General Question

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Do you think stricter gun laws would prevent mass shootings in America?

Asked by Dansedescygnes (2881points) April 3rd, 2009

Mass shootings seem to be on the rise now, possibly a symptom of bad economic times. (There was one just recently:

In 1996, after a mass shooting in Australia by a mentally ill person that resulted in the deaths of 35 people, Australia enacted strict gun laws. From 1978–1996 there were 13 mass shootings in Australia. From 1996–2006 there were none. (I’m not sure about after that, that’s as far as the article I was reading went).

If it worked in Australia, what’s stopping it from working in America?

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44 Answers

Snoopy's avatar

No, I do not….

What law, specifically, would you like to seen enacted that you think would be helpful?

asmonet's avatar

I wish we’d just ban the hell out of them already.
I see no benefits.

laureth's avatar

Strict gun control laws will definitely keep more guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. Too bad that it’s the law-breaking ones we have to worry about. (Lawbreakers don’t care about whether or not having an illegal gun would be illegal.)

Personally, I think that if more law-abiding folks had guns and knew how to use them, it would have the effect you wish to have by taking them away.

srtlhill's avatar

Thank you laureth, I’ve got your back.

Snoopy's avatar

@srtlhill Uh, what about mine? :)

srtlhill's avatar

Till they drop me. Yes

Dansedescygnes's avatar


I’m just upset by all these mass shootings. What is the problem with this country? I don’t think that your idea is terribly unrealistic. It’s worth a shot.

No pun intended.

MissAnthrope's avatar

What laureth said. It’s a complicated issue. For one, not all of the guns used are legal to buy in the first place.. so the idea of regulating legal firearms is rather moot in this instance.

Taking guns away or restricting sales (legal), actually creates more crime. Criminals don’t seem to have that much difficulty in obtaining firearms, and making it harder for law-abiders to defend themselves causes a surge in crimes.

I have two examples:

1) Banning guns in DC. Crime increased because the criminals knew they could break in, rob people, etc. and the victims wouldn’t have a gun to protect themselves.

2) It’s mandated by law that all citizens of Switzerland train in the militia, then they are required to keep and maintain their rifle for life. Every home has a rifle. Crime rates in Switzerland? Low. Crazy low. The bad guys know if they bust into someone’s house, there’s a rifle waiting.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


Yeah, Switzerland is amazing. I’m for whatever works. I wouldn’t mind learning how to use a gun.

VzzBzz's avatar

No. I believe problematic people will cause problems with weapons and responsible people will handle theirs responsibly and maybe for the greater good of others who want no part of weapons yet don’t want to end up victims of criminals.

asmonet's avatar

@AlenaD: I’m pretty sure I read an article that said guns being banned caused a 5–10 increase in crime and then it dropped off to lower levels. I’ll try to find a link. DC really didn’t have that long of a ban.

SuperMouse's avatar

Yes, I do think stricter gun control laws would help. I’ll bet that when a lot of these shooters snap, if they didn’t have access to a gun at that moment there would be a lot less carnage. Someone who goes on a shooting spree is very clearly not in their right mind. If they have lost touch with reality to the extent that they think mass murder is an option, are they really going to stop and think that one of their intended victims might be armed? Probably not. This guy had nothing to lose and probably went in there knowing he wouldn’t come out, maybe that was even his plan. If he hadn’t had access to that gun at that moment, 14 people might still be alive.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Guns are so deeply embedded in America that they’re very much here to stay.

I don’t like weapons but criminals always seem to have them so it’s not surprising that a lot of people decide to arm up. I’m not one of those but I don’t think I want to deprive law abiding citizens of the right to protect themselves and their families from harm.

The_unconservative_one's avatar

I am what is colloquially and officially known as a weapons expert. I know how to handle, clean, fire , disassemble and repair a wide variety of firearms. I definitely believe that we need much more stringent gun regulations in this country. It should be terribly difficult to get your hands on a weapon that isn’t primarily used for hunting or varmint control in rural settings. If you don’t want to do that, we should tax the shit out of ammunition until it costs something like $100 per bullet. That way, there would be almost no innocent bystanders being hit. If the fucking bullet cost $100 you would be damned sure of what you were firing at. Of course I expect Drew R and others like him to come on after me and spout off a bunch of pro gun propaganda , but I stand by my assesment. As a former Marine, and more importantly, a former policeman in a large metropolitan city, I have seen too many times the effects of our lax gun laws.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have lived here in Australia for 10 years. Perhaps it is coincidence that there have been no school shootings, mass murder by guns, in home shootings, or the aussies are more law abiding, but I personally think it is because there are not so many guns around. There was a situation where a guy went nuts in a MacDonalds with a machete but he was subdued by a couple of other customers before he did much harm.

I have heard the argument that crime increases because criminals know the victims are unarmed, but in my lifetime and I have lived in NYC, Baltimore, Washington, and Sydney, among numerous other places large and small, I never knew a soul who actually used a gun in self defense or to protect their home or family. Wonder if there are statistics (not compiled by the NRA) on that.

SuperMouse's avatar

Yes, Moore does have an agenda, but I refer you all to Bowling for Columbine for an interesting perspective on this debate.

@The unconservative one I second the idea of taxing the shit out of ammo. What a beautiful and simple way to save lives. The taxes collected could go to the victims of gun violence and their families to help cover medical (or burial) costs.

allen_o's avatar

Of course, the right to bear arms is the most idiotic mistake in Americas dark history, not that you can do anything about it now.

wundayatta's avatar

Make all civilian guns illegal, except for sport firearms, and crime and murders would decline. Mass shootings—no gun law can make that stop.

oratio's avatar

Making guns available to the public is making sure they will be used. By bad people and good alike. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t think they are one of the good guys though. Why do people accept that these killers can get guns in the first place? Where do the weapons come from?

Fighting that and at the same time making weapons generally available, seems unproductive. But every culture is different. Getting a gun seems like a good idea for some, and horrendous for others. In europe it is not an option. Neither culturally nor practically. Maybe the situation in the US demands that you provide for your security by getting a gun.

Sure people in Switzerland has a military weapon at home. This is not why they have low crime. There is no Castle Doctrine. Furthermore, they have no ammunition at home. The biggest reason why they have low crime rate in Switzerland is the lack of incentive. They don’t really have any poverty and misery in the population.

cheebdragon's avatar

Put a sign in your front yard that says “Gun free zone”. Let me know how it works out…..

oratio's avatar

@cheebdragon As I said, maybe the situation i the US demands that you provide for your security by getting a gun. I don’t know. I’m not american. It’s a bit unfair too judge another culture with the world view of your own. I don’t see the logic with liberal gun laws, but maybe it is needed.

cheebdragon's avatar

who am I judging?

oratio's avatar

You are not. I am.

HarmonyAlexandria's avatar

The “law abiding” 2ed Amendment gun nuts wouldn’t last a week against the 11–16 year old criminals they are so afraid of. Ruthless, ruthless people.

Snoopy's avatar

@HarmonyAlexandria dial down the name calling, ‘k?

The_unconservative_one's avatar

@Snoopy who did she call a name?

Snoopy's avatar

@The_unconservative_one Referring to people as “ruthless” “gun nuts” does little to further the conversation in any productive manner.

The_unconservative_one's avatar

OMG! are you really that sensitive? Her opinion is that they are gun nuts, and the street kids are ruthless. Would you want her to NOT give her opinion because you don’t like the adjectives she used? Or would you rather she just changed her position to one you find more palatable?

Snoopy's avatar

LOL. No. Are you? If someone had responded w/ something equally as offensive to the liberal point of view, I would have found that comment equally as useless.

The_unconservative_one's avatar

It’s her opinion she didn’t call anyone any names. If I said, I think conservatives are immoral, would you call that name calling?

Snoopy's avatar

….and I just posted my opinion of the opinion. Is that OK w/ you?

Have the last word, if you need to….this exchange is also pointless and a waste of others’ time. Find someone else to play w/....c ya’ :)

The_unconservative_one's avatar

Jesus H Christ. WTF???? You did NOT just give an opinion of her opinion. You came in all “Dial it down…Blah,blah blah” Like you are the authority.

asmonet's avatar

Why does it matter?

HarmonyAlexandria's avatar

@Snoopy “ruthless” “gun nuts” does little to further the conversation in any productive manner

Conversations require reading comprehension – Gun nuts are a bad joke, gang bangers are ruthless.

If someone had responded w/ something equally as offensive

Like I give a fock about the nothing people. Here’s reality for you darling, while folksy values may be the norm at church groups out in laughable small towns or Stepford suburbia, they are not universally respected.

jlm11f's avatar

[mod says:] Flame off. Please stick to answering and discussing the question and take the rest to PMs. Any future off topic conversation will be removed. Thank you.

Parafly9's avatar

Like anything else in life, moderation is key. It is true that guns don’t kill people – that people kill people. However, it is also true that guns make it easier for people to kill other people.

Here’s the thing: there are already so many guns out in existance you will not get rid of all of them, even with an outright ban. The vast majority of gun crime also occurs in areas where the black market for weapons is thriving – places like inner cities and poverty stricken areas.

You can be on any side of this issue but there is a logical middle ground I think for leaving guns legal and not banning them. Gun violence, while tragic, is a relatively rare occurrence. Your chances of being injured or killed by gun are very low, particularly when compared to other risks.

So to quickly answer your question: could stricter gun laws prevent shootings? Maybe some, but certainly not all.

woodcutter's avatar

people seem to forget those crimes that are thwarted by responsible gun owners who resist. Don’t have those #‘s here right now but they are large in comparison to those killings we are speaking of here. One problem is that the news outlets don’t care to report these “saves” because in the entertainment based journalism of today it wont sell. But mass killings are a big get. The old dude who chases the crackheads out of his apartment never gets air.

Anon_Jihad's avatar

How in the nine hells would banning guns in any manner no matter how extreme stop me from picking up an illegal, perhaps even homemade if the bans truly worked to any degree, in a seedy, crime ridden neighborhood, and lighting up all this shitheads I can’t stand at the office, after a terrible week at work?

If you’re ignorant and braindead enough to try and actually answer that question, let me introduce you to a concept you may have never heard of. It’s called “crime”. “Crime” is an act which specifically violates law, the more laws you have, the easier it is to break one, intentionally or not. Those who set out to do crime on purpose, not only have no regard for the reasons laws were set in place, they set out to actually violate them!

Banning guns will not stop criminals from having them. In fact it will just instantaneously turn many millions of innocent, otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals, allowing for the arrest of even more people who’ve done nothing wrong on any arguable moral level. Our prisons are already full of these “criminals”.

I’m not saying we need guns or anything, but before you suggest we only make problems far, far worse, why don’t we look for real solutions to the problem?

In fact, i think the easiest possible way to start making an impact on the violence problem, is to make a slight effort to not be an asshole to your fellow man. Smile a little more often, say please and thank you, and tip the goddamned waitress even if she did a shitty job, it’s quite likely she’d been dealing with assholes all day, and is really entertaining the notion of bringing daddy’s shotgun in with her on her next AM shift.

rooeytoo's avatar

I just read my answer here and one I just posted on a recent question, how my mind is changing!

oratio's avatar

@rooeytoo I know. Some comments feel a bit like they were made by another person, and to some extent I guess they were. That’s almost scary. But I think that’s a good thing. We can change our minds, and our lives.

fredTOG's avatar

@rooeytoo California has more people than Australia.

fredTOG's avatar

@HarmonyAlexandria Yeah but they can’t shoot for shit that’s why they miss and hit grandmal and little kids us gun nuts can take ‘em in one shot .

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