By arresting gun toters when they carry into those areas? By self-enforcement by folks who respect the law? Perhaps folks like retired policeman Curtis Reeves would not have shot a man and his wife for throwing popcorn on him if he did not have a gun.
Of course, no solution is perfect, but I cannot imagine that having more folks in the movie theatre with guns would have been all that helpful in the Reeves case.
Throwing more guns at this problem is not the solution. One of the things I stated before is that the mindset here in America seems to be the ultimate culprit. I grew in Canada. There are LOTS of guns. I had two pellet guns growing up. My neighbor was a hunter and took me duck hunting several times. Heck, even AR-15s are actually legally obtainable in Canada.
The BIG difference I see between Canada and the USA is not necessarily the laws, but the mindset. There isn't a 'shoot first ask questions later' philosophy in Canada. There isn't this bizarre fixation on guns that I see here in the States. It honestly reminds me of how Samurai's used to revere their swords like they have mystical power.
I don't know how easy it is to change this mindset. But that is at the core of why it is so difficult to get any traction on changes.
As long as the Supreme Court decision stands that decided that the militia so prominently mentioned in the 2nd amendment has no bearing on the right to keep and bear arms, people like Jar and ICANT and Hyro will continue to feel empowered to ignore the consequences of widespread gun ownership or blame them on other factors. This does make implementation of effective gun control a tough row to hoe. I don't know how we get from where we are to where we have to be.
My suggestion is with baby steps. Outright bans on weapons won't occur in the USA like they did in the UK or Australia due to the Constitution. However, there are appropriate actions that could be taken if they were presented in a cogent and logical fashion.
From my perspective, the two big issues relating to gun violence in the USA are:
1) Insufficient background checks for gun ownership. Especially for individuals that suffer from various mental illnesses. Most Americans concur with better background checks, even many gun owners.
2) Inner city crime between gangs and overall gang violence. This one is a little harder to deal with, but some suggestions here would be:
- End the drug war. It is fueling the crime between gangs since most of that violence is related to turf wars between drug traffickers. You'll get the added bonus of mitigating the border issues as well. - Tackle the Black Market. Most guns used by gang members are obtained illegally. Focus on that source of weapons and ammunition. - Stiffer penalties for individuals that use a gun in the commission of a crime. Have mandatory minimum sentences for violent offenders who used guns in their crimes. And if anyone wants to know how you make room in the prisons, see my first item: end the damn drug war.
These are just my thoughts, but I think pragmatic solutions could be advocated along those lines.
I am quite tired of the whole canard about Switzerland and it's gun laws. Yes Switzerland has high gun ownership, but they have strict laws on that ownership. Here are some examples. In order to purchase most weapons, the purchaser must obtain a weapon acquisition permit. In order to purchase ammunition, the buyer must follow the same legal rules that apply when buying guns. To carry a firearm in public or outdoors a person must have a gun carrying permit. Even the vaunted Swiss Militia does not live up to the gun nut hype. Though the militia members have their weapons at home they are not supplied ammo. They must go to their armory in order to get ammo.
Canada's gun laws are pretty similar. You can actually purchase a lot of the same types of guns that are available in the USA in Canada. It's just that ownership is more restricted. Which makes sense in my humble opinion.
I think the larger issue is the gun culture. While European's had guns and obviously used them, the American experience is different in that the pioneers often had to protect themselves and their property from would-be thieves or violent individuals. There was more lawlessness in the American frontier and as a result, gun ownership became a necessity in the past. Couple this with the American Revolution being handled in large part by armed militias and you get the situation that we have now whereby many Americans still feel like a gun is required to protect themselves and their property.
Now I have no issue with someone who may want a firearm for protection. I personally have never had the need, but being that guns are so numerous in the USA, its hard to fault some folks who think they need to be armed at all times. Especially in some of the more high crime areas of the country.
But as I mentioned in a previous posts, the gun culture issue is a hard nut to crack. But my assertion is that a better focus on the core issues that cause gun crime may be a prudent first set of steps. The drug war. Gang violence. The Black Market. If I was a Democrat, I would adjust focus to target those things. It would be harder for lobbying agencies like the NRA to rebuff those types of policies since it would be treating the disease directly.