Strategies for Dealing With Mass Shootings
James Fallows – The Atlantic
Are we doomed to the ritual of “our thoughts and prayers go to the families” after whatever is the latest mass-shooting massacre, and to the knowledge that only in the United States will this keep happening week after week after week? That’s the theme of the posts you see collected in this thread. Now, further reader response.
The answer is the market. One reader says:
‘…The only path to any kind of gun control in the U.S. is market-based. The constitution guarantees you the right to own guns, but it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to afford them. Liability insurance, transfer fees, import quotas—we should concentrate on everything that can be done non-legislatively to drive up the cost and scarcity of handguns. It’s all we’ve got… ‘
Why We Should Use the Oregon Gunman’s Name
Karin Klein – Los Angeles Times
Almost as predictably as mass killings set off new debate about gun control, they now raise calls for omitting the gunman’s name from news stories, discussions and press conferences. Talk only about the victims, not the killer, people say.
They call on the media to take part in erasing this bit of information from the records, on the grounds that society should deny the gunman his 15 minutes of fame and avoid future killings by showing others that they also would remain anonymous….
That’s not going to work. For one thing, killers know better. The names of perpetrators are public information; they’ll come out, one way or the other. And — these people are, for the most part, angry and mentally ill…. It’s not as though they figure they won’t bother destroying lives and dying themselves unless their name is on TV for a few minutes.
A Power Derived From Mistrust of Police and Government
Glenn Harlan Reynolds – The New York Times
According to a recent Pew poll, more Americans support gun rights than gun control. That represents a significant shift over the situation a few decades ago. And I believe the reason is that people don’t trust the government to protect them anymore, and, in fact, that they don’t trust the government in general.
To feel safe in a society where only the police have guns, you have to trust the police. But in post-Ferguson America, trust in police is at a 22-year low. ….
And, if you’re at all a gun rights supporter, to support “reasonable” gun control measures you have to trust politicians who say they only want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and crazies, not confiscate guns from everyone. That’s hard to do when President Obama — who said in 2008 “I won’t take your gun away” — now says that Australia, with its draconian program of gun confiscation, is a good model.
The Conservative Evasion on Guns
E.J. Dionne Jr. – The Washington Post
We will not act until politicians start losing elections for opposing even the most modest gun safety measure. We will not act unless political parties that block action lose their majorities. Yes, I am talking about a Republican Party that has completely aligned itself with the interests of gun manufacturers and gun fanatics….
News flash: No law will ever solve every problem or create heaven on Earth. But it is a straight-out lie to assert that stronger gun laws make no difference. Here is the conclusion of a study released in August by National Journal: “The states that impose the most restrictions on gun users also have the lowest rates of gun-related deaths, while states with fewer regulations typically have a much higher death rate from guns.” State laws could be even more effective if they were matched by federal laws that made it harder for guns to get into the wrong hands.