July 27th, 2012
04:33 PM ET

Time to face facts on gun control

By Fareed Zakaria

It has now been just over a week since a lone gunman opened fire on moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado. The airwaves have been dominated by soul searching.

Most of the pundits have concluded that the main cause of this calamity is the dark, strange behavior of the gunman. Talking about anything else, they say, is silly. The New York Times’ usually extremely wise columnist, David Brooks, explains that this is a problem of psychology, not sociology.

At one level, this makes sense, of course, as the proximate cause. But really, it’s questionable analysis. Think about this: are there more lonely people in America compared with other countries? Are there, say, fewer depressed people in Asia and Europe? So why do they all have so much less gun violence than we do?

The United States stands out from the rest of the world not because it has more nutcases – I think we can assume that those people are sprinkled throughout every society equally –but because it has more guns.

Look at the map below. It shows the average number of firearms per 100 people. Most of the world is shaded light green – those are the countries where there are between zero and 10 guns per 100 citizens. In dark brown, you have the countries with more than 70 guns per 100 people. The U.S. is the only country in that category. In fact, the last global Small Arms Survey showed there are 88 guns for every 100 Americans. Yemen is second at 54. Serbia and Iraq are among the other countries in the top 10.

We have 5 percent of the world's population and 50 percent of the guns.

But the sheer number of guns isn’t an isolated statistic. The data shows we compare badly on fatalities, too.  The U.S has three gun homicides per 100,000 people. That’s four times as many as Switzerland, ten times as many as India, 20 times as many as Australia and England.

Whatever you think of gun rights and gun control, the numbers don’t flatter America.

I saw an interesting graph in The Atlantic magazine recently. A spectrum shows the number of gun-related deaths by state. Now if you add one more piece of data – gun control restrictions – you see that the states with at least one firearm law (such as an assault weapons ban or trigger locks) tend to be the states with fewer gun-related deaths.

Conclusion? Well, there are lots of factors involved, but there is at least a correlation between tighter laws and fewer gun-related deaths.

I've shown you data comparing countries, and comparing states. Now consider the U.S. over time. Americans tend to think the U.S. is getting more violent. In a recent Gallup survey, 68 percent said there’s more crime in the U.S. than there was a year ago. Well, here’s what I found surprising: the U.S. is actually getting safer. In the decade since the year 2000, violent crime rates fell by 20 percent; aggravated assault by 22 percent; motor vehicle theft by 42 percent; murder – by all weapons – by 13 percent.

But guns are the exception. Gun homicide rates haven’t improved at all. They were at roughly the same levels in 2009 as they were in 2000. Meanwhile, serious but non-fatal gun injuries caused during assault have actually increased in the last decade by 20 percent, as guns laws have gotten looser and getting automatic weapons has become easier.

We are the world’s most heavily-armed civilian population. One out of every three Americans knows someone who has been shot.

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but not to his or her own facts. Saying that this is all a matter of psychology is a recipe for doing nothing. We cannot change the tortured psychology of madmen like James Holmes. What we can do is change our gun laws.

Should U.S. gun laws be tougher? What would you change?


soundoff (2,981 Responses)
  1. David

    I also meant to post what others have already mentioned. At what point do we address the reasons that lead people to kill? Address the mitigating factors (chemical abuse/ unemployment, mental health.....) and you'll see a severe decrease in all violent incidences. Why isn't he left up in arms about the inadequacies of our government and so obsessed with the object that is used by these people. If it's a safety issue why not go after a car ban? They are responsible for more deaths than any firearm plus the reality is that they are not a necessary need amongst citizenry.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
  2. Andreas

    The map displayed above will look similar if you try to represent automobile ownership...or energy consumption...or daily intake of fat... The United States has a relatively high rate of consumption for everything. I guess the real problem is money. We have too much of it, and its the root of all evil. We should ban money. Then people couldn't buy guns. Or I guess we could just spend a ton of money on government programs, increase taxes, impoverish everyone and then no one will be able to purchase guns. Is anyone working on that plan yet? Maybe President Obama could consider such a plan.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • Paul

      The love of money is the root of all evil...

      July 29, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
  3. Paul

    "The non-firearm homicide data however clearly confirms that murders in Canada are much more brutal than in the United States. Here, we find that the relative number of homicides involving stabbing as the cause of death in Canada is 167.4% greater than in the United States (0.67 homicides per 100,000 in Canada vs 0.40 homicides per 100,000 in the U.S.), while the number of homicides where the victims were beaten to death is 815.5% greater (0.38 homicides per 100,000 in Canada vs 0.05 homicides per 100,000 in the U.S.). "

    July 29, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
  4. krehator

    Statistics Gun Haters do not consider:

    How many lives are saved each year by guns?
    How many crimes are prevented because criminals know someone may be armed?
    How many crimes are actually committed without guns?
    How many criminals would stop using guns of they were banned?
    How many gun deaths are actually the result of criminals NOT innocent gun owners?

    Criminals already take enough from us, now some people want them to have our 2nd Amendment too.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:05 am | Reply
  5. palusko996769

    OK, so there's about 10k murders a year committed by a gun in the USA. Any change in the current laws will (according to this debate) result in even more crime. So I guess what we have now is the best we can do, right? Inevitable and unfortunate part of our lives. Well, I guess we really are gun nuts nation, if we accept the current status quo as something that needs no change. I guess striving to better ourselves as a nation applies to science, education, curing illnesses... but certainly not to the way we control who gets the guns. Even if it kills us.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
  6. voodkokk

    The U.S has three gun homicides per 100,000 people. That’s four times as many as Switzerland, ten times as many as India, 20 times as many as Australia and England.

    What is the population again? 7,655,628 (July 2011 est.) for the Swiss.

    These comparisons don't make any sense. Just make the comparison against NewYork City.

    Statistics how we love the.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
    • palusko996769

      So? It's not a total number, but relative number. Hence per 100,000. That's call statistics. And BTW, Switzerland allows (if not requires) every citizen who finishes military service to take home the weapon. We're talking military grade weapons. Still, the murder rate is significantly lower. Why do you think it is?

      July 29, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
      • voodkokk

        Normalized? 100,000 people in Switzerland is not the same as 100,000 people in New York City.

        July 29, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Mark

      Dude, the numbers have been normalized to rates.
      (Gun Deaths per 100,000) = 100,000 * (Total Gun Deaths) / (Total Population)
      This is the standard way to compare such things.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • libtard

      it says "per 100,000 people" my dear little moronic friend. It doesn't matter what the overall population size is. Oh, never mind, I don't feel like having to explain that sentence to you too.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
  7. Paul

    "Similarly, in the year after the 2008 “Heller” decision, the murder rate fell two-and-a-half times faster in Washington than in the rest of the country.

    It also fell more than three as fast as in other cities that are close to Washington’s size. And murders in Washington have continued to fall.

    If you compare the first six months of this year to the first six months of 2008, the same time immediately preceding the Supreme Court’s late June “Heller” decision, murders have now fallen by thirty-four percent.

    Gun crimes also fell more than non-gun crimes.

    Robberies with guns fell by 25%, while robberies without guns have fallen by eight percent. Assaults with guns fell by 37%, while assaults without guns fell by 12%.

    Just as with right-to-carry laws, when law-abiding citizens have guns some criminals stop carrying theirs."

    July 29, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
  8. pete

    You can pick at the details but he's right. It comes down to numbers. An extreme number of guns in society results in a large number of gun deaths. Guns to plough shears anyone?

    July 29, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
  9. frkelsey

    A so-called "Christian" nation who places more importance on the right to own guns than the right to health care. I personally do not like guns. However, I do realize that with so many guns owned by so many people for so long a period of time getting rid of them is an improbable task. We are a warring nation. A violent nation. We loudly support the invasion of other nations. We jump with glee over the death of an enemy. Yet, sadly, we fight against health care for all? A nation who has a large, loud group of conservative Christians who claim to worship the Prince of Peace and our energies are more focused on weapons over health care???? No wonder so many are fleeing the church........

    July 29, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • Paul

      Warring nation? Violent nation? What about China, it has 30 per 100K deaths and they are a "godless" nation? We have 50% of the guns yet we have a small fraction of the guns deaths on a world stage. We are significantly below 50% (like 10% or less) of the total guns deaths per 100K so gun ownership does not correlate directly to gun deaths. Don't believe the lies.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
      • frkelsey

        So because another nation is more warring than us makes ours somehow OK?

        July 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  10. Mike Snyder

    Here are some FACTS to consider MR. Zakaria. Your chart source is UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) The reason the UNODC has produced that chart is because they have an agenda to disarm the citizens of the world (see United Nations Small Arms Treaty), including America. One of the countries on your chart that supposedly has the lowest gun crime is CHINA which is also a member of the UN security council. Do you recall the massacre in Tiananmen Square in 1989? That was when China, one of your light green countries that Americans should all want to be like, opened fire on unarmed civilian protesters and killed several hundred to several thousand innocents. Shouldn't China get a special color for murdering it's own population? How about Mexico? Juarez is the murder capital of the world and it looks pretty safe on your charts. (as an aside, our own ATF gave guns to Mexican Cartel members and the media then ran stories supporting gun control by trying to put the blame American gun owners.) Rwanda looks nice and safe on your chart. No special colors for the 1 Million innocents (20% of Rwanda) hacked to death with machetes because they didn't have access to guns. So the truth is the green color in your UN chart is the color of Genocide, Human rights violations and Government abuses against it's on citizens and the US is painted brown because we are still a FREE COUNTRY that has not yet been forced to accept the UN as our government!!

    July 29, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Mrs. Liberty

      Mike: Mr. Zakaria does not look at his facts carefully. Did you also notice the data is taken from "self report" sources from each country? Do we think China is reporting the true number of firearm deaths? Yeah, right!

      July 29, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
      • Mike Snyder

        Thanks for pointing that out! All I needed to see on the chart was UNODC to know it was going to skewed to support global disarmament.

        July 29, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • palusko996769

      How about comparison with Western countries? You know, something we can relate to better than to totalitarian regimes. How do we do there?

      July 29, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
  11. Mrs. Liberty

    Statistics in context:

    From CDC- http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm/

    Heart disease: 599,413
    Cancer: 567,628
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 137,353
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,842
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 118,021
    Alzheimer's disease: 79,003
    Diabetes: 68,705
    Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,692
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 48,935
    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 36,909
    Influenza 36,000

    Number of homicide deaths: 16,799

    Firearm homicides- Number of deaths: 11,493
    Deaths per 100,000 population: 3.7

    Hmmm...Death by firearm is rated as the 15th highest cause of death in the U.S. Looks like we have much bigger problems to work on??? Mr. Zakaria, do your homework before you creatively use statistics to scare people in the U.S. I'm a Ph.D., a former member of the U.S. Army, and a law abiding citizen. I know my rights and I also know a scare tactic when I see it. Shame on you for taking numbers out of context. Focus on the REAL killers in this country (check out the top 14 causes of death in the U.S.). Most of us are killing ourselves by poor health choices and we should worry considerably more (statistically speaking) about dying from a heart attack than a crazed gunman.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Paul

      He also forgot to mention that nearly half that 3.7 are suicides... Guns are just used by the lazy suiciders I guess.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
  12. WeDon'tMatter

    As a gun owner I would like to see some improvements to gun laws, like all gun sales and trades even among private citizens require a Federal gun transfer approval. Everybody who wants to buy a gun, from anybody, should be required to get a card that certifies that they have completed a gun safety class before they can make a gun purchase. But I am not naive enough to believe that this will not cause the sale of illegal firearms to soar.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • Paul

      I guess criminals are going to fill out those forms? I mean all criminals are going to attend gun classes and obtain a CCW before they hold up a 7-11? Restrictive guns laws usually only restrict responsible, legal ownership of firearms. The media likes to report that these 12 unfortunate victims were killed by legally purchased firearms, yet no reference to the many that have died from illegal gun ownership. Or the 7 out of 100K people that die violently by means other than firearms. We own 50% of the guns yet we don't have 50% of the gun deaths, anybody think about that? So gun death rates do not correlate with gun ownership.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:34 am | Reply
      • WeDon'tMatter

        I guess you didn't finish reading, there is part of the problem with this country.

        July 29, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  13. Villa

    I would have to say he is a liar with the comment about getting automatic weapons being easier. His facts he find are deffintly not facts at all. They don't know how many guns are in other countries (especially places like Iraq) because they don't register their guns in those countries. Where as in the United States we register our guns so the government can get a "close" count. No way can anyone say that America has more homicides with firearms than any other country. Countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and many places in Africa top Americas numbers any day of the week but once again countries like these don't keep good records because they don't have the means or don't care. Next time you want to write an article using "FACTS" make sure they are really facts and not some made up statistic. Talk to the people who have seen with their own eyes how other countries are. Not some hippie sitting in the basement pulling up numbers off of internet sources like Wekipedia and drawing up statistics that way. Its like me saying its a fact that all of Americas problems stem from you the media. Its not a fact everything in your article is opions. Opions that are protected by the same bill of rights that gun owners are protected by, and that is a fact!

    July 29, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • Paul

      That doesn't fit with the socialist agenda of disarming citizens, so "inconvenient" facts are ignored.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
  14. Jeff K

    Having more restrictive gun laws may have some merit, but we already have quite a few in circulation. Members of law enforcement and the military all know what they would face if they went door-to-door to collect them – that is a real practical problem. So, it sounds like a good idea...until you are the one tasked with taking them from gun owners. That idea is obviously impractical, but some additional checking and verifying before a person purchases a firearm might be a good idea.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
    • Joe

      It happened in NO during Katrina. National Guard booted in Americans doors and took their guns. A total disregard for our rights as Americans and the goverment allowed it.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
    • Paul

      That would work for legal ownership, however, many are victims of illegal, unregistered ownership. Criminals are not going to take the legal steps to gun ownership, there are a few exceptions. Restrictive gun laws only make it hard for honest, law abiding citizens to protect themselves or their family.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
  15. Joe

    Well people the gun debate can end now that we know Holmes was under Physiatric care. Like most bad situations, IF THE LAW that is on the books worked, he would have never been able to get his hands on the guns legally. Since the system that our goverment has in place, blame them not the gun. He had a background check and the fact he was a physco never showed up is a problem with the system.

    So facts are if we just fix our judicial system, this could have been avoided.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • WeDon'tMatter

      But we just started the whole HIPPA thing a few years ago, probably the reason mental status doesn't show up on a background check, now you want to infringe on somebody's right to medical privacy to keep daffodils from buying a gun. We have painted our self into a corner with our laws, you can't enforce one with out breaking another. So the gun debate continues. Nice try though.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:22 am | Reply
      • Joe

        WeDon'tMatter, gun debate ended in 1776, This is more of trying to educate the dumb people that our Rights to own a gun cannot be Infridged on and why you have freedom today.

        To help you understand NY, DC and Chicago have violated citizens by disarming them and yet gun crimes are at an all time high. This would be because only the criminals have guns. They just didn't turn them in like the cities politicians thought they would.

        Also the fact that Mcveigh did more damage by using fertilizer than anyone has done with a gun. It is a real challenge to stop crazy people from doing crazy things.

        Hope this helped you a bit.

        July 29, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  16. Skeptic

    I question the statistic on firearms per population. First, the graphic is shaded to indicate that America is alone as the having the highest rate. Even if the stat is legit, that is a sensationalist tactic, and I don't appreciate from Mr Zakaria. Second, the accounting of firearms in America is more accurate than some countries which rate high on the list. We do have a high firearms ownership rate, there is no doubt of this. But in many countries, you can purchase guns at a roadside stall with no government interference whatsoever. Yemen or Saudi Arabia are good examples of places where people carry .45 ACP pistols in their belt to weddings, then shoot them off in the air at random times to celebrate. There are absolutely no restrictions. These weapons do not show up on UN lists, and therefore never make the statistical count. Just because America is an advanced country which also has a high firearms ownership rate does not mean we stand alone above the whole world.

    Countries like Vietnam, Afghanistan, Serbia, Iraq, etc, have extremely high proportions of automatic weapons per population, and this has to be higher than in the United States. There are 800 million AK-47s in the world, and as a member of a hunting, shooting, gun-owning family (though not gun fanatics), I have only ever seen one in my life. Most of these fully-automatic military weapons are concentrated in nations which had a war or civil war in the last few decades. There are piles of AK-47s and ammunition in the Balkans, free for the taking. This is true in many countries. Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman visited a family in Kazakhstan who displayed a dozen or more fully-automatic military weapons. No restrictions there. Soviet depots filled with weapons dot the countryside in former USSR states, with little or no security. There is no way that a former USSR state like Georgia or Chechnya do NOT have a higher rate of firearms per population. Those 800 million AKs are somewhere, and they're not in the US.

    This doesn't even count Africa, where countries can be considered to have no firearms statistical database AT ALL. If you are trying to convince a skeptic that the US has more automatic weapons available per population than a nation in East Africa, you have failed.

    Most of the firearms in the US are hunting tools or pistols. Despite the demonization of pistols, these devices are incredibly unsuited for mass attacks. Hunting rifles and shotguns don't have the capacity or speed to clear out a movie theater, and I can operate a lever action rifle with the best of them. Semi auto military-style weapons are the choice for this, and as I say, I question that the US has more of them available than in El Salvadore, Ethiopia, or Afghanistan.

    Auto weapons are easier to get the world over except in a handful of western nations than in America. And those countries do not suffer from the epidemic of shootings like in the US.

    I question the statistic, and therefore the premise of Fareed's essay.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • Paul

      Your facts are inconvenient, therefore ignored by the left, liberal, socialist agenda. This chart is based on "volunteered" data from nations. 99% is probably whitewashed.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
  17. Tom

    I have to agree with Mike Snyder...

    July 29, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
  18. Patel

    i'm not in favor of gun ban but i do agree that we need tighter gun control laws. Who are you nut jobs(ALL gun owners) trying to protect urself from, BLACK PEOPLE?, RED NECKS? LATINOS? or SHOULD I SAY MUSLIMS??? SERIOUSLY NO one god damn cares that you exist!!!
    Before this article I thought citizens in middle eastern countries were nut jobs because of the footage that you see on CNN, FOX, and MSNBC of armed kids/adults…but after summary of the data above I’m convinced that we have 95% of world’s NUTS in the US. HAPPY SUNDAY YA'LL!!

    July 29, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • Paul

      I want some of that kool-aid you are drinking. You sound like the nut for believing these crazy numbers.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
  19. palespyder

    And yet another "crusader for good" who failed to mention facts that would make his own argument invalid, such as the number of those that are self-inflicted in the attempt of suicide and the number committed by career criminals and gang members. By his argument the District of Columbia should be one of the safest places in the United States to live and yet they are #1 in deaths per 100,000 with 31.2, strictest gun laws and most deaths per capita. Yep his argument is sound. Lets find out how many per hundred thousand die from other means shall we:

    Deaths per 100,000 population

    Firearms (for comparison) 3
    Motor Vehicles: 11.2
    Unintentional Poisoning: 10.3
    Unintentional Falls: 8.1
    Heart Disease: 186.5

    So when taken in context his argument is silly at best, he also makes 88 guns per 100 people sounds really scary, what he is failing to mention is the bulk of those guns are in the hands of stores that sell these weapons and not in private hands. His argument is ridiculous and a scare tactic.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
  20. Moe

    To the folks who think that firearms should not be in private hands in the U.S., I have one question: With over 200 million guns already in private hands, just how would you propose to confiscate them? The only method I can think of is to have the police go door to door and conduct warrentless searches of virtually every home and vehicle in the U.S.–and they still wouldn't get all of them. I'm sure most Americans, regardless of their political leanings, would want to live in a society where these searches would be allowed. One more point: Firearms are the ultimate in "durable goods." The ones missed by the initial searches would work perfectly 100 years down the road–and would most likely be in the wrong hands.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
  21. AModerate

    We in the United States have a legacy of freedom. Now if someone would include in this conversations all the other laws (or lack of laws) that speak to freedom (or non-freedom), I might listen more closely. Inmates in our prisons are denied freedom because they have not learned to accept the responsibilities of freedom, so let's not leave out our philosophical heritage.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
  22. BH101

    Also... The Fareed says that prior to the tragic event in Aurora no one had viewed Holmes as stand offish, shy, or off in any way and uses this as his reasoning that pyschiatry won't work in that situation...... Well, how will gun control than either? If someone seems so normal that everyone around him or her hasn't the slightest inkling that they will become a mass killer, how could stricter gun laws solve anything? If he could fool everyone in his social settings that he was normal, surely he'd fool everyone during the process of purchasing guns... especially if he wanted them badly enough.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
  23. michael

    He fails to mention how many are killed in these other "safe" countries by other means...Machetes, bombs, acid, posion. ect... and how many of these deaths could have been prevented if the defender had a gun. IF you were about to get chopped to death by a machette in rawanda ethnic cleansing would you want a gun? It probably would have kept you from being a statistic.He also fails to mention that THE US keeps detailed death records. most countries do not. You die so what ,no one knows ,no one cares. so you see the numbers are not accurate. Dont read about it...travel and see the countries yourself and see how they live if you want the truth. He is using incomplete numbers his way to support his ideas. This is pig science. Results are not accurate if you are looking for a certain result and then find the information you want to support it. Further more how will banning guns make them go away?...Drugs are illegal aren't they? Are they still here? Guns are not hard to make. Any one that was good in a high school metal shop and welding class can make a gun without to much difficulty. I made a legal semi auto belt fed this way just to prove it could be done using a cheap chinese lathe, drill press, dremel tool, inexpensive welder and various hand tools. They wont be pretty but they will work...So get your facts right and offer a solution that works...not your pig science.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
  24. James

    I'll give up my guns when the military/ law enforcement does. Until i'm keeping mine.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
  25. Moe

    My bad: Most Americans would NOT want to live in a society where widespread and warrentless searches could be conducted. Really need to post these things AFTER my morning coffee....

    July 29, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
  26. Al

    So we should let the criminals who buy guns illegally be the only ones with guns. Maybe if someone in that theatre had conceal and carry and the movie theatre didn't ban guns lives could have been saved.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
  27. libtard

    If you own a gun, then you are a pathetic loser. Go ahead and reply, because I never go back and recheck my posts. The only purpose of this comment is to ruin your gun-toting loser day

    July 29, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • WeDon'tMatter

      Sorry, didn't work. Can't be insulted by a daffodil longing for a Darwin Award.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • Dan Ledbetter

      I hope you & or your loved ones ( if you have any ) need a firearm & don't have one, then speak to me( if you can!!!,) A firearm saved my life when I was 12 years old, if you were me , you would have been a begging for your pathetic life, thanks to my Father & his responsible gun ownership & his continued teaching thereof, I am alive & have a beautiful Family of my own.
      You have your freedom of speech BECAUSE of our Right to keep & Bear Arms, Sir, Do not forget that!!!

      July 29, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • Mark

      In my experience, the pathetic loser is the one that jumps on the internet and posts an opinion with out backing it up.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
  28. Roflcopter84

    Has anyone considered the possibility that james holmes would have passed any checks, no matter what the gun laws are? On paper, he was on his way to becoming a doctor. I doubt he would have raised any flags. The shooting would have happened regardless of gun laws.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • Joe

      If the current laws on the books worked, he would not have been able to get a gun. He was under Physiatric care at the university. So it is our system that caused this. We just need to enforce the laws on the books and this one would have been avoided.

      I agree with you, Guns are not the issue here, like alwys, we have a problem enforcing the laws we already have on the books.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
  29. Montello

    Call me unlucky, but I have faced violent situations 3 times in my life. Had I not been armed, I would have certainly been dead in one of those instances and beaten/robbed in the other 2. As it was, the situations were resolved peacefully with my holding the thugs at gunpoint until the police arrived.

    Mr. Zakaria, do you honestly think that passing a law will cause the crooks and nutcases to turn in THEIR guns? Get real.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
  30. Dan Ledbetter

    Mr. Zakaria,
    First of all, if you prefer some of these other countries laws & rules perhaps you should prefer living in one of those countries of your choice!, one has to wonder why you choose America?, perhaps it is freedom of speech?, perhaps it is the right to keep & Bear arms( consider if you didn't have the 2nd amendment you wouldn't have freedom of speech!) Secondly, A free Nation comes with a price, do I like it ? No. But I have to deal with it. Sir, Guns equal freedom. Freedom is not Free. If you could snap your fingers & remove all of the firearms in America; This Nation would be a Police State/Nation & in a short time we would not be the greatest Nation in the world!!!

    July 29, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
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