Friday, December 14, 2012

Shootings and Gun Control: Facts, Questions, Possible Solutions

Given what happened today, I decided to educate myself. Skim through the dates, sources, and excerpts. They mainly detail how the shooters came by their guns. I don't have EVERY shooting, just the major ones of the past two and half decades, plus almost all of the ones this year. At the bottom I suggest what we should do about this. Please leave you opinions in the comments and keep them clean and aimed at facts to facilitate discussion.

4/20/1999 Columbine shooting:
"Robyn Anderson, a friend of Klebold and Harris, bought the shotguns and the Hi-Point 9mm Carbine at The Tanner Gun Show in December of 1998 from unlicensed sellers" (illegally, one year before shooting)

4/16/2007 Virginia Tech shooting:
"Seung-Hui Cho bought his first gun, a Glock 9 mm handgun, on March 13 and his second weapon, a .22 caliber handgun, within the last week, law enforcement officials tell" (Read somewhere guns were bought on Ebay, semi-legally. Mental health conditions SHOULD have prevented the shooter from buying these guns but didn't. )

1/8/2011 Arizona Shooting:
"Loughner legally purchased the Glock at a Sportsman's Warehouse chain store in Tucson, Ariz., on Nov. 30 after completing a form and passing a background check." (Legally, about a month before shooting)

4/2/2012 Oakland Christian college shooting:
"The serial number of the gun matches that of a weapon bought by Goh earlier this year, police said."

7/7/2012 Colorado theater shooting:
"In the past 60 days, police said, Holmes bought more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition, at gun shops and over the Internet" (legally)

8/5/2012 Sikh Temple shooting:
"[Murderer]  did not appear dangerous when he bought a handgun at a shop last month, the shop owner says." (legally)

10/21/2012 Empire State Building Shooting:
"The police said the shooter, Jeffrey T. Johnson, 58, used a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol that held seven rounds. Law enforcement officials said Mr. Johnson bought the pistol in Sarasota, Fla., in 1991." (legally)

12/12/2012 Oregon Mall shooting:
“Police are still seeking information about what Roberts was doing in the days leading up to the shooting. They said today they believe Roberts stole the gun he used in the rampage from someone he knew.” (Illegally, right before)


So most guns or ammunition was bought legally with a couple of exceptions.
Most was acquired shortly before the shootings.
Most of these people were disturbed and planned things out to some degree.
Some had intended targets, others just wanted to inflict pain on anyone they could.
All male shooters.
No OTHER legally armed person stepped in to stop these people.
Most, despite have some problems (who doesn't?) were otherwise described as normal and functional.

I was wrong about something I previously thought: gun control in foreign countries has no correlation to crime rates.  “ Japan has some of the toughest gun ownership laws in the world, while Switzerland requires all males serving the armed forces to store their rifles and ammunition in their homes in case of attack. Yet both have among the world’s lowest rates of gun-related deaths.” I guess some countries are just more violent, and even if they have the guns, they don’t use them.


Let's say tomorrow we make guns illegal in the U.S. The murderers of the future who start planning their shooting sprees after guns become illegal can't buy guns online or in stores. Where would they get them, exactly?

When have you ever heard of a shooter stopped by a civilian, or by anyone but the cops? Especially a mass-murderer.

Have you ever heard a SURVIVOR of these crimes say "We should have less gun control so guns are more available" or "I wish I had had a gun that day"?

(I’m not kidding. I want answers to these questions.)

My idea of compromise on gun control:

Fine, have your guns and protect that constitution. But you can only have ONE(!!!) that holds, like, four shots. If you can’t shoot someone with that many bullets, you shouldn’t be shooting in the first place. If such a gun hasn’t been invented, invent it. You don’t need something that holds 100 rounds of ammunition and shoots 60 bullets a minute. (See Colorado theater shooting) Like Australia, the government can pay you back for the rest of your unnecessary armory. (See article on countries and gun control). 

Backgrounds checks need to be WAAAAAY tougher. College drop outs seriously can’t own one (see two or three of the shootings for the college drop-out bit. I can’t believe all of these shooters passed background checks. That’s ridiculous). 

Waiting period for guns needs to be six months. Ammunition a year. (see all the shootings but two).
Guns and ammunition can’t be sold online. Someone should be able to see your crazy face and deny you a purchase if you’re planning on shooting people. 

No you can’t walk around with your gun in plain sight. We need to be able to differentiate the crazies from the normal citizens.

Seriously, just don’t even buy a gun. If you need to “defend yourself” (though I don’t know what from since nobody ever successfully does so in these shootings and I’ve never heard of a home invasion deterred by a gun-wielding citizen) you can buy a bullet proof vest. At least that way, if you become emotionally unstable tomorrow, you can’t go and shoot me because I choose THAT day to visit the mall/school/movie theater. 

Guns can only be bought by women over the age of 25 and men over the age of 50. If you can’t rent a car, I don’t see why you can buy a gun. Also, men over fifty don’t seem to shoot people up nearly as often as young men. (I'm only partly joking :) )

Toy guns should be illegal if they look anything like the real thing. HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY THESE AS TOYS?!? FOR KIDS?!?!? 

That is all. Thanks for comments, personal stories, and other sources either backing up or countering my own. 

edit: Also, this resource for general knowledge: 


  1. Very well put. I like the thought of never hearing of people actually stopping the shooters except the police.


  2. Don't have much of an opinion, but you might want to read this article:


  3. I wonder if some of these shooters simply wanted to go out in a blaze of glory. I wish the media wouldn't use their names and do complete stories on their entire lives. I wish they could be erased from history.