I'm writing this post for my own use.Since we've apparently decided as a society that periodic massacres are just the price we have to pay for allowing crazies to stockpile weapons, I'm going to formulate a handy linkable counterargument rather than re-type the whole thing each time someone makes an idiotic post-massacre comment.
Firstly, David Frum (a conservative republican, of all things) on the rules of engagement insisted on by the gun lobby in the way of each mass shooting:
Rule 1: It is "ghoulish" to suggest in any way that the easy availability of guns might in any way enable gun slaughter.Rule 2: Gun crime in the president’s hometown proves that guns anywhere else are not a fit topic of conversation.Rule 3: All gun owners are to be complimented as responsible and law-abiding citizens until they personally have hurt themselves or somebody else.Rule 4: Any attempt to stop mass casualty shootings is "political." Allowing them to continue is "non-political."Rule 5: Gun ownership is essential to freedom, as in Serbia & Guatemala. Gun restrictions lead to tyranny, as in Australia & Canada.
Secondly, the 'oh why don't we address our MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS!' wail popular in some corners. This is a dodge, placing the blame for gun massacres on mental illness rather than where it belongs: the casual availability of guns to the mentally ill.
Yes, mental health care in this country is a sham.
Yes, it is a problem that needs to be addressed.
In the meantime, let's please stop selling guns to the violent crazies.
I would much prefer to face a deranged assailant with a knife, club or bow to one armed with an AR-15, a Glock and another rifle as backup.
Third, the second amendment, which gun nuts love to screech about.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.I can see legitimate debate about what sort of guns they're talking about (muskets, not AR-15s, being the rifle du jour of the time), but I don't see any wiggle room in the opener- A WELL REGULATED MILITIA.
Not Uncle Gomer with his cellar full of weapons crapping in his had to throw at the picture of NO-bama he has taped to the porch, a well regulated militia. Any reasonable person should be able to reconcile basic safety measures like background checks, closing gun show loopholes and cracking down on shady internet dealers with the terms stated in the amendment.
Me, I'm a radical- I'd like to see private ownership of handguns & high capacity rifle clips done away with.
But you don't have to be me to see the benefit in closing the vast chasm between a "well regulated militia" and the current laissez faire marketplace, where any clown who can rustle up the cash is free to stockpile arms.
Fourth, the gun nut talking point that it's IMPOSSIBLE to clean up our gun mess because there are just SO MANY GUNS out there.
I'm pretty sure a nation that put a man on the freaking MOON can sweep up leftover guns following any unexpected outbreak of sanity in our political class. Local gun buybacks in particular have been wildly successful, so earmark a few billion dollars of our bottomless 'Blowing Up Brown People' slush fund for an ongoing, national gun buyback and let it run for a decade or so.
Economic stimulus and public safety both- it's a two-fer!
Fifth, the battle cry of the uninformed gun nut, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
The stupidity of which is self evident.
Making it less trivially easy for 'bad guys' to stockpile arms means we'll have fewer mass shootings. States with stricter gun laws have lower instances of gun deaths of all sorts than those with permissive laws.
As for the myth itself, Mother Jones has an excellent article from the aftermath of Sandy Hook.
It's a fantasy along the lines of those who want a gun for "home defense".
Chances you'll get to live out your Chuck Bronson fantasy and gun down a home intruder: Slim to none.
Chances you'll accidentally shoot a family member, or have a family member shoot themselves, or get shot by a family member...or shoot some innocent passer by you've mistaken for a threat: Statistically Significant.
I follow David Waldman on Twitter, the fellow who compiles the #GUNFAIL posts for Daily Kos.
The number of kids *every week* who find a gun and then either kill themselves or one of their little friends is mind numbing. On top of everything else wrong with them, guns are tragedy amplifiers. Everyone makes mistakes with everything all the time- we're human, that's what we do. With guns it is idiotically simple to make a mistake there is no recovering from.
I'll probably update this as the justifications for the massacre preserving status quo continue to mutate.