To make myself feel morally superior to the talking heads on TV, I decided to put off politicizing the Colorado shootings. Well, at least I tried. Giving respect to the families who have been affected by this event, and NOT making it into a political argument is really what we should do. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have both insisted that now is not the time to talk about gun control laws. Let broken families heal before we turn their tragedy into our campaign slogan.
Almost immediately following the shooting, politicians and the media were spewing talking points on how America needs stronger gun laws. If only Americans weren’t allow to own guns, then things like this wouldn’t happen. Its easy to come to such conclusions after a massacre that killed 12 people and put over 50 more in a hospital, but laws should never be made to deal with emotions. The natural way for people think is this: Something is wrong >>> We need a law to fix it. These laws however never really solve the problem.
In this case the problem is psychopaths killing people. These shootings have happened at schools, churches, and now theaters. The way to deal with them, however, is not to ban all people from owning weapons, but to let our criminal justice system work. Every day violent criminals are let out of prison early only to steal, rape, and murder again. Keeping people locked up for their full sentence (even if it means they die in prison) is a proven way to lower crime rates. Crime increases when criminals know they can get off the hook easy.
Banning weapons has been proven not to work time and time again. For instance – Washington DC and Chicago both have had outright bans on firearms and both cities have disturbing crime rates. Germany has tough gun laws as well, but they have been subject to some of the worst shootings in recent history. Even our neighbor to the north, Canada, has tougher gun laws than we do, their most gun-controlled city (Toronto) has the highest gun crime in their country. Gun control does not work. Period.
But not everyone is calling for outright bans to weapons. As I’m writing this, MSNBC is calling for simple bans on assault weapons – rifles that can hold 30 or more rounds, each fired with a single pull of the trigger. While it was one of these weapons that was used in the shooting in Aurora, statistics show that assault weapons account for about 1% of weapons used in crimes. Banning assault weapons simply would do next to nothing to solve the problem.
It is important to realize that many of these mass shootings take place where concealed carry is banned – schools, for example. The shooters know that no one will be firing back at them, and they feel more confident about carrying out their plans. The theater in Aurora is such a business where concealed carry is not allowed. Obviously, that didn’t stop James Holmes. But what if the theater allowed people to carry concealed weapons. Perhaps one person would have been there who could have killed James Holmes before he took the lives of 12 innocent people.
These knee jerk reactions to tragedies are to be expected, but that makes it vitally important for gun rights advocates (like myself) to set the record straight. This was an awful incident that took place, we can all agree, but now is not the time to start making wild calls for gun bans. Certain things in life cannot be avoided, no matter how much we prepare for them. No matter what laws we have in place, violent psychopaths will find a way to kill people. What we can do is allow people to defend themselves, minimizing the loss of life.