So, let me start with my usual disclaimer. I'm a member of the ACLU. I don't own firearms but I'm a member of the NRA. Because I believe we as citizens should never lose rights to our government, because seriously, look who is in charge. That being said, I don't see any reason for the average citizen to own a tank or an AK-47 or a rocket launcher. But even if we get rid of all that stuff, we will still have mass violence. I mean, look at our entertainment:
... who hasn't seen some of these movies where the crowd cheers, laughs and applauds when people have particularly over-the-top gruesome and gory deaths? I think it's cool in a movie too. I love me some comic book crazy violence. I hate it in real life. So much so that I can't watch figure skating competitions because I can't sleep if someone falls on the ice. But I'm 54. Can a 14-year-old make the distinction between a movie and real life? Didn't a bunch of kids die because they were trying out stunts from those Jackass movies?
I remember as a kid that there would be warnings on TV when there would be something graphic or upsetting about to be shown, and in comparison to today's standards, it honestly wasn't that graphic or upsetting. I vaguely remember my parents talking about Vietnam and how they would show some photos from the war on the late night news... Now an eight-year-old can go anywhere on the internet and not see only pretend movie violence, but also "reality tv" type actual violence and death and horror. Gah.
I don't think there is a way to put all that back into Pandora's box. And I get that people wish we could be a bit more like other countries ... more open about sex and less forgiving of violence... but face it, America isn't like other countries. We just aren't. We're the country that historically is the place people go to when their own countries suck. We're the melting pot of losers and outcasts whose lives were so awful that we were willing to give up everything and move to a totally new place to start over. We're different. We're weirdos. We aren't like other countries, by definition. Maybe in a hundred years as the world continues to shrink we'll start being more like other places... but we're our own thing.
Of course, I do understand our desire to DO SOMETHING after the school shooting. Back in 2011 a sociopathic Norwegian supremacist (he didn't just hate brown people, he hated non-Norwegian people) called Anders Breivik killed over 70 people, mostly kids who were playing at a summer camp. Norway has spectacularly taut gun control laws. But he still managed to get the weapons he needed from abroad to commit the worst act of mass murder that country had ever seen. The Norwegians took that guy, gave him a 20-year-prison sentence and while he's there he's getting a degree from University of Oslo. (And he still complained his sentence was too harsh.)
If it makes folks feel better to ban assault rifles and such then fine. It's really not going to affect me; I don't own a gun. Guns scare me. I can't use a glue gun without injuring myself; handling an actual gun would almost assuredly result in me shooting myself in the foot at the very least. I know a lot of gun owners and plan to hole up with them during the early days of the zombie/robot/sentient animal apocalypse. I have thought about getting a shotgun "for home defense" but again I just have a feeling I'd accidentally shoot the cat or something and it would be awful.
I assume the gun enthusiasts in the country are all stocking up furiously right now and that anyone planning to go on a shooting rampage in the next ten years already has their hands on the weapons they are going to use. So I don't expect anything to change anyway for a while. I also expect that if you want to go shoot an AK-47 for fun that will still be possible at licensed shooting ranges. I also expect that gang members and drug runners will still have those super ultra automatic weapons, probably from the same place Anders Breivik got his. But changing gun laws isn't going to keep the occasional sociopath, fanatic or poorly medicated psychotic from opening up on a crowd. Besides, if there are no assault weapons, there are always bombs, poisons and bioweapons around to destroy lives.
Have a nice day?
Today's Murder Term: Sarin Gas
Use Sarin Gas in a sentence: Sarin Gas is an irreversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that causes cholinergic crisis. It was used in the 1995 Tokyo subway attack that injured 1000 people and killed a dozen, instigated by the cult of Aum Shinrikyo.