Would tougher gun laws have saved lives?

Forbes.com

There are many, mostly liberal panty-waists to be fair, saying wisely, but stupidly that tougher gun laws would have prevented Colorado. They always say this after a mad nutter criminal freak goes craxy with a gun. Wiser heads don’t agree:

I wanted to make a couple of quick observations about the gun law discussion occurring in the wake of the terrible tragedy in Aurora Colorado. First, as someone who is generally pro gun rights, it’s not my first instinct to write anything in the wake of tragedies involving firearms, but rather remain respectfully silent. But I also understand the motivation of those who want stricter gun laws to take this time to discuss policy. And we cannot both discuss gun laws and also insist on silence from everyone on one side of the discussion.

One question to ask is, in the presence of stronger gun laws what would the shooter have done? The IEDs and explosives that filled his apartment suggest that strong illegality wouldn’t have stopped him, as explosives like this are obviously very illegal. This also tells us that even if all guns were somehow kept out of his hands he would still have had extremely dangerous killing tools at his disposal. But realistically I am skeptical that laws could keep guns out of the hands of those determined to get them.

The fact is criminals do not respect laws..that is why they are criminals. All tougher gun laws do is disarm law-abiding citizens. People who want tougher laws need to get a real solid grip on some salient facts:

You can argue that strict gun laws may reduce the number of gun related assaults and murders, and this is worth discussing, but it does not seem plausible that it would stop people like this shooter.

Another thing to consider is why we have such lenient gun laws in the first place. Some commentators would have you think that this is due to the outsized influence of a small group of radical pro-gun zealots and organizations. But according to the most recent Gallop poll, 47% of Americans own a gun.

You might reply that you only want to ban assault rifles, so that a lot of the 46% of gun owners wouldn’t be affected. But polls also show that 53% of Americans are against an assault rifle ban. The same polls show that support for more strict gun laws overall is down to 43% in 2011 from 78% in 1991. Currently 44% say they want gun laws to stay the same and 11% say they want them to be even less strict.

As things stand today, the majority is not being held back by the wishes of a bunch of old rich white guys in the 1700s or the desires of a radical pro-gun lobby. The majority has the gun laws that it wants. The fact that guns and the laws we have are popular doesn’t make a moral case for them. But if you want things to be different in this country you should start with these facts, because this, and not just some radical minority group of zealots, is the uphill battle you are facing.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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