thegreekdog wrote:Can someone explain to me how background checks would have stopped the Sandy Hook massacre? I would also appreciate an explanation of how the Assault Weapons Ban would have stopped the Sandy Hook massacre. I mean, Rachel Maddow did a good job describing how we could only have witnessed the killing of 20 kids instead of 40 if only the killer had less ammunition, but my understanding is that none of the currently contemplated laws have that.
The simple answer is that they wouldn't have. But I don't believe anyone is advocating that gun control laws are some sort of a "golden bullet" (pardon the expression). It doesn't make sense to me that a solution must work in all instances or we can't implement it.
I don't disagree.
Again, my concern here is twofold.
First, any gun control law that is passed show be at least marginally effective.
I think strengthening background checks will be marginally effective as it will ensure that those who have objectionable backgrounds cannot purchase weapons. However, those people can still get weapons illegally and therefore I use the term "marginally effective." For example, in Philadelphia in 2011, over 80% of murders were committed by gun and 60% were committed by people who had previous arrests for violent crimes (and who would thus fail a background check). The Mayor indicated that the biggest issue regarding violence in Philadelphia was the ability of people to purchase guns illegally. http://www.thedp.com/article/2013/01/ef ... nce-abound
So, marginally effective.
I think banning the sale of assault weapons is ineffective, mainly for reasons already stated (i.e. only semi-automatics that look like automatics are banned).
Thus, we have two laws that, together, may be marginally effective (at best) and completely ineffective (at worst). So, we're getting our hopes up and spending money for no really good reasons (or, alternatively, arguing vociferously against these laws and spending money for no really good reasons).
Second, the politics of this entire issue are frustrating. On the one hand you have the president and members of Congress politicizing these bills as being effective. They aren't effective. On the other hand you have members of Congress politicizing these bills as being unconstitutional. They aren't unconstitutional (and aren't effective anyway). Frustrating.