressed. I fear that the pursuit of power over nature and each other could open the flood gates into this ugly space, if we are not careful.  

I want to believe that atheism is a truely civilizing alternative to theism. I remember questions over years about 'what keeps us moral/ethical?', 'Does power corrupt, by its very nature?', etc.

I expect that these questions might not have entered the young man's mind, with sufficent strenght to prevent his act of ugliness. How was his mind working? Was he acting out a senerio contrived by movie producers and stage writers? Did he think it 'cool' to play out some fantasy? Was it one act of defiance against a world/culture he disliked? Was it the 'zombi drug'? I have no idea...;p(   

An argument can be made that gun control actually enabled this atrocity, as well as the Columbine and Virgina Tech slaughters, because the gunmen, having decided to go on a rampage, could go to places where no one else would be armed; a designated "no guns" zone.  (Now I don't know if this theater qualifies--it's a private business and to be "gun free" in Colorado, it would have to post signs forbidding any weapons, at which point it is illegal for anyone, even a concealed handgun permit holder, to "pack heat." But certainly Columbine and VT qualify as gun free zones.)  The laws against carrying a gun will deter the law abiding, but the man who has decided to shoot as many people as he can surely doesn't give a flying fuck about the punishment for violating the prohibition on guns where is he going to go berserk--but he may be just "rational" enough to realize that he will be able to kill more people in such places.

I've heard it argued that we'd actually be safer if terrorists could be reasonably sure that some of the people on the plane were armed. However, I wonder if they would simply turn to getting bombs into the cargo compartment.

9/11 probably could not have happend, to be sure, but they would have done what you said.

If someone _wants_ to kill himself to get you it's very hard to stop him.

If any idiot could carry a gun on a plane the last thing I'd worry about is terrorism.

If anything this latest shooting has shown that the threat of terrorism is severely overblown.  It's simply too easy to kill a large number of people if a terrorist really wanted to.

As for gun control laws making the US safer... I doubt it now.  The box has already been opened and there are so many guns around that any criminal could get one for a long time to come.

Perhaps one small change to the rules may help.  In the UK the gun laws are, surprisingly, not that different to those in most parts of the US.  The really big difference is that when applying for a permit you have to have a face to face interview with the local chief of police to explain exactly why you want one and how you're going to keep your weapons safe and out of others hands.  If he's not satisfied with your answers or simply recognizes you're crazy then no gun for you!

On a final note... I recognize that it's people, not guns, that kill people but guns make them a hell of a lot more effective at doing so.

If anything this latest shooting has shown that the threat of terrorism is severely overblown.  It's simply too easy to kill a large number of people if a terrorist really wanted to.

It shows how EASY an act of terrorism can be. I don't see how that makes the threat of terrorism "overblown." If anything, it's a lesson to future terrorists. We can expect more such events now with higher body counts.

On a final note... I recognize that it's people, not guns, that kill people but guns make them a hell of a lot more effective at doing so.

But not more effective than well-placed bombs, mass poisonings, or sabotage of aircraft and trains.

I lived in Mexico for a number of years, where possession of a firearm is absolutely illegal, yet there are probably as many guns in Mexico, per capita, as there are here - gun control, much like the "war on drugs," simply doesn't work.

Well its likely the war on drugs, and american government illegally selling arms to drug cartels that makes so many guns available in Mexico.  Its not a simple 'the laws don't work, here is one place they don't'.

I live in Australia where gun control is very strict,  I don't know anyone who owns one.  For me to obtain a hand gun  I would have to join a gun club and take part in competitions,  you are required to attend competitions regularly (every couple of weeks at least) If you don't attend, you must give up your gun.  Guns must be kept in locked cabinets which are required to be inspected regularly by the police.   In short unless you are an Olympic shooter the inconveniences are just too much  for the average person to bother with gun ownership.  Guns are available for farmers for vermin control, but are limited to single shot rifles or double barreled shotguns,  anything semi automatic, or pump action is banned.

If you look up the gun or overall violent crime rates  for Australia vs the US you will find the Australia rate is a small fraction of the US rate.

Guns are still available to some criminals (usually organized). You simply cant stop all smuggling into Australia.  But the average wacko has almost no chance of obtaining one (we did have a mass shooting in 1996, before semi automatic guns were banned).  Organized criminals very rarely use guns against the general public, they usually confine themselves to killing each other.

Sure knife attacks happen, but it is relatively easy to run away from someone with a knife,  its also very hard to kill large numbers of people with a knife.  The police are armed with guns, tasers, and batons so its fairly easy for just one cop to take a knife wielding crazy person down.

In Australia I feel quite safe walking around the city unarmed, you don't have to worry much about bad neighborhoods.  Though you do have to be a bit wary of drunks in the entertainment district in the early hours of the morning.

I travel frequently to Houston for work,  the atmosphere there is completely different.  Guns are commonplace and you know that walking around after dark can be risky in bad areas.   Talking to US residents I find that it is hard for most of them to imagine anything different.  Guns are so easy to obtain in the US that getting rid of them would be an almost impossible task.

When Im in the US I wish I could carry a gun at all times for my own personal safety  (if I moved there I probably would get one). In Australia I feel absolutely no need for one.

@Robert Fletcher - It's definitely a mind set. If I lived in America, I would have a gun. It is reassuring that I know my neighbours do not, and wouldn't think of, having a gun. America is full of fear, and how can you trust any situation,'cause somebody just might have a gun. I thank my lovely white Unicorn I live in Australia. It is too late for America, as the loony tunes have got control. So, for all the people justifying right to bear arms, because some aberrational event just may happen - good for you, but in the meantime, innocent people going about their daily business, and just having fun, can wind up dead. Bravo.

Funny. I live in America and oppose gun control (for logical and practical reasons), but I don't own a gun and don't want to own a gun.

Americans value their freedom over their safety.


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