Several factors must conspire in order to maximize casualties during mass shootings like the most recent one at the Batman movie:
- Some crazy person must have a gun.
- That crazy person must be the only one that has a gun.
If the targets were armed as well, chances are the perpetrator would himself take a slug in the forehead before he could get off as many rounds as he had planned. But other than a bullet, who or what is supposed to stop a homicidal nut from firing into an unarmed crowd until he loses interest or runs out of ammo?
Ideally, of course, homicidal nuts shouldn’t have guns to begin with. How to prevent these people from obtaining firearms is the $64,000 question—to relax or tighten existing gun control legislation? Would it make a difference either way?
It continues to puzzle me that proponents of drug legalization tend to favor tougher gun control laws as if, every now and then, common sense demanded the arbitrary application of conflicting types of logic. So a person most likely to argue that drug laws are ineffective because (a) all Experience hath shewn these laws appear to neither curb the ubiquity of recreational drugs nor prevent anyone who wants to get fried from obtaining whatever substances they desire, and (b) banning drugs only drives the drug trade underground, thus giving rise to a black market and all its attendant problems, is most likely to turn this logic on its head when it comes to firearms, suddenly arguing that making it more difficult to procure guns legally will indeed curtail their prevalence and do so without spawning a black market in direct proportion to the decreased availability of guns via legal channels.
So which is it? Assuming there exists a strong demand for certain products—sadly, drugs as well as guns enjoy exceptional popularity; especially, I would hazard to conjecture, among the emotionally unstable—do tougher laws (a) work or (b) not work in terms of keeping these products out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them? By what mechanism exactly would tougher gun control laws reduce the availability of guns, given that even the most draconian anti-drug laws seemingly fail to combat the availability of drugs to any meaningful degree?
And why would tougher gun control laws not result in a corresponding uptick of illegal firearms flooding across U.S. borders—the very borders, incidentally, that those who favor drug legalization generally don’t wish to see policed as heavily as conservative opponents to drug legalization do?
Whether one deems tougher legislation effective or not, it makes little sense to apply two diametrically opposed kinds of logic depending on whether the product in question happens to be a Glock or vial of Cocaine.