Yesterday, two terrible things happened.
In Connecticut, a nutcase broke into an elementary school and killed over 20 people — most of them little kids — with guns.
Disclaimer: I do not own any firearms. I do own multiple knives and assorted other items that can be used as weapons.
So first off, let’s stop pretending that guns themselves are the problem. The shooter could just as easily have used other weapons. Ok fine, the knife was a little less lethal.
The guns were stolen from his mother — whom he killed first — and it wasn’t legal for him to buy these weapons, so let’s stop pretending that more strict gun control laws would have prevented the tragedy. Not even better enforcement would have helped. The sad truth is that gun control laws work on the premise that someone who is planning to break one law will inexplicably follow another. “Oh, a 3 day waiting period to buy a gun? I guess I won’t hold up the convenience store after all. Maybe I’ll get a job instead.”
However, the availability of weapons among the U.S. population is does not in itself suffice to explain the often exasperating massacres that occur there. Nations like Canada, Sweden and Finland also record high levels of per capita weapons ownership without leading to the type of mass murders that systematically shock and terrorize the United States. This suggests a kind of collective propensity toward barbarism in that country which has never been explained, and which should start to be discussed as quickly as possible.