At the forefront is always a chorus calling for banning all guns. Proposing such a solution is hopelessly naive, almost at the level of saying "just give all the poor people money" as a solution to fight poverty.
For one thing, you can't ban all weapons in the US because of the second amendment. You won't repeal the second amendment because there is no where near enough popular support for that (instead the current SCOTUS may very well only strengthen it in the near future).
There's also the question of personal defense. IIRC, Americans defend themselves with guns between 60 thousand and two million times a year (depending on whose estimates you believe).
By what moral calculus do you deprive a population of protecting itself from that many robberies, rapes or even murders in the interest of preventing one specific kind of extremely rare mass murder?
So why expend energy arguing for a solution that is a legal non-starter, not likely to solve the problem and ignores a wide swath of extremely negative side-effects?
The only conclusion I can draw is that the basic agenda here is not one of preventing school shootings, but simply one of ratcheting up gun control laws -- an area in which these kinds of activists have been quite successful.
This is why I have to question either the integrity or the intelligence of anyone proposing this kind of solution. If you seriously care about the problem, you should be thinking outside of the boundaries of a particular solution, and clearly we're not getting anywhere with this line of reasoning.
There are a number of other potential solutions on the table. Maybe this would be a good time for us to elevate the broader discussion?
@mindhog At least one anti-gun person finally did the math:
Unfortunately, most anti-gun people are anti-gun out of pure fear, and refuse to think rationally about the subject. They're basically witch-burners.
@h4890 @billblake2018 So I'm going to circumvent the whole discussion of education. I don't think it's irrelevant, but the subject I was speaking of was specifically in reference to mass shootings at schools (apropos the recent incident at Uvalde, Texas).
More broadly, it's not at all clear that the presence of guns in a community has any correlation with the amount of violence in that community.
@h4890 @billblake2018 However, WRT mass school shootings specifically, the two other possible solutions that have been identified are 1) arming more people at schools (or more generally, other defensive mechanisms) and 2) reducing the media coverage of these kinds of events given that there's evidence that coverage breeds emulation.
When it comes to arming more people, are you thinking of armed teachers or armed guards in every classroom?
I would imagine that since many (if not most) school shooters are intent on suicide anyway, they would first of all take out the armed teacher, and then continue to massacre the class.
When it comes to media coverage, the media has gotten the blame for violence since time immemorial. If not media, the roleplaing games, or computer games, probably in the (...)
@billblake2018 @mindhog middle ages books where blamed etc. I also do not think it is feasible to block the media, and this will be the start of the loss of more freedom á la the "slippery slope" that I've heard about from people who do not want background checks for people who buy guns.
I think implementing airport level security with metal detectors and x ray machines would stop it, at a very high price, and as Bill pointed out in another thread, the violence would then only move to (...)
@billblake2018 @mindhog the parking lot, behind the house on the other side of the street, the play ground or somewhere else. But I think, if you are willing to invest, that the school building would be safer.
Another thought I'd throw in there is, if all guns where banned, do you think there would be more school bombings?
Building a pipe bomb, or several, with remote detonators is very simple. I wonder if the depressed children would do that in case they did not have guns?
@h4890 @billblake2018 AIUI, the very first incident of this kind of mass murder at a school was the Bath school disaster in 1927, and it was a bombing. That said, it's uncertain whether school mass shootings would turn into bombings in the absence of guns.
To your point about the slippery slope of free speech restrictions, I agree.
@h4890 @billblake2018 However, it's much easier for me to imagine a very targeted restriction against one constitutional right (which is also already limited) being more effective than the broad set of targeted restrictions against another constitutional right (one which, by plain text "shall not be infringed") that don't seem to have made much of a difference.
I hope so. But looking at sweden, the politicians have made use of the word negro illegal, for many years it was forbidden to discuss immigration in public, which led to disastrous results in 2015 and an enormous deterioration of the quality of life in sweden.
But I do hope that it is a less slippery slope. But the libertarian in me always shudders when anyone wants to limit anything because these limits tend to grow.
Oh, taxes, another one... they start as a (...)
Arguing against myself, sweden had marginal tax rates of 70% to 80% (102% for the richest) in the 70s, and believe it or not, but those came down to 55% and now latest to 50%. But it took almost 50 years. ;)
So yes, these things can be reversed but it takes a long time if it does happen at all.
The reality is that there is *no* response to school shootings that will have any effect in the near term. The guns aren't going away. The publicity isn't going away. Schools--and their concentration of kids--aren't going away. And the population of kids inclined to murder/suicide isn't going away. So it's just going to keep happening.
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