This morning the United States awoke to news of at least 12 people dead and dozens more wounded after a gunman invaded a Colorado movie theatre which was filled with people at midnight going to see the new “Batman” film. The cruelty and carnage is impossible to come to terms with. The bereaved and those suffering horrible injuries badly need prayers along with all the practical help that is being provided.
The media mill is already churning out analyses, speculations and even political prognostications, while the bodies are still warm, and here even I’m writing about it. Advocates of gun control in America, from media talking heads to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have already jumped on the story to support their point of view on that issue. At this minute we don’t even know whether the apparent perpetrator, identified as James Holmes, legally owned his weapons or broke the law to obtain them, and we also do not know anything about his motivation.
The gun control debate will rev up for a while and it will pass. Maybe some localities will pass stricter regulations. Maybe there will be a push for more federal regulations. But whether you oppose guns or (like yours truly) vigorously support the right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms, one practical fact ought to be faced: Guns will never be removed from America. Even the most draconian federal gun ban (one which is politically inconceivable) would only take guns away from people who obey the law, leaving and even promoting an illegal trade in firearms. Britain has long had strict gun control, and in 1997 passed a total handgun ban. Yet gun crime has only increased since then. The United States has many more millions of guns already in circulation than Britain could ever dream of having had. America will never be even close to being a gun-free society. Continue reading Massacre in Aurora