It is probably time that we start to admit that disarming the urban population has a serious down side. Here is a student who can get away with killing a dozen people at his school, and then heading off in a car.
A 17-year old gunman has gone on a shooting spree at his former school
in southwest Germany, killing up to 15 people before dying himself in a
shootout with police, authorities said.
Germany has strict weapons laws, with gunholders having
to fulfil certain criteria on age and weapons expertise to obtain a
licence for firearms.
As many have noted, the gun control applies only those those who abide by the rules. It does not apply to criminals. While it would be lovely if the police could protect the unarmed population from armed criminals, it is very difficult for them to do so.
"Nobody can understand it," said Roberto Seifert, who works at a
business near the school. "You can see it in the faces of the police
too. Everyone is in shock. The mood's very subdued here."
Well it would be. Gun control operates on the idea that everyone is nice, and no one would ever flout the rules, because if they did, they could kill a lot of people very quickly.
Most will remember the Virginia Tech murders of two years ago where 32 were killed by a single gunman over a two hour period. This would have been impossible if any one of the teachers he faced had been armed. In fact I very much suspect the reason he went ahead was that he knew that the place was disarmed for him. Guns are legal in Virgina, but as Wikipedia notes:
The shootings also renewed debate surrounding Virginia Tech's firearms ban. The university has a general ban on possession or storage of firearms on campus by employees, students, and volunteers, or any visitor or other third parties, even if they are state-licensed concealed weapons permit holders
As a direct result of this event, there was a massive amount of debate about gun control, a lot of legislative activity, a large clean-up cost, and that's just the political and financial impact. On top of that there was the lost education, the many funerals, the memory that will never fade, the adverse publicity and the horribly unfair loss of innocent life. These events, which seem to come from the evil side of man's nature, have an emotional impact well beyond, say, a few car accidents killing the same number of people. Is gun control really worth it?
As a parent I would be very concerned at sending my teenager to school in a sea of unarmed lecturers and staff. It seems like an open invitation to the despicable cowards who commit these murders. All they need is a motive or desire - there is no need whatsoever to consider the possibility of failure. There will be no resistance. The only comfort I have is that these events are rare, happening perhaps once or twice a year somewhere in the world.
With gun control for the general / urban population, there is no restraint on murderous criminals. They know that a gun will put them in a position of almost total power, at least until the police arrive. They can kill a lot of people before they have to commit suicide, if that is their ultimate intent.
The current policy of many institutions in the USA (and many whole countries outside the USA) is to disarm, and hope that the 'enemy' will too. It mostly works. But given the massive impact of events like the German shooting yesterday, we need to think about whether guns should become a requirement again for the private citizen, and in particular for staff at schools and universities. The currently situation seems irresponsible at best.