Sounds a bit too much in favour of big government to me. (or someone’s been reading too much Heinlein).
But I think I lean a bit towards the putting the genie back in the bottle argument. I don’t want a gun, I’m not going to sleep with a loaded gun in my nightstand, if I think I live somewhere where I’m likely going to face armed invaders at night I’ll a) move and b) do what I can to try to address the societal issues that lead to people breaking into houses at night.
But as this thread shows, there are people who at least say they’ll violently stop their guns from being taken from them.
The US culture around arms is totally different from everywhere else for historical reasons (and guns are already so prevalent) that I don’t know how you’d be able to enforce the gun control laws that exist in Europe.
The post-Dunblane handgun laws in the UK were enforceable because they really only affected people at shooting clubs (which does raise the question of whether they achieved anything in a country where there is no gun culture and mass shootings happen about once every 10 years whatever laws are on the books).
People in the UK don’t have guns because they don’t want guns, not because they can’t get guns.
You are seriously underestimating the ease of shaping metal. Making a gun is fairly easy for anybody with the skills and at least somewhat equipped metalworking workshop. This barrier to entry is falling down like a rock dropped from a bridge, with the advent of consumer-grade CNC machines. And then there is the laser-sintered metal 3d printing, waiting just behind the corner for its turn.
Increase the prices, and some people may sell theirs and others will make new ones.
And homemade new ones.
Effective restriction of supply side would require so many controls on access to metalworking tools that I wouldn’t want to live in such world.
In many countries of the Eastern Bloc the access to copying machines was greatly restricted, and in some cases even the “fingerprints” of the typewriters were tracked.
Australia wasn’t that far off from the U.S., historically and culturally speaking. They had their own “Wild West” period of fierce independence and self-determination too. I spent a year living there in the 90s and can say from personal experience that a lot of that culture is still around. Still, they managed to enact new gun laws. Not the same ones as the UK or France or China or Canada or anywhere else, but laws that were tailored to their society and needs.
That’s what we need. Not an exact copy of anyone else’s laws, but policies that move us toward that end of the spectrum.
Also, we seem to believe we just CAN NOT make a change and it’ll never work or be accepted. That is horse shit. Same arguments were made for slavery pre-Civil War. I somehow doubt we have to have a bloody war over regulating guns.
In the US, “assault rifles” are used in ~350 out of ~12,000 violent firearm deaths annually. You could make every assault rifle spontaneously evaporate an puff of smoke and it would be exceptionally difficult to differentiate the effect from background fluctuations in yearly data. It is like trying to reduce the similar number of US speeding fatalities by banning red Ferraris.
If you want to make a dent: ban the humble .38 calibre six shot revolver.
Disclaimer: I never actually claimed that the AR-15 was an “assault rifle.” Though it does seem to be a pretty effective tool for assaulting large numbers of people.
I agree that banning handguns would reduce gun deaths more than banning high-capacity semi-automatic/fully automatic rifles.
One reason I’d still like to make those kinds of rifles hard to get is that they are particularly well suited for mass shootings, but not especially well suited for most legitimate uses. Any “need” most people voice for owning a firearm—be it home defense or hunting—could be solved with a less crowd-killy kind of weapon like a shotgun or a bolt-action rifle.
I have an Aussie friend who is a big gun enthusiast. Every time he comes over to the U.S. there is at least one stop at the nearest Cabela’s to purchase ammo or a new toy.
OZ’s restrictions are actually not that draconian in practice. For example, while it may be difficult to purchase guns inside Australia, my friend can import rifles and ammo as he does the proper paperwork and pays the extra taxes. They don’t make it easy but it’s not impossible either.
Since my friend also does his own loading, he’s able to bring back slugs and casings in his checked luggage without declaration. He certainly doesn’t like all the restrictions but he’s also much more reasonable about the topic (like other Aussie’s I know) compared to the rabid frothing of many U.S. gun nuts.
Oh, the definition of assault I’m using includes the AR-15 (and others with similar features, hence the quotes) as an assault rifle. ACTUAL assault rifles (ie the select-fire military brethren) are almost never used in actual crimes.
But if you ever wonder why gun enthusiasts dig in their heels when the argument is “look at the huge numbers of deaths, why can’t we take the modest and sensible move of banning AR-15s and their ilk? It’s not like we want to ban shotguns and revolvers”, this is why.
I meant to discourage the sentiment of “there’s no point in discussing alternatives because you won’t listen.” I am very interested in what @brainspore has to say about other countries’ successes and failures, just as I’m interested in any considered critiques others might have of such comparisons. Sorry about the lack of clarity.
I think evidence suggests that education programs (it’s probably the only thing the NRA currently does that has any positive value) work in the USA. The least effective are the “here is a picture of a gun, kids, run away screaming for the police if you see one” type of programs, although perhaps those are better than nothing. The most effective are comprehensive courses taught by experts, that teach kids how to shoot and how a gun physically works as well as acquainting them with laws and safety guidelines. Education that demystifies the gun and teaches everything needed to deal with unique situations unforseen by the instructors.
I’m only going to quote two more lines from your post but I have to say I agree 100% with every part of it. My Russian boss claims “the fish rots from the head down”.
I’m pretty sure that if “angry spouses/partners” shouldn’t have guns then absolutely no one sure have guns. The vast majority of people are spouses or partners at some point in their lives and everyone gets angry.
I’m not actually advocating any kind of gun control law. As I said, my first step in solving gun violence in America would be to arrest powerful people who have committed crimes to signal that America is becoming a society that actually respects the rule of law and a society where people have responsibilities, not just rights.
I totally disagree. Suicide is the second cause of death for the CDC’s “youth” age bracket (10-24), homicide is the third. Accidental death is number one. After those top three you get cancer. Apparently 84% of those homicides are by guns. I couldn’t get numbers for suicides but nationally it’s about 50%. About 24% of those accidents were guns. Guns are among the deadliest things for people ages 10-24. Sure, not that many youths die, but that’s a pretty callous observation.
If you’d rather focus on other things, that’s fine. There’s no need to discuss gun issues in a forum thread when you could be out getting a universal healthcare system started. Since we are discussing gun violence, we should recognize that it’s a real problem.
I would say the real problem is that “law-abiding, sane, responsible” gun owners, when thinking of possible solutions, don’t think, “Well, what is going to reduce deaths in our society,” they think, “But how is this going to affect me? I want my guns!” That’s the definition of law-abiding, sane and responsible in America, someone who wouldn’t hand over their guns to save lives because those lives aren’t their problem. Someone who keeps guns so that they can defend themselves if the government comes to take their guns away. How sane and responsible is that really? I think “responsible” is a trait that is spread pretty thin in America.
@Menotyou, below your post, basically expresses this idea exactly. Gun ownership, like everything else in America, is about the individual. Fuck society. Fuck everybody. That’s responsible, sane gun ownership in America. And yes, it looks insane to everyone else (which, as @Menotyou mentions, makes no difference to Americans).