The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. (source)
I know, like any sane person, the only thing that really stops a bad guy is making it harder to gain access to guns. But me and my colleagues make billions of dollars by selling arms to id… err … lu… err … customers. A little bit of collateral damage is to be expected when this amount of money is turned over, right? You can’t really expect us to give up our fortunes just because a few hundred people get killed every year. If we don’t make it, someone else will get rich.
Of course, he can’t say that. Instead, he points at scapegoats: Video games and violent media.
Penny Arcade summarized this in the Christmas strip:
It is a very odd sort of Patriot that would destroy the First Amendment to protect the Second.
There is no study which can show that violent video games turn anyone into a killer but it sounds good. Killers prefer violent games but not every gamer is a killer – claims to the opposite are a result of overgeneralization. Some studies claim that violent persons use video games to reduce stress, delaying outbursts of violence. Humans are no simple machines; there is no surefire way to know beforehand how someone reacts to something in advance.
What science does show is that a healthy social life will prevent these incidents. But you can’t sell those. Which means the NRA will stick to what they know following the old “wisdom”: “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”
Still not convinced?
- Why do hunters need machine guns?
- Is a machine gun (which goes quickly through the ammunition) really better to protect the USA?
- Why doesn’t Switzerland have the same problem? They have 45.7 guns per 100 residents (US has 88.8) but only 0.52 people (out of 100’000) are killed with firearms (3.7 in the US, about 5 times more taking the guns per resident into account)
Some reasons why Switzerland fares better than the US:
- Most people get their rifle during military service. Which means: Only people who have went through basic training get a gun (= most instable persons are sorted out).
- Military rifles must be presented once per year during the mandatory shooting training.
- When the training ends (usually at age of 35), you must return the rifle and all ammunition.
- Ammunition is only dispersed in sealed containers. Ammunition is checked during the yearly training and broken seals mean trouble.
- Rifles must be locked away.
- Ammunition must be kept in a different place and also locked away.
- The striker must not be installed while the rifle is stored.
- Machine guns are not for sale anywhere. If you want one, you either need to join special forces (police or military) with the additional personal background checks plus training. Or you can try to get one illegally. Which isn’t a good idea. The police hates people with machine guns and if they catch you, they will make sure you notice.
- Hunters and shooting fans need special permits, training and there is a whole slew of laws and regulations. You don’t get a gun for fun in Switzerland.
So Switzerland is proof that strict laws do work. It also means that Swiss arms makers have to sell most of their goods in other countries. Like the US …
- The Truth About Gun Control – YouTube video. “82% of all gun owners totally agree that the Gun Show Loophole should be closed and that all gun purchase should go through a background check. 87% of NRA membership also agree […] we have completely gotten out of whack for that freedom is more important than the responsibilities that go with it.”