Laying aside for now the question of the constitutionality of gun control, let’s consider the matter from a different perspective else we may end up with unintended consequences.
There can be little doubt that at the basis of the gun control issue are deep-seated beliefs and feelings on both sides but especially among those who oppose it. Here, I will focus mainly on those who oppose it.
Ownership of guns or the potential for ownership is, to many, a reassurance when vulnerability is felt or otherwise perceived. This vulnerability ranges from personal threat from the large criminal element fed by drug abusers to fear of an overreaching government. None of the above is new.
What needs to be considered is the possible consequences of denying gun ownership and freedom to carry one. A very likely consequence is that loss of the rights associated with gun possession will intensify the already acute beliefs and feelings of a large portion of the populace. The intent of those who take arms against public officials, as we saw in Tuscan, is to kill and be killed. The gun is just a convenient choice of means; it has no part in the motivation. Does anyone really believe that removing the gun will remove the urge, intent or determination to kill? The gun is not even a symptom of the problem and treating it will accomplish nothing but sweep under the rug that which needs to be acknowledged. The likely consequence of shutting off gun access will be to cause the unstable to escalate to the next level; use of fire, poison, cars, bombs. Even knives, being silent, could do untold damage before the majority of a crowd knew what was happening.
We have ample evidence of what bombs and planes can do in the hands of those who are willing to die to avenge a perceived wrong or advance a cherished belief. These bombs are cheaper than guns and can be made from products found in most homes. What will we ban to stop that? In this sense gun ownership may be a safety valve checking the use of more destructive means. Do we need a demonstration to convince us that an automobile driven at high speed into a crowd would not be a pleasant event?
Tampering with gun ownership will inflame an already inflamed situation and likely will be no more effective than prohibition was in eliminating moonshine consumption back in our earlier past. A determined person will never have significant difficulty getting a gun illegally if not legally. Furthermore, when the ease and efficacy of bombs are fully realized and when they become a greater attention getter the gun may lose its favored status.
It is chilling to contemplate what would have been the result if the Columbine School incident had involved bombs rather than guns.
Could it be that it is time to address the causes of violent actions rather than the tools used to carry them out? The presence of an ax had nothing to do with Lizzie’s decision to give her father 40 whacks.