Gun control wouldn't have stopped what happened in Vegas...should we do it anyway?

Even though it’s events like Vegas that get the news and get people riled up, gun control isn’t going to have any effect on something like that. Why? Well, at least of two weapons used in the shooting were bought legally from a gun store were in full accordance with state and federal law, including a full FBI background check. And they turned up nothing. This guy didn’t even have a speeding ticket from what I’ve read. So, unless ‘gun control’ means ‘total ban’ + active hunt for the hundreds of millions of guns already out there it’s not going to stop something like this.

That said, does this mean we shouldn’t have gun control anyway? I mean, these spectacular events certainly get the headlines, but it seems to me it’s the day in and day out shootings that are the real issue if there is one. And gun control might be useful for dealing with that and at least mitigating it further. Or not…that’s what the debate is.

I know that many 'dopers are worked up about this from reading in the Pit thread on this. I’m sure there will be a lot of ‘well, just get rid of all the guns…problem solved!’ type answers. To me, that’s not realistic. Pointing to what Australia did and extrapolating that to the US is, again, not realistic, though we can discuss that in here as well if someone would like to debate the point. Myself, I’d like to focus on gun control measures that would actually have a measurable impact on gun deaths AND are realistic wrt the US. There has to be a middle ground between the gun grabbers and the gun nuts who have staked out the extremes, something that is a good compromise AND would be demonstrably effective. What I’d like to hear is those sorts of solutions, solutions that actually COULD be put in place, not wishful thinking coupled with unicorn dreams and dragon tears.

I’ll start it off. Universal background checks. No new gun can be purchased or sold in the US, regardless of the venue (even privately) without going through an FBI background check and being certified by the FBI. This will put a lot more overhead on purchasing the gun, will entail an expansion of the FBI, but I think it would be useful even if it would make purchasing a gun more a pain in the ass. Next up, licensing and registration of firearms. This one is definitely going to hurt the pro-gun crowd since it brings up the worry that the government will use such a list to eventually go back and grab all the guns. However, I think such a system will be useful to really know what’s out there, and will eventually play into the universal background checking system as the database grows with registered firearms. Finally, new purchase mandatory gun safety training. If you are purchasing a new gun you will need a license that says you have participated in a 4-hour gun safety training course. Like a drivers license, there will be a test and a small fee for this license, and like a drivers license, you will need to have it renewed every X years. It will have your picture on it, and on the chip, it will have guns you have registered with the FBI as well as your current status for background checks (maybe making that system a bit more efficient).

None of these measures are going to fix the basic issue. All of them are going to make gun ownership more difficult. Some of them are going to make it difficult for poorer people to have guns (legally). They all have pros and cons, and all will be fought by one side and decried by the other as not going far enough. What others can you think of?

So you admit that your proposals won’t fix the issue you use as justification for them, admit that they will hurt law-abiding citizens, but still want to do them anyway? And at the same time you wonder why pro-gun people won’t accept your proposals?

I read a proposal recently that I thought was pretty interesting: require firearm owners to carry liability insurance similar to that carried by drivers. This gets insurance companies into the game, and setting their political might against the NRA’s political might would have salutary effects.

And to buy ammunition, you have to show your proof of insurance for the appropriate firearm, and ammunition sales must be recorded. If someone is buying up tremendous quantities of ammo (maybe as straw purchases), that gets flagged in the same way that buying up tremendous quantities of cough medicine gets flagged.

I just posted this in the Pit thread, but it’s on topic here:

The issue with all manner of gun control proposals that appear immediately after a shooting tragedy is not their proximity in time to the incident, but rather their irrelevance. The Vegas shooter apparently had many many weapons, and had plenty of time to plan. The proposals you suggest would have done nothing to prevent what happened. But these types of things get floated in the name of ‘we have to do something!’ If a given proposal wouldn’t have made a difference one way or another, then using a tragedy seems less like trying to address a problem and more like posturing.

For example, if a proposal was that hotels should have metal detectors, well I’m not sure if I’d be against that or if that would be legal, but at least arguably that could have had an impact on what happened. And as always, what are (the general) you willing to trade to achieve the goals you seek? Mostly I see all take and no give which is a non-starter.

Nothing short of the unrealistic ‘ban all guns and hunt down all existing guns so that America is gun free’ will ‘fix’ all of the issues. What I’m proposing is to somewhat mitigate some of the problems. Will they do that? I don’t know. Certainly, they won’t stop what happened in Las Vegas from happening again, but they MIGHT have a measurable effect on the day to day gun violence.

And no, I don’t wonder why pro-gun folks would oppose them…I know EXACTLY why they will oppose anything like this, just like I know the more rabid anti-gun people would say they don’t go far enough (and use them as a lever to change the playing field with the expectation of more to come down the road).

That said, do you have any suggestions for controls that would mitigate the problem of gun violence in the US? This is the thread for them if you have any. It’s always easier to pick apart someone’s plans than to lay out your own for critique.

While these might help, the Vegas shooter would have probably qualified for insurance, and it doesn’t take much ammo to carry out a killing spree. Someone could presumably buy 500 rounds of ammo (not all that much, even less perceived so if bought in several small batches over a long time) without getting flagged, and carried out a mass killing spree. When firing into a large crowd, pretty much every bullet is guaranteed to score a hit on someone, and so 500 bullets could very well kill over a hundred.

Yes. It’s a step toward less gun worship in this country.

Making gun ownership more difficult is a BENEFIT for law abiding citizens, owning guns makes you less safe not more. The point of gun control is to lower the amount of guns that are sold, the specifics and how they relate to any shootings are inconsequential. Sell less guns = less people killed by guns. It is simple and straightforward and undeniable.

Did you read the OP? Hell, did you read the OP title? What I’m proposing here isn’t for something like Vegas, and I acknowledged freely that it wouldn’t have had any effect. I’m not trying to jerk the knee wrt what happened in Vegas nor pretending that anything done here would alter something like that. The proposals here were for the every day, day to day gun violence and were attempts at a rational method to mitigate it that would say within the Constitution and 2nd Amendment, as well as be palatable to the majority of Americans.

In that case:

Cite, please. Why do political leaders and rich people hire/legistlate armed bodyguards so much if it makes them less safe?

Cite, please. It is a bald claim not backed by actual evidence.

Gun ownership has increased as gun violence has decreased. Gun control is about WHO has guns rather than quantity of guns. One person with a cruise missille is safer than another with a BB gun.

Let me turn this around…what would you want in return for this? I can think of a few things I’d go for (say, as part of that license I discussed you could take another, federally run class to get a national carry conceal added on. This would be a much more intensive training and test of course), but really it’s what do you (or what you think your side) wants in return? Can you list a few things?

I don’t believe that laws in general, and especially those infringing on a consitutionally protected right, should be justified with ‘well, we don’t know if it will do any good, but it MIGHT’.

I don’t believe that mitigating ‘gun violence’ is a sensible goal; would it be OK if the US kept exactly the same rate of violence but it was all committed with knives, explosives, cars, and other non-gun means? Talking about ‘gun violence’ is a strong indicator that the person simply wants to restrict ordinary law-abiding citizens from owning guns - after all, gun control laws and proposals virtually always exempt the police, even though they commit a lot of gun violence.

To cut down violence in general in the US (with gun-specific violence as a part of that) I would propose universal health care (with mental health treatment as a significant part of that), much stronger social welfare, more free education (not just college, but ‘basic life skills’ and ‘basic employment’), and other things along those lines. I would ditch the war on certain drugs and roll back the militarization of police forces, and in general dismantle the prison-industrial complex and modify the philosophy of prison to emphasize rehabilitation for anyone that’s not in for life. I know that doesn’t hit the ‘slap those awful gun owners’ button that gun-grabbers like, but hopefully actually reducing violence and strife is more important than cheap thrills.

Have auto insurance companies played a significant political role historically? I don’t know what the analogous advocacy is (safer cars? more restrictions on driver’s licenses), but I don’t think of auto insurance companies (as opposed to health insurance companies) exercising much political might at all. But I’ve really never thought of it.

Two things. First off, it’s not an infringement of the 2nd to put regulations on it. We regulate other protected rights, this would be the same. The caveat is you can’t put such harsh restrictions that, for all practical purposes you can’t exercise the right due to the regulations. I’m specifically not doing that.

2nd, you make a good point…I don’t know if what I’m proposing will work or to what level it will work. That’s why this is a debate, not a bill going before Congress for approval of new regulations.

While I think part of this is reasonable, your knee-jerk ‘strong indicator that the person simply wants to restrict ordinary law-abiding citizens from owning guns’ isn’t. Myself, I think that gun violence is part of what we get for allowing ordinary citizens to keep and own guns. Just like alcohol deaths and injuries are part of the package deal in allowing alcohol to be legally purchased and used in the US. That said, we do regulate the sale and use of alcohol, so I don’t see why we couldn’t do something similar with guns, to attempt to mitigate as much as we can deaths and accidents while still giving citizens the freedom to purchase and own the things.

Ok, those are good suggestions. Thanks!

XT I know that you do think that what you proposed wouldn’t have stopped what happened.

IMHO what you proposed would had increased the chances of stopping it though. What it is missing are some extra items like mental health for everyone as I pointed many times before.

Here I do point that many conservatives should realize that this is a reverse of sorts to the voting rights issue. Alone the proposals that many of the southern states made after the voter’s right bill was defanged are not problematic. They **are **when several new rules are put in place because then a significant number of voters are preventing from voting that then it makes them a crucial and unfair advantage to one party.

And so it is that I think that unlike a case where harm (of the not deadly kind for sure) is caused by the cumulative effect of several measures for the gun issue, I do think that they will be very significant on limiting the massacres. One just has to notice that when drivers licenses are considered that we do indeed screen out people that are reckless or it is a way to make triggers that the authorities will then check. Like to see if a gun owner is going off the rails when suddenly he/she pops up with more guns that are needed for a task outside their home.

You proposed UBC, licensing and registration, mandatory safety training upon new purchase with retest provisions. In exchange:

For UBC - national shall issue and reciprocity and allow them to done via private party access to the NICS database;
For mandatory safety training - no problem - make classes free and have test provisions drafted by the NRA or similar pro-gun group. They run a good safety program already;
For Retest - no problem, no more frequent than once every 10 years and same provisions as above;
For license and registration - make gun ownership a suspect class via constitutional amendment with criminal and civil penalties for misuse of information and no immunity for violators, with greater protection than HIPPA, and institutional liability for violations like Sarbanes Oxley.

I don’t believe that many gun-owners would argue against some form of gun-control, IF we knew of an effective and practical way to accomplish it.

Background checks? We already have a Federal system of background checks in place. If I want to buy a handgun, for example, the Form 4473 gets sent in for approval at the time of the sale. It’s an imperfect system, but there IS actually one already in place.

Register all firearms at purchase? How do we decide that there is a pattern on which LEOs should act? Multiple purchases are already flagged by the government. Is it OK to buy five rifles in a week? Four? Is it OK to buy a bolt-action rifle and two semi-automatics? Two bolt-actions and one semi-automatic? When do we act?

Buy back firearms? There are 300+ million out there in the USA. Make them illegal to own? On what basis? The AWB tried to do that and had to come up with a complicated formula to define what an assault weapon actually is. I don’t think it was a good formula and it certainly didn’t work, even prior to the expiration of the AWB.

Make bump-stocks and similar devices illegal? Probably the best and most acceptable solution at this point, but AFAICT this is the only shooting so far that’s involved one/some.

I’m as saddened and frustrated as everyone else, but I’m at a loss to make practical suggestions that would prevent this type of event.

What is the purpose of this?