One area of policy about which both conservatives and liberals often agree is gun control. Liberals (lefties in Oz) are all for it all the time, even more so when a horrific mass shooting occurs. And, particularly in the wake of these terrible events, many conservatives also demand sweeping legislative changes.
The best known local example was John Howard's reaction to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre. Now, after this Sandy Hook massacre, conservatives such as Miranda Devine are sounding very leftish.
I certainly sympathize. When you learn of the mass murder of children it's hard to stand up for the rights of gun owners. That's because your emotions are engaged. "God, this is too horrible," you think. "Politicians have to do something, anything, to at least try to stop such a thing ever happening again."
But if you look at the situation rationally it's hard not to conclude that lives could have been saved if there had been another armed citizen there at the scene. Hell, most people right across the political spectrum -- except for maybe some uber-leftie mega-saps -- would have been all for a security guard, cop, or army sniper taking out Adam Lanza immediately after he started firing (or even before he managed to kill anyone at all). He'd be feted as a hero if he did so. So why are they so appalled at the thought of a civilian doing exactly the same thing?
I think there are two kinds of irrationality at work here. There's the general belief that guns are evil in and of themselves which is what lefties in particular are most prone to. Then there's this idea that guns are okay, but only in the officially approved hands of cops, soldiers and the like. Conservatives, being respectful of institutional authority, often succumb to this fallacy.
But we know for a fact that many millions of people do own guns in western countries. The vast majority of them never use them for evil purposes. And surely killing a mass murderer early on in his shooting spree would not only not be an evil purpose, but an extremely good and admirable one -- regardless of whether the person firing the gun is wearing a uniform or not.
I can't find anything to disagree with in your post, Matt.ReplyDelete
It's the idiot behind the gun that kills, not the gun by itself.
I don't see total gun control getting a leg up in the US, regardless of this diabolical incident. The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution overrides such a proposal. Also, it's completely inane to hope guns can be removed from a populace. Can't happen. Won't happen.
And even if they do get massive gun bans happening, they won't solve the problem. Criminals and crazies will continue to get hold of guns illegally. A wide-ranging ban might reduce the number of deaths a little, but that's about it.Delete
And even if they do,I'd expect the said law to be the case of a legal action in the U.S Supreme Court,on whether such a law violates the U.S Constitution which as I understand it,can't be changed by the Senate. It requires a 2/3rd vote by the people of the U.S to do so.Delete
Yep, I agree completely.ReplyDelete
I found the family dis-function handle hard to miss in the search for a "smoking gun" apart from the smoking hand guns of course. Family breakdown disappointments with or without individual mental issues is a storm brewing in its own right.ReplyDelete
We know domestic violence trends-up at the "Most Wonderful time of the year..." Another counterpoint in the case to restrict straight marriage or at least make it harder to have kids. "Family" needs to work for society to be "safer".
When it's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year and your immediate family is stressed fractured to breaking point or in pieces on the ground you'll be hurt, angry & depressed. I have been there more than once. Fortunately for me I had a friend to carry me along and my own young family to offer some cheer.
The Swiss have guns a plenty in the community but with national service training and not the same fatal mis-usage. There's a tip. An absence of a poor gang invested underclass would be another point of difference to target.
The states could do better. In USA guns aren't just tools perhaps in the way other trained nations see them.
The USA is a special case. There are several reasons why there are so many gun deaths. Easy access to them is only a small part of the puzzle, IMO.Delete
Interesting view although personally I think if it was as difficult to obtain a firearm as it is here in the UK, situations like this and countless others would not arise in the first place.ReplyDelete
I don't think the presence of a security guard should be the main issue here, the real issue is the capability of an ordinary citizen to be able to purchase a semi-automatic rifle over the counter which is exactly what happened in the Aurora shootings.
Surely the US should be striving towards nullifying the risk altogether, tightening the laws on getting firearms in the first place has to be better solution than a kind of "shoot out" situation, regardless of anyone's political views.
Sadly I think the second amendment is too ingrained in American culture for this ever to happen, which is a shame.
I'm not against a ban on assault weapons. Apparently, there was one in place, but it expired under Bush or something ...ReplyDelete
My criticism relates to the total bans that so many liberals dream of.
And I don't think you could go anywhere near nullifying the risk altogether. If people want to get hold of guns and use them, they will. There are hundreds of millions of them in that country now, so they'd still be available even if the entire legal trade were ended now.
American's 'right to bare arms' will come back to haunt them when the tattooed generation gets old and wrinkklyReplyDelete
Your point is?Delete
Having served with Americans, armed by their society, and still having friends there who were not only well trained in the use of automatic weapons but who now own there own hand guns and hunting rifles and rationally defend their right to own them I would suggest that to disarm that society is next to impossible. A rational look at gun deaths in the US shows that horrors like the latest school shootings are a very small part of the problem. Issues like this massacre need a different approach to the assessment of individual mental health concerns. It is difficult to try and comprehend the horror inflicted on this community and too easy to offer kneejerk simplistic solutions.ReplyDelete
Oops. Should have been "their own handguns". Stands in corner to repent for mistake,Delete
If you have only a scant look at the types who commit massacres or other gun related crimes, they have very little in common with the average sane minded, law abiding gun owner.ReplyDelete
Crims and psychos rarely care about gun laws, strangely enough.