About 30,000 people a year in this country die from gun violence, about 80 a day, 32 by homicide – the same number who died at Virginia Tech two years ago this month.? In the space of four months, up to nine Americans died as a result of bacteria-laden peanut butter crackers, and the government quickly took action. Some of the top government officials in our country say we don’t need to do anything different – that we should just ‘enforce the laws on the books.’? The laws on the books aren’t getting the job done. Now is the time to take effective steps to prevent gun violence.
– Paul Helmke, Brady Campaign Press Release (Emphasis in original.)
Leaving out the absurdity of the gun-cracker comparison, I fail to see how more laws would have made any difference.
First off, it’s already illegal to murder people, regardless of the methods used. It’s an additional penalty to murder someone with a gun. There’s plenty of laws already against violent crime, and violent criminals are some of the most zealously pursued and prosecuted criminals in US society.
New York also has some rather strict gun laws (( http://www.bradycampaign.org/legislation/state/viewstate.php?st=ny )) (( http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/ )). What more does the Brady Campaign want?
More bans or restrictions won’t prevent pe0ple bent on a murderous rampage from committing such heinous crimes — they already need to violate numerous laws and societal norms to do so. The mere presence of such laws, however, cannot prevent one from doing something illegal — it simply provides a means of punishment afterwards. With sufficient motivation, one can acquire weapons (or drugs, or other restricted items) regardless of laws prohibiting them from doing so. Clearly, the murderer had little qualms about acquiring weapons and then going on to commit mass murder.
Honestly, I’m not sure what more “effective steps” can be taken against such behavior. If anyone has any reasonable suggestions, I (and the rest of the world, I suspect) am willing to listen with an open mind. As this incident in New York and the recent mass shooting in Germany have shown, however, is that strict gun control does not prevent murderers from committing their terrible crimes.