The Case for More Guns (And More Gun Control): How Do We Reduce Gun Crime Mass Shootings ?
Law abiding citizens owning guns are not the problem. They never have been.
The problem has always been bad or sick people who exploit or circumvent the law in one way or another who manage to get their hands on guns.
All the laws in the world will not change the character of the problem- law abiding citizens will remain law abiding citizens and bad people will do whatever they can to get the guns they want.
Now, we can argue about limiting access to big guns, handguns or assault rifles. We can- and should tighten the laws about who can sell guns and who can buy them. Internet purchases of weapons and ammunition need to be revisited.
Still, we have been told the shooter’s mother legally purchased the weapons used in the massacre in a state with some of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws.
The question we all dance around however is, how did this culture of violence develop? Switzerland and Israel are both countries with guns in every home, because of mandatory military service and reserve duty obligation In virtually every household in those countries, there are guns. Nevertheless, the kind of gun violence we have witnessed in Connecticut, Aurora, Virginia Tech, at Columbine or other places, are unheard of there.
Why is that?
The Century 16 Cineplex in Aurora, Colorado, stands desolate behind a temporary green fence, which was raised to protect the theater from prying eyes and mischief-makers. The parking lots that surround the multiplex are empty—weeds are pushing through the asphalt—and the only person at the theater when I visited a few weeks ago was an enervated Aurora police officer assigned to guard the site.
I asked the officer whether the building, which has stood empty since the night of July 20, when a former graduate student named James E. Holmes is alleged to have killed 12 people and wounded 58 others at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, still drew the curious. “People drive by to look,” he said, but “not too many.” The Aurora massacre is noteworthy, even in the crowded field of mass shootings, as one of the more wretched and demoralizing in the recent history of American violence, and I was surprised that the scene of the crime did not attract more attention. “I guess people move on,” he said.
I walked up a slight rise that provided an imperfect view of the back of Theater 9, where the massacre took place, and tried to imagine the precise emotions the victims felt as the gunfire erupted.
“The shooting started at a quiet moment in the movie,” Stephen Barton told me. He was shot in the opening fusillade. “I saw this canister-type thing, a smoking object, streak across the screen. I thought it was a kid with fireworks playing a prank.”
Barton is 22 years old. He had been preparing to leave for Russia this fall on a Fulbright scholarship. “The first feeling I remember was bewilderment. I don’t remember having a single thought before I was shot, because I was shot early on. I was sitting in the middle of the row, toward the back. I got blasted in my head, neck, and face—my whole upper body—by shotgun pellets.”
As he lay wounded on the floor by his seat, he said, his bafflement gave way to panic. “I had this unwillingness to accept that this was actually happening. I wanted to believe that there was no way that someone in the same room as me was shooting at people,” he said. “So it was disbelief and also this really strong feeling that I’m not ready to die. I’m at someone else’s mercy. I’ve never felt more helpless.”