What types of "gun control" would actually be effective? What sort of "gun control" would I actually support?


#1

A number of people have asked me what sorts of “gun control” do I think are effective? Which types would I actually support? I will give my answer by describing a process.

First, ANY and ALL gun control needs to be at the federal level. State and local gov’t play far, far too many political games with “gun control.” (So do the feds but at least it’s uniform.) Each state (and often times counties or cities) have their own MOUNTAIN of regulations. It’s unfair, it’s confusing, it’s expensive and it can be dangerous.

Second, any serious discussion needs to begin with a pre-1934 “clean slate.” Truly a tabula rasa. In today’s world the talk is always about heaping on more “gun control.” The politicians never talk about deleting those “gun control” laws that have been proven not to reduce gun-related violent crime before adding new ones.

Next I would review the National Firearms Act of 1934. I would obviously continue the tight control of destructive devices and machine guns/actual assault weapons. I would take suppressors OFF the NFA and silly requirements like minimum gun barrel lengths. Many European/Scandinavian countries REQUIRE suppressors, just as we require mufflers on automobiles.

Next I would review the Gun Control Act of 1968. I would keep many provisions of the GCA – no mail-order firearms, retaining the current system of federally licensed firearms dealers, the mandatory serialization of firearms, etc. I would also continue to support that those convicted of violent felonies or misdemeanors, or those judged to be mentally impaired/insane by a court of law not be allowed to own or handle firearms.

Then I would look at the 1993 National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS.) I would retain it with the following changes: Absolutely no creation of a national “gun database” which is currently against the law. No waiting period for those that already own firearms. Mandatory prosecution of those who lie while trying to buy a firearm (it’s already a felony, but they are rarely prosecuted.) No NICS on those firearms passed from from (grand)parents to their own children. A guarantee (by law) that all federal, state and local jurisdictions upload their individual disqualification information on a timely basis.

From there we could talk. I doubt I would agree to any additional “gun control” unless it could be proven that it actually works.

These actions would remove a MOUNTAIN of useless, confusing, expensive and potentially dangerous gun control laws.

In addition, I would take some of the MILLIONS of $$$ currently wasted on worthless gun control laws and use it to support MANDATORY gun safety education in elementary and middle schools nationwide.


Just what is "common sense gun control?" How about a few examples?
#2

That wouldn’t work in the United States, for several reasons, not the least of which, is that government is very decentralized in the United States. Something else to consider, criminals don’t follow the law. I just want to point out, that the United States is far from the only country that has more liberal gun laws, Switzerland and the Czech Republic come to mind, and relative to their populations, they have fairly low crime rates. The United States does not have the highest percentage of murders on Earth, nor are we the most violent country. Gun control doesn’t always work, this is why you have a high percentage of knife crime in the UK. I don’t think the problem is guns, I think the problem is culture. People aren’t taught that it’s wrong to kill innocent people. Then again, I live in the United States, my country is responsible for killing tons of innocent people. Yes, I went there. Undeclared and unjust Wars, use of nuclear weapons, when you’re taught these things are all right in school, what incentives do you have not hurt someone?


#3

You are wrong. Many of the US’s gun laws are already at the federal level. I gotta say I really detest “stoppers” – comments with no basis in fact that do nothing but endeavor to derail what could otherwise be a fruitful discourse. Leadership 101 – beware of the stoppers!

I actually agree – but it’s more than merely “cultural.” Much is political in nature. Americans are indeed taught that it’s wrong to kill innocent people. You are wrong there. The cultural and political problems are many and can be quite complicated.


#4

This is a surreal response to the first reply, which to me appears thoughtful and substantial.


#5

Poppycock.

That wouldn’t work in the United States” along with comments like “we tried that before” are classic stoppers.


#6

Information in this recent NYT article may be relevant to the discussion.


#7

Chilling what the report said about Sandy Hook. But on the money.


#8

Here is a proper link:

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer


#9

From the article: “The only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns.” An opinion from two reporters not supported by the fact that the US has long had many millions of guns (including AR-15s since 1957), yet the history of “mass shootings” is fairly new. Most look to the Cleveland Elementary School shooting in Stockton, CA in 1989 as the beginning of the current trend of “mass shootings” in the USA.

The NYT has an agenda, and it’s painfully clear in this article. Sorry, but no sale, NYT.


#10

Crimes involving knives in the UK are not due to their gun control laws.

Switzerland and the US can’t even be compared, their history, racial makeup, culture, size and population, etc are so different that it’s apples and oranges.

What demographics can we look at to see what populations of the US are responsible for gun violence the most, out of curiosity?

And what country that has implemented gun control policies “haven’t worked”? What country that has real gun control policies that haven’t experienced a decline in gun violence can you name?

As to “criminals don’t follow the law” thing, if people at large don’t have the ability to easily buy guns, they won’t become criminals by shooting people.

I went to elementary school with a boy who is now doing a life sentence because after losing his girlfriend to another man, went and bought a gun and shot them both, killing her. Last week, a man in my town bought a gun and shot himself in a car in a parking lot. Without easy access to guns, these incidents wouldn’t have happened. Maybe the man would still have attempted suicide, but he would have had a higher chance of surviving had the weapon not been so lethal. I know a lady who had to shoot her own (who died) because he was threatening her and his father with a gun. Without easy access to guns, these and God only knows how many other people would be alive (and less people in prison).


#11

I very much agree. I wish the two NYT reporters and their editors had realized that fact. Then again they probably did. The NYT has an agenda and noting that fact would not be in its best interest.

By far the most violent crime/capita which includes guns takes part in inner cities in the US. Poverty, drugs, gangs, lack of education, untreated mental illness, etc. all play a part.

We need look no further than California. California has a trash heap of gun control laws that do absolutely nothing but cost taxpayers money.

Most criminals don’t buy guns legally. They steal them or they buy them from someone who stole them.

You really can’t say what would have happened even if access was very difficult. The first guy could have stabbed the couple or beaten them to a pulp with a baseball bat. The other guy would have jumped off a bridge or swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills. We really don’t know.

Again, you don’t know that the same exact thing wouldn’t have happened if access to guns was extremely difficult.


#12

“In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate,” Dan Hodges, a British journalist, wrote in a post on Twitter two years ago, referring to the 2012 attack that killed 20 young students at an elementary school in Connecticut. “Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.”

What a hideous, inflammatory lie. The NYT should be ashamed of itself for printing such garbage. No level of gun control (outside of 100% confiscation which is impossible) would have prevented Sandy Hook.

As long as lies like this are applauded, there will never be any progress in reducing “mass shootings.”


#13

Look at it another way: Adam Lanza came to the school with, I believe, three guns. We didn’t need 100% confiscation. We needed just enough gun control to keep those three guns out of his hands.

I think you missed the point of that quotation. The fact that the gun control debate fizzled out, after that most horrible murder of 20 innocent little children and 8 adults, only shows what Americans love more than life and worship more than God.

It’s guns.

There will be no real gun control until that disease within our hearts is overcome. That is what we learned from Sandy Hook.


#14

So correct. The USA lost all moral ground when it decided that killing little children wasn’t enough to make changes.


#15

A nice interview of the man that shot the Texas Church Murderer:


#16

I think that the problem isn’t the guns themselves but individual responsibility, self control and morality. Yes, criminals don’t obey the law. The guns the Sandy Hook Killer used were weapons he stole from the brother he killed; they were legal weapons. So, gun control laws don’t do squat to prevent gun crimes.


#17

But that’s the fallacy! Just exactly how is any type of gun control going to keep guns out of an animal that shot and killed his own mother to get to them?

Wrong again! A serious debate on how to stop/reduce mass shootings never even got started! Obama and others made things as political as they possibly could. There was no concern about really improving things, the focus was on corraling and influencing voters with one of the great wedge issues of today – “gun control”!

That’s a lie and it’s deeply offensive. I see also anti-American envy creeping into your comment as well. How terribly sad and misplaced. One thing is for certain. Far too many Americans have been brainwashed into believing that it’s “gun control” that will ultimately stem “mass shootings.” It’s not. Just look at the irresponsible nature of this NYT article. Sad!

Notice how your focus is amping-up gun control and not on reducing violent crime. Your comments are very transparent. Just look at your sentence. It should read something like:

"There will be no real reduction in mass shootings until we begin to truly focus and take action on those things that actually drive such events. As long as politicians remain focused on the fantasy of “gun control” being a universal panacea, nothing will change.


#18

Amen; Duesenberg.


#19

You’re right – except Lanza murdered his mother, not his brother to get to the guns which had been secured.

Some people either simply don’t get it or they are purposely lying – additional “gun control” isn’t going to stop “mass killings.”


#20

You’re right Duesenberg. This whole gun control bit is non sense.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.