In the wake of the Aurora shooting, more gun control isn’t a solution.
It’s time for me to open up a can of worms today that many people are already locked in a heated debate about. For the record, I’m actually against violence and own no weapons. That being said, there seems to be reignited this ongoing debate for and against gun control in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado shooting which took 12 lives and severely injured 58 others.
One the pro-gun control side, we have the same assertion that had the person in question not had access to the weapons he did, then the killing spree wouldn’t have occurred. While on the opposing side, the assertion is that tighter gun control would not have made a difference.
I had just finished watching a video post by The Young Turks asserting the pro-gun control side of things and all I could do was shake my head. I couldn’t even get all the way through the video, because frankly I just don’t have enough brain cells that I voluntarily wish to give up in order to do so.
That’s not to say that I’m all for the other side of the logical extreme, making it easier to obtain these sorts of weapons. Nor am I asserting somehow that I don’t sympathize with the families of the lost victims to this atrocity.
What I’m getting at is simply that there already exists a law against murder itself.
Increasing the gun control or banning particular options isn’t really the answer. Murder itself is a symptom of a larger problem, and it doesn’t really matter what the murderer used to accomplish the goal. If we took away the assault rifles and high capacity magazines, why would that somehow be construed as deterring somebody who is bent on murdering many people?
It’s a lot like saying that because a drunk driver decided to plow through a shopping mall, killing 30 people, that we need to ban automobiles or alcohol. The reality of the situation in this analogy is that neither automobiles nor alcohol are illegal, but driving while intoxicated actually is illegal as well as vehicular homicide.
It’s the law against murder itself which supersedes all the tools that could possibly be used to implement murder. Instead of trying to regulate countless tools and methods, like death by stabbing somebody in the jugular with a McDonald’s Spork, or premeditated murder through the mixing of copious amounts of Clorox Bleach and Ammonia in that same movie theater and then locking the doors from the outside, or maybe gaining lawful employment at said movie theater in advance, working at the concessions counter and poisoning an entire batch of popcorn… see, it doesn’t actually matter how a murderer chose to enact the crime or what they use to accomplish the task.
The thing about Ronnie is that he’s really just misunderstood. Ok, maybe a little evil.
All that actually matters is the root of the problem, which is murder in this case.
But then, murder itself isn’t even the root of the problem. In order to figure that out, we’d actually have to take a long, hard look at the society which breeds such contempt for a living person that murder becomes an option. The underlying root of the problem is a sick society in general; especially one where a majority of people blame the tools and not the person wielding them.
There are plenty of lawfully owned automatic/semi-automatic assault rifles. For every hundred thousand or so lawfully owned weapons, there’s going to be an isolated situation where one person decides it’s alright to use those weapons for murder. But does that, by comparison make every owner of that weapon a murderer?
Of course not.
There are plenty of accidental deaths in the United States every year due to firearm related reasons. Weapons are dangerous. That’s precisely what they are for. In the same manner, eating McDonalds every day will likely kill you or produce millions of morbidly obese citizens. Are we on a crusade to outright ban McDonalds?
I don’t know about you, but I can see about half a dozen fast food places down the road from me and not once did I ever make the decision to gain a few hundred pounds stuffing an endless array of Quarter Pounders down my noisy meat-hole.
Because we all know that one guy who can’t get enough McDonalds…
and he ruins it for everyone else
Just the Facts
I’m not the sort of person to talk about this sort of thing without actually doing some homework ahead of time. So let’s look at just how dangerous firearms are, by the statistical numbers (compiled by GunSafe.org in Connecticut) The statistics are probably outdated by maybe ten years, but considering they aren’t that huge of a difference since 1959, it should be safe to use these as a general idea overall -
United States population... 273,000,000
Firearms (handguns, rifles, and shotguns) owned by civilians... 235,000,000
How much has this increased in the past 40 years?... Tripled
What fraction of U.S. households owns firearms?...42%
What fraction of U.S. residents owns firearms?...28%
Damn, that’s a lot of firearms in the United States. You’d think with all of those firearms the homicide and accidental death rate from firearms would be insanely high, right?
Total accidental deaths per year (all causes), U.S....96,000
Motor vehicle accidental deaths per year...43,000
Fatal firearms accidents per year...1,100
Ok, so fatal accidents aren’t that high. With 273,000,000 people in the United States and about 235,000,000 firearms, at least the gun safety education is working really well. 1,100 firearms related deaths from accidents is miniscule compared to the total residency and total number of firearms owned.
But wait, we’re forgetting the homicide rate and murder! Surely that number will bring about a clear justification for banning these firearms or enforcing stricter regulations!
Suicides by firearm, per year...18.000
Murders by firearm, per year...14,000
No dice… Let’s do some quick mental math and figure out the percentages.
I’ll even throw people a bone and give them the accidental firearms accidents and suicides.
Fair enough. 23,000 deaths is not actually a good thing. Let’s punch that into the calculator and find out what percentage that is against the actual population of the United States.
23,000 / 273,000,000
Ok, that’s just asinine to do that math. Anyone with half a mind can see the percentage is going to be ridiculously small by comparison. But just in case you were seriously bent on knowing that percentage, it’s:
8.42490842 × 10-5
It’s such a small percentage that I’m pretty certain it’s well below 1% and likely far below a tenth of a percent of the population. It’s 7:30 in the morning, so working that math out exactly isn’t happening right now, but you get the point.
But there’s obviously more to this… I mean, what is the percentage of crimes that are committed with “Assault Rifles”? I bet if we look at that figure we’ll find justification to ban them!
"Assault weapons" are about 1 percent of the guns used in crime
Son of a b…
On the bright side, less than 1% of the population thinks they’re Rambo – as opposed to the entire world thinking all Americans think they’re Rambo.
Alright… have we done enough math yet? The point here is that we’re looking at the problem from a really stupid perspective and then acting on emotion and not logic in our quest to solve the problem. It happens every time – just look at September 11th, 2001 if you need proof of that. Two wars and not a damned thing accomplished except a bunch of defense contractors with raging hard-ons balancing cheeseburgers at the end.
Oh, and a near collapsed economy.
So, uh… what the hell were we talking abou… oh, right. Assault Rifles and banning them because some psychotic moron thought it would be great to storm a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises and open fire on defenseless patrons.
As you’re reading this, you’re likely thinking I’m some sort of die-hard NRA Republican gun-nut, but I’m not. Hell, I’m not even a card carrying Democrat or any political affiliation for that matter. All I really care about are the base things in a country.
This country exists because of guns, in the hands of citizens. The founding fathers made damned sure that right was written right into the fabric of the nation as an inalienable right. It’s a freedom we take for granted, and too quickly forget why we should never restrict it too harshly.
It’s not because Bob needs automatic weapons to shoot some deer (though defense against Bear is a good reason). It’s because an armed public discourages wholesale tyranny from government. That is why we have the right to bare arms, along with the right for self defense. At the end of the day, the government answers to its people, and when the people are well armed and ready to defend their sovereignty and freedoms, then there is no government that will stand in that path. No law or decree which the majority refuses to submit to will hold any weight.
That’s why we have a country.
Those weapons can be used for offense or defense, but it’s the person pulling the trigger that is making that decision. So we solve the problem by figuring out what’s wrong with the people… not the weapons.
So let’s get this one thing straight, shall we?
This is the man accused of killing 12 moviegoers and wounding 58 more in Aurora, Colo., last week. He made his first appearance in court Monday morning.
James Holmes, a 24-year-old former doctoral student at the University of Colorado, Denver, has been held on first-degree murder charges in the July 20 shooting spree at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises."
The brief procedural hearing, known as an advisement, took place at the Arapahoe County Justice Center. Holmes, who was represented by a public defender, appeared in court with brightly dyed orange hair and wore a burgundy jail uniform. He seemed sleepy or dazed and often had his eyes shut.
Holmes will face formal charges from prosecutors on July 30, and District Attorney Carol Chambers said her office is considering the death penalty against him, according to the Associated Press. District Court Judge William Sylvester issued an order forbidding Holmes from having contact with victims or witnesses.
If first degree murder charges and a possible death penalty didn’t deter this guy from murdering people, then what makes anyone think outlawing the gun he did it with will deter future murderers?
The first question anyone should have about this situation isn’t “What gun did he use?” – that’s totally irrelevant. Instead it should be “What the hell brought him to a state of mind where murdering innocent people seemed like a viable option?”
Banning the weapons he used is a lot like sending inanimate objects to jail when you think about it. So let’s get to the root of the problem instead of sidestepping it. It takes a decision from a person operating a firearm to kill people, they don’t just magically get up and start mowing people down on their own.
My sympathies and condolences go out to the victims of this tragic event, but the harsh reality is – at less than 1% of crimes using assault rifles, it was just bad luck they were there at the time. I’m sure this guy is likely to see the death penalty for what he has done, and for that – justice is served as best as can be.