There are too many issues to address when it comes to these mass shootings. First of all you have to throw political correctness out of the window. It sucks when something like this happens, it sucks for the families involved especially, but every responsible gun owner always feels a separate remorse because they know this is just one step closer to stricter gun control. Every single one of these shooters is a prime example of an irresponsible gun owner and they ruin it for everyone else.
I can feel like I'm going to be long winded on this so I'm going to break this into different topics and I will state right now that even though I love to play devil's advocate with myself I am bias towards gun owners. I love shooting for recreation and thats about it. I do not personally own any firearms, but I'm in the military, Marines, I am a marksmanship instructor, and carry daily in my current assignment. (oh and expect profanity)
The US and getting rid of guns.
The US is too far gone to try and take guns away from people. Too many people are too comfortable with their gun ownership to even consider turning them over. If you even bring it up, most people will become enraged and you'll likely get a statement along the lines of "you can pry it from my cold dead hands." The U.S. is too large and people are too proud to try any big change like this. Americans are proud of the way they do things, even if it is the most illogical, ridiculous, offensive thing. Look at our system of measurement for example. Distance makes no fucking sense. An inch is devided by 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 and so on, then an foot is 12in, yard is 3ft, mile is 5280ft or 1760yd. NO LOGIC! Metric, everything is 10's, it's simple and logical. Try to tell the average American that we will start phasing everything into the metric system. Could you imagine telling Americans that football (name is another illogical American thing) fields will be metric?! There would be riots! The way we measure temperature is the same way! Thirty-two degrees is freezing but 212 degrees is boiling. I had to look it up because I forgot. Celsius, 0º freezing 100º boiling. Simple, makes sense. Did you know every 10 meters is 1 atmosphere of pressure underwater. This all makes perfect sense, but Americans are too proud of their ways and too stubborn to change them regardless of how illogical they are. Trying to take guns away from Americans would be like trying to change America to the metric system. It probably would be for the best, but it will most likely never happen.
Purchasing guns in the US
Some states like Texas boast about how easy it is to buy firearms. This IS a problem. As I said, I love guns, I love shooting, but not everyone should be able to buy firearms, and even those who should shouldn't have it easy. Thorough background checks can prevent the mentally unstable and criminals from buying firearms if the proper information is put into the systems. Also sometimes making it a difficult process prevents people from buying them all together. When I lived in Hawaii the process for buying a handgun was insane! You had to go back and fourth from the gun shop to the one and only police station to transfer information, get permits and such. It was so much of a pain that often people just wouldn't buy. Buying a rifle was a little easier, but still a difficult task. Every state should have at least a one week waiting period to buy any firearm. This gives enough time for a proper background check to be performed plus it creates the "cool down" time for someone who is buying a firearm with bad intentions. If you don't know, the idea is that if I want to kill my ex girlfriend, if I have to wait a week to pick up the gun I just bought I will most likely not have that motivation after a week or just not buy the gun. So America needs stricter gun purchasing laws, especially screening for mental instability.
Firearms and the mentally ill
This tends to be the common factor with the mass shootings. First off if someone has a mental illness they should not be permitted to buy firearms. I am not a psychologist so I do not know of every mental illness so please dont tell me that simplex whatever the fuck isn't that bad and blah blah blah, you should know what I mean by my previous statement. Also it wouldn't be too bad of an idea to say that anyone with a child that has a mental illness should not be permitted to have a firearm in the house. Yes, the parents or whoever could have the firearm locked up in a safe that the mentally ill person/child doesn't have access too, but apparently that isn't always stopping them. So someone will inevitably say "Arg! You can take away the 2nd Amendment freedoms of someone just because their child has a mental illness of some sort!" and yes that is true, but it COULD possibly be a very big step in preventing these situations. It would suck and almost feel like a punishment for someone who enjoys recreational shooting if they had a kid that had autism or aspergers and they had to get rid of their firearms. Often times it isn't the parents' fault that the kid came out that way, the mother didn't drink or smoke while pregnant, it just happened. Sadly though it does seem that the majority of the people doing this shootings are not right in the head and preventing them from access to firearms is necessary.
Mass shootings" and political correctness/media
This is where I am about to piss off some people. Speaking completely statistically and throwing out compassion and opinion, mass shootings are not that bad when compared to the numbers of how people die. Yes it is tragic, but in reality it is not that bad. More people die from incidents with vehicles than bullets. More people safely and responsibly own, carry and operate firearms than those who use them to kill other people. While it may seem like these are frequent and a lot of people are dying from mass shootings, more people are dying from the use of alcohol. I am not saying I do not care about the victims and that their families do have my sympathy, but there are worse things out there. At the same time however, I do not know anyone involved in any of these tragedies, and I cannot stop my life and be sympathetic for every person who meets an untimely and violent end. My Uncle died earlier this year, but unless if you knew about it you probably wouldn't care that just some other guy died. Its sad, but true.
Part of the problem is all the media coverage. The media in this country in particular is out of control. I'm not a subscriber to the idea that they control us and sway every way we live our lives, but to an extent they kind of do. They make these mass shooting incidents out to be like everyone in the country is in danger. It's what sells. Turn on fox news at 11 and the first 5-10 minutes is hardly ever anything good. It is usually about people being murdered because that is what sells on the news. I read an article about gun control a few months ago that talked about the psychology behind this. He called it “logical fallacy of misleading vividness”. It explained how the media makes these events seem like it is so bad that it will inevitably happen to you tomorrow. He states that it is portrayed in such detail and makes it so easy to imagine it happening to you that it effects your life. Much like how people are afraid to fly even though flying is statistically the safest way to travel. I will post a link to this article at the bottom and will reference it for other things as well. There is also the quote from Morgan Freeman going around (haven't seen a credible source yet) about how all the media coverage is about the shooter and that all it is doing is making the next potential shooter want to be worse than the last. You always hear about the bad, and rarely the good.
Same goes for celebrity news too. What is the ratio you hear for any given celebrity doing something good to ANYTHING they do looked at in a bad light. Then stop and think, why the fuck should I care what -insert celebrity- had for breakfast, looks like without makeup, wore to the beach. This is another problem in America, we encourage this constant invasion of privacy by the media and paparazzi into the lives of celebrities but flip the fuck out when facebook changes a policy that you didn't actually read in detail.
People are constantly dying in the world, and a lot of them are violent tragic deaths. When was the last time you heard about service members dying in Afghanistan? While I was over there in one day we had more than 10 Marines fall victim to an attack, a few died, a lot are now missing limbs. I know the story was not on the national news because sadly the average American just doesn't care anymore. Its the same story only the names have changed, and unless you know the person, a victim story with only different names isn't something people care about. When was the last time you heard on the national news all of the good we are doing in Afghanistan? You probably aren't. You only heard the stories about the ONE soldier who lost it and slaughters a bunch of Afghans, or the one group of stupid Marines who urinated on a dead Taliban fighter. You dont hear about how we saved children's lives when they stepped on an IED that the Taliban planted. You dont hear the story about how Naria, a little Afghan girl who lost an eye, was flown to from one of the worst places in Afghanistan to San Diego so that a team of surgeons, who volunteered, could give her a prosthetic eye. I picked these stories because I was there for them, but there are other AMAZING things people are doing in the world that you never hear of.
Did the national news cover much about Nasa finding water ice on Mercury or what Curiosity found on Mars? Why are these stories not getting attention?
Gun Control and Bans
When it comes to firearm bans, usually anyone who knows anything about firearms realized they are a joke. In the article i mentioned before and have a link to below, the author goes into detail about how the politicians writing these things have NO CLUE what they are talking about. A lot of things they ban are basically things that LOOK scary, but dont make a weapon more lethal. The national assault weapon ban was lifted, but California still has theirs in effect. Even the name "assault weapon" makes the firearm sound more dangerous and scary to the uneducated and the unfamiliar with firearms. Things like pistol grips, barrel shrouds, collapsable butt stocks, and suppressors are all things that LOOK scary, but dont actually have much effect on the lethality of the firearm. In the article there is even a video of an interview with a politician where she clearly doesn't know what she put a ban on. I'm afraid how much this might effect other things they decide on. I probably would not be far off in saying that the majority of people who are anti-guns have never fired one before.
Shooting is fun! Like I said before, I enjoy recreational shooting and thats pretty much it. When I am able to, I would like to purchase many firearms to keep in my house. My interest with with having guns for protection is significantly less than the interest is having something that would be fun to go to the range with and pop off some rounds. A topic I got into with a friend on assault weapons was also regarding competitions. Three-gun competitions are becoming more and more popular and look like a lot of fun, but you can't do it in certain states because of the restrictive gun laws against assault weapons. Look it up on youtube, they look like a blast! ...Pun intended, gotta lighten this up a little if you have read this far.
When looking at the effects of the national assault weapon ban, it pretty much didn't do anything. Such a small percentage of gun related violence involves assault weapons to begin with. Its not like the movies where criminals are getting crates and crates of AKs and M16s. Most crimes with firearms involve pistols as they are easily concealed. Even then I have never seen anything restricting bolt action rifles other than .50BMG rounds. In the hands of anyone who spent time reading military manuals on the internet a run of the mill, common, .308 caliber rifle at long range could do more damage than anyone with a pistol, physically and psychologically to the public.
This took awhile to type and is about all I can think of for now. If you actually read all of it I am amazed. If you want to debate any parts of it I just ask that you keep it civilized. I did not intend to offend anyone by what I have said, but emotion and tone do not convey through text and it is easy to misinterpret.
Link to article on gun control (written by a leftist too)