If We All Had Guns

What could possibly go wrong? In the aftermath of yet another gun shooting many people (myself included) have called for more control on guns. However other people have drawn the opposite conclusion. They believe that the problem isn’t too much guns but not enough guns. They believe that if the victims had been armed then the shooting would have been prevented. I thought this idea was too daft to give any mention to in my last post but a lot of people (if you don’t believe me check the politics tag) seem to believe that the solution to a gun problem is more guns.

Why is it insane to fight fire with fire? Because it will make the problem worse and a lot of innocent people will get burnt. If everyone carried guns then the murder rate would skyrocket. The number of accidental shootings would be unimaginable. We would end up with a more dangerous and lethal world. Before anyone says law abiding citizens have a right to guns, remember that the day before most public massacres, the shooter was a law abiding citizen with a legally bought gun.

What gun advocates forget is that victims rarely gave time to get their gun. So even if you are armed the assailant can pounce before you have time to react. This is especially the case if the gun is safely locked away. The attacker always has the initiative and the first move. If they know the teacher is armed then they will make sure to strike before the teacher has time to react. In fact arming teachers could make it more dangerous for them as they are threats to the attacker. By arming them you are putting their life in danger.

There is the very obvious point that a gunfight in a classroom is never going to end well. Even trained policemen miss their targets (as the shooting in Time Square shows), so untrained civilians firing a gun in a panicked state are almost certainly going to miss. School shooters will simply adapt. If they know teachers are armed then they will wear bullet proof vests and bigger guns.

Gun advocates fail to see how dangerous having guns in the classroom are. If they are left near at hand then there is a chance that some students might find them. Children aren’t aware of the dangerous of life and might just play around like they do on TV. Even if there is only the slightest chance of this happening, in a country as large as America with the number of teachers it has, this means deaths that far outweigh those at Newtown, Connecticut.

If every single teacher was given a gun, I guarantee you that at least one of them would go on a school shooting themselves. Teachers should from mental health problems as much as the rest of us. If anything there are probably under more stress than most people. I know many teachers who were furious and despairing with our class in school. I saw two teachers break down in tears. There is a chance that one day one might be so fed up with their students, so angry and frustrated with them that they snap and take out a gun.

After Virginia Tech and Columbine there were calls that students should be armed. I cannot imagine a worse recipe for disaster and mass killing. Imagine you’re a high school student who gets bullied, so one day you use your gun to threaten your bullies. They’re not going to let you get away with that, so the next day they come to school with guns. The schools locker room gets turned into the OK Corral. Instead of fighting with fists, students would fight with guns. Are you telling me this is a better situation? What about all the depressed students who are angry at the world. What if instead of listening to punk music they had guns? What if they could easily steal them from their parents or teachers?

When I went to school there was a division between people who came from separate towns. We wouldn’t talk to the other crowd and we would often fight them. Imagine if we had guns? It is sheer lunacy to think that giving guns to people not yet capable of rational thought will not end badly. There have been days I have been furious and full of hate with some people, even my friends. I calmed down and got over it. Now what if I had a gun or could easily get one? Teenage years aren’t easy for everyone one. Imagine if all those depressed teens with stray suicidal thoughts had the ability to act upon their thoughts?

Think of all the accidental shootings. Guns are delicate; if they are hit hard there is a chance they will fire. So imagine if I am running and fall on my face. There is a chance the gun on my chest could fire. Sure it is a slight chance, but when you multiply by the number of Americans there and all times we slip and fall, there are thousands of shootings right there.

Most shootings are not committed by the insane or by drug dealers. Most murders are committed by people who got mad. Most of the time it is an argument that escalated. The main factor is whether or not weapons are present and what kind of weapon. If everyone has a gun, then every argument has the risk of turning violent. Can you imagine how furious you got during all those drunken rows that seemed important at the time but look stupid now? What if every drunken idiot had a gun? How could that end in anything other than mass deaths?

It is argued that criminals will always get guns no matter what the law is. This completely misses the point. The aim of the government should be to make this as hard as possible. In Europe guns are extremely tightly controlled and armed criminals don’t run riot. In fact they find it difficult to get guns and have to use other weapons. As a result, the murder and violent crime rate is far lower. There is the equally poor argument that if mass killers didn’t use guns they would use bombs. Again, this is not a reason to give up and go home. Do you know how to make a bomb? Most people haven’t the slightest clue. While it is possible to look it up, it is a difficult and dangerous project and you run a serious risk of blowing yourself up. Whereas guns are so simple a child could fire them.

It is particularly absurd to argue that the children aged under 10 should have been armed or that the shooting in Aurora could have been prevented by more guns. In this case a man opened fire on a cinema wearing a bulletproof vest. If all the cinema goers were armed it would have been mass slaughter far worse. First of all it was dark so accuracy would have been poor and bystanders would have been hit. Second of all, there would have been confusion and panic which would have also meant poor accuracy. Third of all, the cinema goers would not have known who was the shooter and who were the victims defending themselves and would have ended up attacking each other. Finally, it would have been hard to shoot someone in the dark and harder still as the shooter was heavily protected. The idea more guns could have led to less deaths is sheer lunacy.

Gun advocates seem to think they are living in a Western movie where there is a clear line between goodies and baddies and it is the job of the goodies to shoot the baddies. It’s a world where no one misses and no injured bystanders. This gives them the delusional idea that guns are the solution not the problem. They want to fight fire with fire and let the whole country burn.


Filed under Politics

20 responses to “If We All Had Guns

  1. Guns for everyone would be a great idea – if all people (except the criminals, of course) were responsible, rational, mature people (which included getting training before carrying a gun, for example). But people aren’t.

  2. “as the shooting in Time Square shows”
    I was thinking the exact same thing last night.

  3. GM

    The choice is not between gun control and having a gun in every classroom. There are many, many different possibilites for safety.

    Your hypothesis about what might have happened in Aurora is amazing! You think that the people in the cinema would have been no better off and probably worse off if they tried to defend themself. That is really astonishing, Robert. You think “they might have hit bystanders” while shooting at the bad guy, never mind the fact that the bad guy himself was shooting as many bystanders as he could. You think that people in the crowd might have been inaccurate, without acknowledging that they would have at least threatened, distracted, delayed and probably injured the bad guy while he was carrying out his rampage. You think they might have attacked each other; that’s not impossible but you seem to have an incredibly vivid imagination. The man burst into the theatre by himself and started shooting at the crowd; I think it would have been pretty obvious who the good guys were and who the bad guy was. I’m trying to get inside your head and figure out where all of this is coming from but I can’t. It just seems like a basic mistrust of people’s ability to do anything to help each other and defend themselves.

    • That guy was insane. Deterrance wouldn’t work. Most mass shooters kill themselves after their shooting so fear of getting shot wouldn’t deter them.

      If everyone in the cinema was armed then far more than 12 would have been killed. If the cinema goers started shooting they would have made a bad situation worse.

      “You think that people in the crowd might have been inaccurate, without acknowledging that they would have at least threatened, distracted, delayed and probably injured the bad guy while he was carrying out his rampage.” This guy was intent on killing as many people as possible, he wasn’t going to give in to threats. He was also not likely to get distracted or delayed, but merely change his target. They probably wouldn’t have injured him as he was wearing protection and a bullet proof vest. It was also dark, people would have been confused, panicked etc.

      People would have ended up shooting each other and killing more. So no I don’t think guns in a cineman would save lives.

      • GM

        You think the killer wouldn’t have been threatened, distracted, delayed or injured if shots started coming at him, and the people in the crowd would have been less safe. Amazing. I can’t argue against that because it seems to come from the twilight realm. It’s beyond analysis.

        By the way, when I say “threatened”, I don’t mean that somebody with a gun would have asked him to stop his attack. I mean that he would have been physically threatened because of ammunition coming back in his direction, possible from more than one person in the crowd, and that this would have hampered his killing spree. But you don’t acknowledge that and you think that the guys in the crowd would have started shooting each other. Incredible.

        Just so you know, nobody who argues for gun rights thinks that literally everybody should carry a gun at all times. Another false dichotomy.

        You have a creative imagination when it comes to all the things that go wrong when people are free to make decisions for themselves, but you have no imagination at all when it comes to the solutions which might be possible.

        • Well you think I’m mad and I think you’re completely crazy to presume that putting 50 armed, scared and confused people in the dark won’t end badly. I guess this means we agree.

          (Yes if people were armed shots would have come at him, the problem is they would have come at everyone. People would have panicked and not knowing how many assailants there were, would have panicked and shot in all directions.)

          Most gun advocates don’t argue this. But a large number on the internet do. After every shooting there are people who say if those people had guns, they would have been safe. Seeing as shootings can occur almost anywhere, the only proper protection (in this logic) is to have a gun at all times.

          If it makes you feel better find your extreme brand of libertarianism also delusional🙂

          Looking forward to more debates where each think the other is crazy.

          • GM

            Hello there my friend.

            I don’t want 50 armed people in the dark. All I want is for the cinema to be allowed to choose its own policies on this matter of whether their customers, employees and private security guards are allowed to be armed.

            Just so you know – I’m no gun nut. I think it’s probably a bad idea for most people to carry them, and I’d feel safer if they didn’t. If I was running a business like a cinema, or running a school, I’d consider having a policy on this. If I was running a life or home insurance company, I’d be interested to check if the effects of gun ownership were statistically significant when it came to people’s expected claims, and adjust my pricing and policies accordingly.

            The calculations which society is capable of carrying out spontaneously are infinitely more complex than we can imagine.

          • nichole

            what makes you think the audience would be scared and confused IF they had already under gone gun training, gotten licensed,and permitted and were watching the movie with their concealed weapons, when suddenly a guy bursts in shooting? i would not be scared or confused-i’d be ready and prepared because that is what my gun is for, and i’d quickly pull it out and shoot at the psycho who just ran in firing at everyone. knowing how to use a gun AND having a gun on you gives many people confidence, not cowardice.

            • Do you genuinely think that even trained marksmen never let their guard down? That they are permanently prepared? Even in the dark or when they are relaxing? I think you’ve seen too many action films.

      • I totally agree with you. Mass pandemonium and terror do not make for accurate self defense unless you have been trained as a sharp shooter in a virtual combat situation. The chance of stray bullets taking out even more people is very high.

          • GM

            This is an argument for property owners to have a standard rule that only people with certified gun training (the equivalent of a driving license) are allowed to be armed on their premises.

            • ittecon

              Hey Mate,

              For the record, I am a “registered” Consciencious Objector and don’t feel firearms are the answer to much of anything. The problem with this is that in the US, the People feel that a citizen’s Second Amendment “right to bear arms” is a right, whilst a licence to drive is a privilege, and so these are not equivilent and the certification requirement infringes on the right.

              I don’t agree that people are interpretting the the right in the correct context, but this is the argument being forged.

              Thanks for providing this forum for discussion.

  4. why someone thinks more guns is a solution still passes me. I have to admit am slow to see how it is possible that arming everyone would be a solution. if the shooter knows everyone will be armed, thy would carry greater firepower and dress for the job.
    we must strive to make guns as hard to find as is humanely possible. i think this would be solution to part of the problem and there is also need to address the societal pressures that lead people to such unbalanced acts

  5. I have debated this endlessly and all I can say is – gun lovers love guns. Plain and simple. Their rationale is so skewed that they immediately react to these tragedies by going on the defensive and shouting that it was the guns fault and that guns are their right. Excuse me? Twenty children died and they are defending the gun? Sadly, it seems virtually impossible to get through to them. The only way things can change is if the government changes the laws and I image that is a very daunting if not down right terrifying challenge. Gun fanatics with access to guns are not the people anyone wants to piss off. No explanation needed.
    Now before I get accused of it, I am not saying anyone who owns a gun is a fanatic and wants to go on a shooting spree. I am saying there are fanatics out there and in the current situation they can get and use guns. Scary stuff.

  6. Pingback: Happiness is a warm gun | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  7. ittecon

    Applying some economic incentives might provide some solutions: http://wp.me/pjGxq-zA

  8. Bill

    Let’s say the gunman starts shooting from the front of the theater. An armed citizen in the back starts return fire. Do all the armed citizens in the middle know if both gunman are working together or apart. No, so they start firing in both directions.

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