Guns really do kill people
"The problem with guns isn't the guns. After all, responsible and law-abiding gun owners pose no threat to society. The problem is that the current gun laws are not followed by criminals with guns and only serve to inhibit the rights of law-abiding gun owners."
This is a common cry amongst gun rights activists and on paper it makes sense, sure. The fact is, guns are easily available south of the Canadian border, and to a lesser extent here in Canada as well. Cho Seung-Hui, the 22 year old korean kid who recently shot up Virginia Tech simply walked into a store 36 days ago, and after a background check, purchased a Glock 9mm handgun.
Law-abiding gun owners vs criminals with guns. Let's go back to that. Cho could not have bought a gun at a store if he was a criminal. He had no record and apart from some complaints about bugging girls in college (no threats or violence involved), the cops had no dealings with him according to the multiude of "facts" coming out in the MSM so far. He may or may not have had mental issues (EDIT: most likely the case that he did, and therefore he should not have been allowed to purchase a firearm if in fact the gun laws were as restrictive as some make out) and definately had a morbid imagination according to his teachers. However, he was NOT a criminal with a gun. He was a law-abiding citizen with a gun. I am not saying he had no intent to kill all those people when he purchased the gun as we cannot know that in all honesty, but I must deduce that gun violence is simply not only in the hands of criminals who do not follow the laws...
So is it the gun laws that are bad? I'm not sure about that. Certain folks are maintaining that recent rulings at Virginia Tech banning firearms on campus are to blame because other students could have been packing heat and they could have taken the shooter down. Right. This makes sense... NOT. This is the same as suggesting the 9-11 attacks could have been prevented if everyone boarding the planes were given box-cutters with their tickets. If Cho was mentally disturbed but a law-abiding gun-owner until this incident, who's to say that you, or me or any number of other people would fall into that same category? Putting more guns on the streets and in schools and workplaces is an astonishingly short-sighted solution to the problem of gun violence!
There were signs Cho was disturbed, but there was no way anyone could have known he would make that transformation from a law-abiding gun owner into a criminal (and a dead one at that) and kill over 30 people. Tomorrow, it could be Johnny Law-abiding Gun Owner Doe that snaps.
The problem with guns is simply guns. They can be used for many things, many of which are fun, entertaining and useful, such as practice, hunting and collecting. However, they were made for one purpose only. Killing. So are gun laws to blame? I doubt it. After all, a 22 year old landed immigrant in the US walked into a store, did a background check and walked out with a Glock. It almost makes you say, "what gun laws?"...
I pity people who are so afraid that they must surround themselves with weapons to feel safe. It is not the solution to society's problems in my opinion. But then I don't claim to have those solutions either.
In no way am I condoning the actions of Cho or the events that transpired at the school. This is merely a statement regarding the debate on firearms, laws and such.