Originally Posted by BKsBimmer
I concur with your point that we live in a violent culture with all it's implications. I'll just add that it logically follows that places with more guns are likely to have more gun deaths.
To address your question;
1.I believe the reason there is so much focus on automatic and semi-automatic firearms and large capacity magazines is because their potential for mass carnage is exponentially greater than that of handguns.
2. They are almost exclusively the weapons of choice in mass shooting incidents.
3. Mass shooting incidents attract intense media coverage for extended perioids of time and have a huge impact on the national psyche due to their horrific nature. Of course these tragedies also have a devistating and lasting impact on the local communities in which they occur.
4. Though the number of homicides committed with these types of firearms and accessories may be less in real numbers than homicides committed with handguns, I would argue their impact on society is disproportionately greater when used in mass shootings, which in my opinion jusitfies the scrutiny.
EDIT: i forgot to address your comment about more guns = more gun deaths. Logic does point to that conclusion. However, when comparing deaths per gun there are 47 other countries who have FAR LESS guns than the US but do have a higher rate of homicides per gun than the US. So speculation alone is not conclusive.
1) Fully automatic weapons have not been used in any recorded mass shooting in the US. They are VERY difficult to obtain there by very scarce. If a rifle and hand gun shoot a projectile every time the trigger is pulled, why is there greater potential of "mass carnage" with rifles?
2) In mass shootings since 1983 to present time, there were 35 rifles used compared to 88 hand guns and 19 shotguns. If you're quick with math, you'll see that totals 142 weapons and quickly figure out that most mass shootings involve more than one weapon since there were 63 incidents. In fact, the most deadly mass shooting in the last 30 years, at Virginia Tech, where 33 were killed 23 were injured, was perpetrated with 2 hand guns.
As a side note i'd like to point out that in the last 30 years a total of .0000005% of the weapons in America were used in a mass shooting. OVER THE LAST THIRTY YEARS COMBINED.... it's actually .00000048% but when you're talking about 142 of the 300,000,000 million firearms in existence i figured i'd round up to give a pro gun control advocate's argument the edge.
3) This is true, we all know the media is always looking for the best angle, the most dirt, first story, all in an effort to gain ratings. It should not be a surprise that they sensationalize these tragic events for their benefit. I would argue that they are part of the problem by offering the potential of HUGE notoriety of a perpetrator in their death by taking several innocent people with them.
4) This is part of the problem as well. The public's refusal to recognize and accept the "real number" facts. This is due to politicians and media pushing their own agenda with propaganda against the weapons they don't like. Facts are facts. I get all my statistical data from pro gun control websites. I don't believe that gun owners would be giving so much push back if
the facts said that every week someone with an AR-15 killed 25 people.
But those aren't the facts. The facts show that by and large, including mass shootings, the weapon to inflict the most harm is in fact a hand gun. In addition the facts show that the vast majority of gun-violence in America takes place in inner-citys, not college campuses, not movie theaters, not elementary schools, or malls etc... But rather run down, dark, drug infested inner-cities.
As stated before, the only reason the government would want to go after rifles more than hand guns is because: 1, they want to give half the population a false sense of security or 2, they want to disarm law abiding citizens for a separate agenda.
In my opinion this should scare all Americans. Our government is focusing on something that is minuscule part of the problem in order to sooth people and possibly to buy votes for their party. Or they are motivated strictly by their own agenda regardless of the facts. Either way, having a government that would do either of those things is not something i'm comfortable with. They clearly don't have my rights and interests at heart and a government that places the rights and interests of one sect above others is one that is way out of whack or self motivated.