Sensitive issue but also worthy of a balanced discussion. Here is an old essay from Michael Moore that touches on the complexity of gun control and mass murder.
My liberal compatriots will tell you if we just had less guns, there would be less gun deaths. And, mathematically, that would be true. If you have less arsenic in the water supply, it will kill less people. Less of anything bad – calories, smoking, reality TV – will kill far fewer people. And if we had strong gun laws that prohibited automatic and semi-automatic weapons and banned the sale of large magazines that can hold a gazillion bullets, well, then shooters like the man in Aurora would not be able to shoot so many people in just a few minutes.
But this, too, has a problem. There are plenty of guns in Canada (mostly hunting rifles) – and yet the annual gun murder count in Canada is around 200 deaths. In fact, because of its proximity, Canada’s culture is very similar to ours – the kids play the same violent video games, watch the same movies and TV shows, and yet they don’t grow up wanting to kill each other. Switzerland has the third-highest number of guns per capita on earth, but still a low murder rate.
So – why us?
I posed this question a decade ago in my film Bowling for Columbine, and this week, I have had little to say because I feel I said what I had to say 10 years ago – and it doesn’t seem to have done a whole lot of good other than to now look like it was actually a crystal ball posing as a movie.
This is what I said then, and it is what I will say again today:
1. We Americans are incredibly good killers. We believe in killing as a way of accomplishing our goals. Three-quarters of our states execute criminals, even though the states with the lower murder rates are generally the states with no death penalty.
Additionally I would like to share two comments from Sole which I think are valid:
REAL CONFUSED THAT FORWARD THINKING PEOPLE THINK THE STATE SHOULD HAVE A MONOPOLY ON VIOLENCE & GUNS.
I WANNA LIVE IN A WORLD WITHOUT GUNS. BUT NOT A WORLD WHERE ONLY THE COPS AND ARMY HAVE GUNS AND THE REST OF US ARE HELPLESS.