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. Fr33th1nk3r

    Here are some other facts for you Fahreed.

    Since 1933, the U.S. has tried to crack down on guns 3 times, and in every case, the incidence of gun-related violent crime skyrocketted to anywhere from 150% to 300% of what it was before gun prohibition took effect.

    Prohibition of guns does NOT work to reduce violent crime.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  2. smitvict

    If gun control laws work, then Chicago and Washington DC would have lower murder rates than surrounding areas with less restrictive gun control laws. Yet they don't.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Reply
    • ADiff

      Both those cities have high crime rates for a very obvious reason: they have high populations of criminals.

      July 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  3. Gant

    Had to be one story. Usually love his writings, but this story reveals its flaw very early. The U.S. is not 'every other country' comparable. Apples and oranges. Just because there is no gun violence in Vietnam, Chad, or Olympus Mons, it means nothing in relation to the citizenry of this country.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  4. David

    You statistics are wrong. First, you need to count household, as many owners have multiple guns, and also, there are countries where that number is right around 100% on purpose with super low crime rates.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  5. David

    The fact that you used the Swiss as a fact seems to make it likely you know of your error and slanted viewpoint but doubled down anyway. From appearances, what we're missing is quality guns and training in the hands of poor people.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  6. fubarack Obamadinejad

    Remove the 4 or 5 democratic, gun controlled, high crime inner cities from the equation and gun deaths become as scarce as bigfoot sightings.
    Facts are only useful if used in an unbiased way, for example many types of incidents are included in violent gun death, the numbers don't mean anything used this way.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  7. pbernasc

    People with a small dick will always find a reason to say guns are not t be controlled .. for them is the only way they can fell their small dick is not a big deal .. even though they never get to make woman have an orgasm..
    The reality is that fun owners buy a gun to compensate for personal deficiencies , starting with the size of their dick

    July 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
    • dave

      did you really think that up? wow. you are an idiot. seriously. get some help.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • sevenseas

      you seem abit preoccupied with the male genitalia, Or this could be a crude attempt at Alinsky's 5th rule

      July 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Reply
    • Fu

      Wow. That was so stupid that the word 'special' comes to mind.

      July 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Reply
    • Phed up in Phoenix

      Statements such as yours make it PAINFULLY clear that it's time to cull the herd. Perhaps IQ testing should be required instead? That, and the ability to construct a grammatically correct sentence. Clearly you should be the LAST person who has access to a gun......wow!

      July 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
    • Lance Stoff

      wow. seriously? You obviously swim in the shallow end of the Gene pool don't you?

      July 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  8. adamJ

    This argument that people are making, that criminals will obtain guns no matter what, is just plain WRONG, lazy, and disturbingly cynical. You're basically saying to the victims' family members, "Sorry, this was going to happen anyway... nothing to be done."

    How can a rational person not think that making guns harder to get will decrease the likelihood of shooting sprees? A lot of the naysayers here sound like they're pretending to be psychologists or statisticians, but you don't need to be either of those to have a little common sense.

    Honestly, people's reactions to gun control are sometimes as upsetting as the incident itself... Why do you cling to your fragile illusion of "safety" at the expense of other people's lives?

    July 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      A criminal doesn't obey the law, what makes you think that they will feel any different about stricter gun control laws. MOST criminals dot not obtain firearms by legal means. It no secret that the states with stern gun control laws have the move gun related crime. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop a dedicated psychopath, you can just force them to work harder at committing what ever heinous crimes they plan to commit.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Reply
    • sevenseas

      So if gun bans work, explain how drugs are easy to get while being illegal. In DC and Chicago during their gun bans the crime rate was staggering.

      If this is about saving lives, why are you not decrying automobiles? In Texas the day after Aurora a pickup truck caused a accident killing 13 people, including 2 children.

      Why do you think safety will come by stripping the rights from others?

      July 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Reply
    • Case

      Tell that to the Syrians or the people of Burma

      July 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
    • Alaskan4Life

      You must have forgotten to take a serious look at Mexico before you made your point. Tough gun laws equals a thriving black market. Drugs are illegal and I still score a bag of weed whenever I want too...Tell the mother of the kid who OD'd that we did all we could...we made drugs illegal!

      July 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • Lazy Ace

      There's nothing fragile about a .45 Magnum, or a lot of other firearms for that matter.

      .

      July 27, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
      • Angry_Wiseman

        I've been a gun owner since I was 7 years old, over 30 years now. I never owned a BB gun, but own everything from .22 pistols to a Barrett .50, so yeah, I support the right to keep and bear arms. That being said, every time I go to a gun show, I shudder a bit when I see some of the mouth breathers and gangster wanna-be's, swinging guns around test driving them like they're screen testing for a Hollywood blockbuster. I'm know I'm not the only gun owner who would support sensible gun laws and expectations of responsible ownership, so what keeps myself and other responsible owners from backing new gun-control legislation? It often has to do with the fact that many of the individuals and organizations drafting these "sensible" gun laws have previously gone on public record indicating that their long terms goal is to completely remove firearms from the hands of all private citizens. Would I trust an elitist politician with their own armed security team, someone who slips earmarks and completely unrelated riders onto legislation, who has shown nothing but complete ignorance of and consequential disdain for my way of life, to draft an honest law affecting my ownership of firearms? Don't bet on it.

        July 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Lance Stoff

      Actually it sounds more like YOU are trying to be the psychologist. Sure. it has happened. Legally obtained weapons HAVE been used by people for crimes. But I wonder what percentage that is compared to illegally obtained weapons? And I am interested to see what percentage of those "Gun related" deaths are the death of the criminal by someone acting in self defense, Is it also possible that these numbers have been artificially inflated to include people who were killed by Law Enforcement Officers in the line of duty? Do they include Suicides?

      July 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • Gun deaths

      "Criminals" are usually the cops and police killing their own citizens.

      Heck, by the US definition of "terrorism" the US federal government is a terrorist.

      People are people. Cops and soldiers are people. They go on shooting sprees too, in the news on a regular basis.

      A cop or soldier is still a person , just like you or i. They get no special training in morality and are simply trained to kill people, and follow ordres, ie kill who Obama wants dead, or self defense which is quite ethical for anyone including you or I.

      The basis of gun control is painting all civilians as at fault for the actions of a criminal minority while simutaneously painting cops and soldiers, non civilians, as glorious upholders of truth, justice, and defense.

      not true.

      not true at all.

      people are people, we all have basic rights unless we personally do something that requires punishment

      you did not shoot any kids in newtown did you? didnt think so. Did your neighbor? is he a gun owner? yes? how is he responsible for newtown?

      think for a damn minute

      April 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  9. Ken

    Fareed Zakaria,
    I find it really hard to read something like this coming from you. YOU, who are witness to the very problem in Syria that you imply could never happen here. How many Syrians right now wish they had weapons? As to your reassembling of statistical facts; Look at your own data! Since 2000 crime has DROPPED in the United States. Do you not think that the fact that more CRIMINALS know that MORE people are carrying concealed weapons has something to do with the overall drop? Especially considering the faltering economy! As a smart man once said; "Guns in the hands of bad people is a bad thing, Guns in the hands of good people are the thing bad people fear." Charleton Heston, former NRA President, Gun Rights Advocate, and all around GREAT GUY.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Reply
    • adamJ

      Please re-read the article. Gun related crimes have NOT dropped in accordance with the overall drop in crime rate. This would be related to the "guns in the hands of bad people" part of the statement...

      Also, your analysis of Syria is embarrassing for you.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • fubarack Obamadinejad

      People like Fareed don't think their gov would ever turn on them. And if it did, it would likely be Fareed's party that was doing it, so of course he would not think that gun rights are important. And yet if Bush did half the things that Obama has done, Fareed would be going nuts right now.
      Obama would sign this UN treaty in a second, if it were up to him. I've never been in the camp who thinks our gov will attack us, but we are as close to that as we have ever been.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  10. graymanifesto

    Fareed, please show us what federal law you refer to that loosened control over automatic weapons recently and made them easier to get.

    Oh wait, you can't, because there isn't one.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  11. Mike

    This story says that "gun laws have gotten looser and getting automatic weapons has become easier." What?! Seriously, how have gun laws gotten looser? And as for automatic weapons, i.e., machine guns, sub-machine guns, etc. that are continuous fire with one press of the trigger, I'd like to hear how it has become easier for regular citizens to buy automatic weapons. No such thing. I sure haven't heard about the Federal government overturning the long-standing laws prohibiting citizens from owning automatic weapons.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply
    • graymanifesto

      Fareed probably means the AWB sunset in 2004. Which had literally nothing to do with automatic weapons.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Reply
      • sevenseas

        But the AWB did prevent bayonets from being used on rifles. Would not want to get stabbed if some one attacks me with a gun

        July 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  12. idremhd

    Yeah, lets change our gun laws to match other countries, and while were at it, lets change our immigration policy to match other countries too. You ever try to get a work visa in Holland?

    July 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  13. Miguel

    With all due respect Mr. Zakaria, I will respond with just two words, 'Kennesaw, Georgia'.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  14. Ronald

    You Americans and your insance gun culture. You're hopeless. Thank God there's a whole ocean between my country and yours.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
    • idremhd

      Yeah. if it wasn't we would have already taken you over.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • Lance Stoff

      Not sure where you are from, but I'm pretty sure us and our insane guns culture either A: saved your ass in WWII or B: our insane gun culture kicked your ass in WWII (if not more recently on both counts
      )

      July 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • Lance Stoff

      and maybe you are right, maybe we just need to stay on our side of the ocean, you all can deal with the dictators, terrorists, famine, disease, wars on your continent. we will stay on ours...cleaning our guns to be ready when they try to cross the ocean when they have finished with you.

      July 28, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  15. fubarack Obamadinejad

    I do think Obama should run on gun control, he could use Chicago and NY and Washington as examples of liberal gun control lowering gun crime. Oh wait. lol

    July 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Reply
    • adamJ

      there's nothing 'lol' about people dying

      July 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Reply
      • sevenseas

        unless it's a mime

        July 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
      • Lazy Ace

        Right!

        That's why the good guys need to carry guns too.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
      • Joe D

        No, but the failures of the gun control mayors and their cronies sure puts them in a bind. Running on the record of NYC or Chicago would be a sure way to lose.

        July 28, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  16. badcafe

    Whether we agree or disagree on gun control, I don't see what could be served by allowing 6000 rounds of ammunition or assault weapons to civilians (like Holmes) and saying that makes us safer... not very different fundamentally from countries that want to acquire nukes, saying that it makes them 'safer'... nor very different from the old west where guns were the only way to keep us safer. Have we not progressed significantly beyond those days and times?

    July 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • graymanifesto

      If you think 6,000 rounds is a lot of ammunition, you are kind of wrong.

      .22 LR is sold in 500-round bricks. .223 Rem, 5.45×39 and 7.62×39 are sold by the case.

      July 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Reply
      • badcafe

        Correction - 60,000 rounds... which is what Holmes used

        July 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
      • Joe D

        Whoa! 60,000 rounds? What did he haul them in, a semi? Let's see, $350 for 1000 rounds x 60 = a whole lot of money. Now add the shipping for it, truck to haul it, and forklift to unload it and this guy made a major investment in ammo.

        Can you at least get some of the facts straight?

        July 28, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • graymanifesto

      Is this in addition to his "AK"?

      July 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Reply
    • Lance Stoff

      I don't know. Is people dying because they weren't allowed by the local government to defend themselves considered progress?

      July 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • badcafe

      Sorry... I got the 60,000 rounds quote from Bill O'Reilly... this is what happens when you start listening to Fox News.... facts start taking on a life of their own 🙂

      July 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  17. Case

    The simple fact is that caucasion Americans are quickly becoming the most hated race on the planet. The Jews still hold that position but I'll be damned if I am gonna go the way the Jews did in the holocaust. I guarantee you that the holocaust would not have happened if the Jews were armed as heavily as the US is today and if you gun control people think that could never happen here your dangerously naive to yourself and your families. If you don't believe that millions of people on this planet would cut you and your newborn son's head of with a rusty blade and do it with a smile, you better wake up, it happens every day. Just ask the the Russians under Stalin... 6 million dead or the Cambodians and Pol Pot if they wanted to be armed. Scarier yet Mao Ze Dung up to as many as 78 Million dead in China and Tibet and who is on the rise big time again, China! I'll trade our current gun violence over a Red invasion any day of the week! The fact that our country is so heavily armed deters any country from invading the homeland and is a major reason it has never been attempted (unless you count 911). Either way, no one is going to take my family alive and shave my head and put me in a shower, you can count on that.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Reply
    • Burning Ignorance

      You're a special case alright... A nutcase, uhhh go get a psychological check up or something.

      And why would China bother with invading the US? If you kept up with the news in the pacific, I'd be more worried about the US starting a real war in South East Asia, either that or cold war... or maybe trade war. The only Chinese going to the US are business people, immigrants and international students. Sooo many wackos! Glad I'm north of your border! ^.^

      July 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  18. drakewolfe

    All of you are crazy, what you people are talking about is letting your rights go, you're right, some people will die, it's a sad fact of life. But to let YOUR 2nd amendment rights be taken away over FEAR and IGNORANCE is flat dumb. The 2nd amendment was put in place not to protect us from our neighbors, but to protect us from government and tyranny. If you want to live in the 4th Reich then by all means give up your 2nd amendment rights. I WILL NOT give up mine, I was born an American I will die one. Isn't convenient that the CO issue RIGHT BEFORE a UN resolution on gun control. Here's some more food for thought.

    "It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so." – Ronald Reagan and

    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." – Ronald Reagan

    July 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Reply
    • sevenseas

      You forget to let no tragedy go to waste, and the undercover gun control the President promised to the Brady campaign

      July 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  19. Michael

    There is no law regulation or screening process that can determine if a person is psychopath that will go on a rampage and kill innocent people.

    July 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  20. Alaskan4Life

    I'm happy to see most of the people here have their head on straight and are not buying into this. It still scares me to think that MANY people will read this and believe what he is writing because it's on CNN.com so it MUST be true. Critical thinking skills are very undervalued in our society. And for everyone who thinks that "we're in a different time so the rules need to change", WWII was only 65+ years ago! People are still alive who fought! Do you think guns are more dangerous now than they were 65 years ago? Look at the past and you will see what happens when citizens lose their ability to protect themselves. Imagine how the folks over in Syria would be doing right now if they had to defend themselves with slingshots and sticks?

    July 27, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  21. k

    Does CNN hire every idiot on the planet? The intentional murder rate is different from europe by 1person per 100,000. What do guns have to do with murder more than making it /100000 easier apparently.

    July 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  22. William

    "Facts" and causality are very different things. If we accept your "facts", then in any random group of 100,000 people, there should be 88,000 guns. If we have three deaths out of 88,000 guns, how do you imply that the guns are the problem. Out of 100,000 people, many more than three will die of diseases. Should we ban doctors? Out of 100,000 people many more than three will die of automobile accidents. Should we ban cars and trucks? Out of 100,000 people, more than three will drop dead of natural causes, so I guess we should ban people too. Your logic is faulty and you are just intent on pushing your personal agenda and view on readers. CNN is no better than the other media networks. You are all a bunch of progressive, liberal elites who think you have all the answers and the rest of us are just too stupid to understand. Surprise, you are the ones who lack understanding and you are not nearly as smart as you think you are. See you in November!

    July 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • sevenseas

      If we can ban lawyers, and mimes I would be for banning people 🙂

      July 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  23. Bruning von Stauffen

    What's the point of arguing on here? I have my beliefs & views on gun ownership & you have yours. Nothing anyone prints or voices is going to change those views & beliefs. Rant if it makes you feel better, though.

    July 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  24. Coug9

    Fareed....using your logic, since we have 50% of the guns, we should acount for 50% of the gun violence. But we dont. And we are NOT the "rest of the world", nor should we be compared with the rest of the world.
    The real question to ask is: "What type of people are most likely to be violent with guns?" I maintain that 95% of our citizens that own guns do so in a lawful and safe manner,and they can be trusted. Who are the other 5% that should not own weapons? Where in our country is gun violence the worst? Answer: The folks with the biggest gun problem are inner-city minorities. Fact. Sorry.......

    July 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Reply
    • Joe D

      Well written!

      July 28, 2012 at 1:39 am | Reply
    • Bill

      I completely agree with you. And the funny thing is all those people calling you "racist" are those minorities. At some point people will realize the 'White Man' isn't the cause of all this violence, it's just 'Man'.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  25. pundit slayer

    Fareed is so un-American. There is not enough guns in the US. If everyone in the theatre had a gun, the lunatic shooter would be dead now and only one or two would have been hurt.
    Gun ownership is what makes the US great. The chinese army may out number the US's but they would never mess with Americans because they are armed.

    If Obama strays outside the American way, the armed citizens will overthrow the government just like the 2nd amendment intended.

    July 27, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply
    • GTA

      Your argument is ridiculous. If people had started shooting back in a dark theatre, eventually no one could readily identify the bad guy. Do you think the good guys and the bad guys wear uniforms? How would the second 'good guy' know that the first 'good guy' was not the bad guy? And how would the third good guy know who was assaulting and who was defending. Do you think that innocent bystanders would not be cut down by friendly fire?

      If more guns make a public gathering more safe, then why don't they hand out guns when the President comes to visit?

      July 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  26. Dan H

    The problem with gun control is that it focuses on the tool and not the motive. If you remove the tool, and the individual is set on causing harm, he or she will choose another tool. Now, the chance you take, is that the tool the select will be either less lethal as in a knife, or, it will be more lethal, for example a bomb or arson.

    What we should be doing is addressing the root cause of the problem, which would be mental illness, anti-social behavior, and violent tendencies.

    With that said, sensible gun control would include ensuring individuals with mental health issues are not given permits to own firearms; mandatory safety training; eliminate sales of firearms at gun shows; and finally, registration of firearms.

    July 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  27. blip

    Re: The arguments along the lines of "Why don't we ban cars, too...?" A car is not a weapon. It is not meant to kill. A gun is. Killing is a gun's purpose-slant-function.

    Re: Limiting one's ability to acquire guns. It comes down to a very simple fact: the more guns, the more people get shot. Which is okay by me, as there are too many of us, and I don't particularly like people (myself included). So, if we're all okay with that very simple fact, then hey: More guns! More, more, more guns! Yay!

    Oh, and pundit: Please check the very simple fact I've outlined above. Had more people in that theatre been carrying guns, more people would have gotten shot. (And the original shooter was wearing body armor, so... Oh, what am I saying? All of your concealed-carriers would have gotten him with a stone-cold, calm-and-collected single, perfectly aimed shot to the head, right? Oops My bad.) And now we'd be busy sorting out who shot whom– which "hero" managed to shoot which innocent moviegoers in all that darkness, noise, and chaos. So... please: Go polish your popgun and leave the discussion to the grownups.

    July 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply
    • sevenseas

      Anything you can use to harm or kill is a weapon regardless of it's intended design. There are over twice as many car deaths in the US per year than gun deaths. To argue otherwise is semantics and dishonest. For example my target rifles are designed to punch small holes in paper at long distance. I know their purpose since I built them. Could they be used as weapons? Sure, but they were not designed to.

      History has proven that when something is banned, or made harder to obtain a black market is sure to follow. Prohibition is the perfect example of this, alcohol was banned and the black market quickly rose to fill the void. The war on drugs is another example, how easy is it to get pot? Laws only constrain those who follow them.

      You make a valid point that a ccw carrier would have little chance to hit the shooter in the theater. You do make the assumption that everyone carrying would have started shooting blindly, the Gabby Gifford shooting shows that assumption may be erroneous. There were multiple ccw carriers there but none of them engaged the shooter with guns due to not having a clean shot and being afraid to hit bystanders.

      As for your statement to leave it to the grownups, your inability to make a rational point without conjecture and insult may follow along with Alinsky's rules 5 and 9 but exclude you from the conversaton.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
    • Lance Stoff

      you, by way of your inability to engage in a discussion without slinging insults would exclude you from and discussion we adults are having.

      July 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  28. Sundara

    What happened in Colorado was a tragedy of great measure, that is for sure. Gun control laws however are not the problem, nor will it stop random violence. Stricter gun control laws will only effect the already law abiding citizen. Criminals and mad men with the intention to kill will always find their weapons illegally. Close to 11000 people were killed last year in deaths involving drunk drivers. Should we then ban alcohol or cars? Nothing would have stopped this unspeakable act. If he couldn't have used guns, he would have used bombs like he did in his apartment. I know at times like these we want to make sense of it all, find the reason so we can fix it...sad truth is, sometimes there are no way to fix something. It was not the guns faults those people died. It was the the man with an evil soul, the gun is just what he choose to do it with.

    July 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply
    • Combat Veteran

      Words of wisdom. Thank you.

      July 28, 2012 at 2:11 am | Reply
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