Gun Control-Solution or Exploitation?

It’s been just over eight weeks since Stephen Paddock hauled an arsenal of weapons to his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas where he opened fire on an outdoor concert and killed 59 people while injuring more than 500. With the shock, grief, and disbelief, comes an overwhelming question: how do we stop this from happening again? It’s a question that’s been asked countless times after national tragedies like in Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and Orlando.

The question is so vexing because it requires us to learn from our mistakes and to forge a better way forward. Unfortunately, in an age of deep skepticism, fierce political division, and 24/7 media attention, the pursuit of the right solution is often muddled by our preferred answers and our entrenched talking points. More specifically, in the wake of a tragedy like the one in Las Vegas, the national attention quickly turns to gun-control laws in an effort to ensure that something like this never happens again, but this is a misguided approach that is short-sighted and lacks the nuance truly required to solve such a potent problem.

Nationally, violent crime has been on the decline for more than two decades. While the last two years have shown increases in the violent crime rate, The New York Times and others have concluded that this is primarily the result of significant spikes in violent crime in certain neighborhoods in specific cities including parts of Baltimore, Chicago, and Las Vegas. While the violent crime rate is rising slightly, this isn’t indicative of a less-safe America. Moreover, it’s challenging to draw comparisons between gun-laws and public safety because places like Chicago feature some of the most prolific gun-laws in the country but they also suffer from one of the worst crime rates in the nation.

It doesn’t take a particularly profound observer to notice that, without guns, there would be an absence of gun-related deaths. That’s the basis for comparisons between countries like the U.S. and Australia where residents are far less likely to be injured by a gun. According to CBS News, Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed by guns than people in other developed countries.” Therefore, the argument supposes, to eradicate the atrocities like the one we saw in Las Vegas, we must also eradicate guns. However, in addition to our right to own a firearm being enshrined in our constitution, that data doesn’t tell us everything that we need to know. As The Guardian reports, “enforcement and culture may also play important roles in preventing violence.” In short, the answer to gun violence is far more nuanced and far more involved than sweeping generalizations about fewer guns equaling less violent crime.

In many ways, the epidemic of mass shooters and our collective desire to prevent their destruction is a separate debate from the general conversation about anti-gun laws. As Congressman Jeff Duncan writes in Time Magazine “practically none of the then existing legislation made a difference in recent attacks.” Instead, turning our attention towards vigilance, reporting, and screening might be the best and most practical way forward. According to NPR, “Two recent studies provide evidence that background checks can significantly curb gun violence.” Background checks are a legal check on gun ownership. They ensure that only those who are mentally and legally fit to own a gun can legally purchase one.

More importantly, background checks are fortified by a vigilant populace that takes its reporting job seriously. On the New York Times’ popular podcast, The Daily, John Markell, a gun store owner, was interviewed by host Michael Barbaro. He explains that enough people aren’t reporting their concerns to the authorities to ensure that background checks are a safe and effective method for ensuring that weapons are purchased by people who can safely own and use a firearm. By reporting concerns, infractions, and altercations, we have the power to ensure that dangerous individuals will not have the opportunity to purchase weapons.

Tragedies like the one in Las Vegas drive us toward a desire for action and improvement - and they should. Action is required, but it’s often not what we expect. The liberal media demands sweeping changes to gun-laws, but, as always, the truth is more complex and more nuanced. However, we can begin right away by ensuring that we are adequately supporting state and federal background checks for all owners. Most importantly, we can engage in the process by reporting our concerns and giving our skilled and entrusted law enforcement officials the opportunity to do what they do best. It’s not a flashy solution, and it probably won’t make headlines on CNN, but real solutions rarely do. Nobody wants another Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Orlando, or Vegas - and more than we know, we already have the power to prevent that.



RedBaron616 Fri, 11/17/2017 - 13:40 Permalink

All we are seeing here is what happens to a country when it no longer fears God. When people don't fear God and believe that there is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun, anything is permissable. Actually, there is nothing to really live for. Acquire lots of goods and money only to die and leave it to someone else. What's the point? If we are just molecules and not created by God, small wonder that one set of molecules doesn't decide to off some others.

SILVERGEDDON RedBaron616 Fri, 11/17/2017 - 14:04 Permalink

Gun killings - pffft. Insignificant in the general scheme of things. Car crashes - deaths average 35,000 / yr. Tobacco - deaths average 70,000 / yr. or more.Alcohol - deaths average 100,000 / yr. plus untold misery and collateral destruction of family members.Prescription drug abuse - at least 250,000 deaths per year, but who's counting ? Not the fuckers getting rich on pushing drugs, that's for sure.Hospital and medical priocedure malpractice, mistakes, and stupidity - over 500,000 deaths per year as tha doctors do their real job - killing people expensively.Crickets for all that carnage, so fuck off and die in a fire before trotting out the tired old control narrative.Because, it ain't about the guns, it is about the control. We are one step away from slavery, and death to all ordinary citizens that oppose corruption, lies, deception, and control. 

In reply to by RedBaron616

serotonindumptruck dchang0 Fri, 11/17/2017 - 17:28 Permalink

And kill your friendly golden labrador retriever while the poor animal happily wags its tail, and then laughing and joking about it in front of their fellow SWAT team members, because they know that they won't be held accountable.All cops are tyrants and homicidal freaks of nature.After all, that's why psychopaths choose law enforcement as a life-long career.They are permitted to kill anyone and everything with complete and total impunity.

In reply to by dchang0

jeff montanye UmbilicalMosqu… Fri, 11/17/2017 - 20:24 Permalink

and they are not all homocidal psychopaths, though some are.  i've been on both sides: assaulted and falsely imprisoned by a perjuring cop and rescued from my own negligence by one.but as for las vegas, it looks like that was a botched assassination attempt on muhammed bin salman, worsened by the negligence of the fbi and other federal agencies.…

In reply to by UmbilicalMosqu…

Kidbuck SILVERGEDDON Sat, 11/18/2017 - 06:44 Permalink

Any gun control by definition is antithetical to the second amendment. Period.

Any gun control by definition hurts millions more citizens than it helps. Gun control deminishes the ability of all good people to defend themselves against the few evil hearted beasts that dwell amongst us while doing nothing to limit the ability of these homicidal maniacs to kill innocent good people.

Many of these evil hearted beasts and homicidal maniacs hold positions of power in our government and would deny all good citizens every means to defend themselves.

In reply to by SILVERGEDDON

taoJones Fri, 11/17/2017 - 13:53 Permalink

Why does Stephen Paddock's name continue to appear in these LV articles?I thought him as the lone gunman theory has been thoroughly debunked...

Buddha 71 Fri, 11/17/2017 - 13:54 Permalink

first of all, stop repeating the fucking paddock did it mantra, he did not.second, if all the liberals want gun control, why do they keep on making films about shooters, seal teams, military in afghanistan, military in iraq, terrorists, assassins, snipers, head shots, cops, cops killing civilians, cops shooting everyone, ex military shooting everyone. most films are focused on shootings and kill shots. so maybe gun control should start with fucking FILM CONTROL.

JoeSoMD Buddha 71 Fri, 11/17/2017 - 17:42 Permalink

Yep:  Yours is the primary argument in "On Killing" by Grossman.  Desensification (sp?) from watching violence on TV and movies, and playing violent video games is powerful.  The military started using desensification techniques after WW2 in troop training, and it was extremely effective according to the statisics that Grossman provided.  He has decent lectures up on YouTube if you are interested in drilling down more without reading his book, which reads in many places like a PhD dissertation (it was based on his).

In reply to by Buddha 71

redmudhooch Fri, 11/17/2017 - 13:58 Permalink

Ban the CIA, kick out all the Mossad agents. Ban the zio-spook media that promotes this race/civil war nonsense 24/7/365.Start throwing corrupt politicians/businessmen/judges in prison. Follow the Constitution. Problem solved.

Cloud9.5 Fri, 11/17/2017 - 14:33 Permalink

Gun control is political Pablum sold to the weak minded.  This is not about making the streets safer.  It is about making the oligarchs safer. The oligarchs fear the masses.  That is why there is this relentless push to abolish the second amendment and disarm the public.  The oligarchs have captured the republic.  The respective states now are completely useless in serving as a check on federal tyranny.  All of them feast on federal largess.  First it was highway funds.  Then it was funds for education. Then it was grants.   The states have been bought.  Without federal assistance any individual state would collapse.  The last remaining check on federal tyranny is we the people.The welfare state is intent on making everyone dependent on the federal government.   In the process, the government party has taken over the country.  The archipelago of blue is overcoming the sea of red.The oligarchs are running a race against the limits of growth.  They will inevitably lose. In their final efforts to retain control, they may very well end civilization.

jughead Fri, 11/17/2017 - 14:33 Permalink

Take your fucking background checks and stick them up your ass.  They don't and never will prevent a criminal from committing a crime with whatever weapon or tool that he/she wants.  If you mention background checks, you expose yourself as a total fucking moron, ignorant of the principles of freedom that this country was founded upon. 

snblitz Fri, 11/17/2017 - 14:37 Permalink

If you have to ask the government for permission they will just say "no".

If you have to ask the government for permission it is not a right.

John_Coltrane Fri, 11/17/2017 - 14:44 Permalink

Here's some advice to the author. If you want any credibility you need to refer to FF gun control "events" by their proper names, for example, Sandy Hoax, not Sandy Hook. Or, at least provide a link to where we can access all the death certificates and autopsies for those poor dead fake child actors and parent actors forced to attend school in an closed asbestos ridden building without a functioning internet connection.

And to show you understand the nature of the Las Vegas "event" please use terms like "the patsy Stephen Paddock", or Stephen "the pasty" Paddock when describing his role. You don't actually think this flabby senior "professional gambler" with no gun experience or training was involved in the shooting do you, dear author? Or that he hauled up 23 "scary looking assault weapons" for any other purpose than showing Marxist Demonrat legislators which ones to select for future bans.

The reality, gun control means only one legitimate thing: sights on target, control your breathing, and slowly squeeze the trigger to avoid any flinching. And unlike the patsy Haddock, lots of practice at the range or hunting.

By the way, where are the ballistics reports, autopsies and verified death certificates for the Las Vegas "event". We have very long memories. Work on that for your next article for ZH.

RIP Lavoy Finnicum, Branch Davidians and Randy Weaver's innocent wife. Patriots never forgive, never forget.

Two Theives an… Fri, 11/17/2017 - 15:04 Permalink

I'm tired of debating this. You can't have our guns libtards. Get. Over. it. Most libs I've discussed this with have never actually read the Constitution (nor have any experience with firearms)...yet parrot Lib talking points like they actually know something. When the finer points of the Bill of Rights are brought that ADDITIONALLY support the concept of the sovereign armed citizen (Rights from God, not from man. Americans should assume they have rights not described in the Constitution - 9th Amendment) their "Programming" goes into a malfunction and the fail safe personal attacks begin: "You're a mean black conservative...wait...can I call you a RACIST?!"I just don't bother anymore.

Verniercaliper Two Theives an… Fri, 11/17/2017 - 17:55 Permalink

In the new, urbanized America, they will eventually take your guns and everyone else's. It's not about reducing violence, it's about making people feel better about the likelihood of violent crime. Perception matters in politics, not reality. As a gun owner, you will be branded a terrorist and watched by the state....then betrayed by your neighbors and punished severely. Same rules all over the world.

In reply to by Two Theives an…

Cloud9.5 Verniercaliper Sat, 11/18/2017 - 07:36 Permalink

Gun abolition is not possible.  There are at least a million of pre gun control fire arms in circulation.  Bannerman sold thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands of military firearms to the general public. those sales with the mail order sales from other catalogue stores like Sears that dominated retail sales in the late 19th and early 20th century and you have hundreds more thousands of guns sold.   Many of them were made without serial numbers.   When I was a teenager, you could order a M-1 carbine out of Boy’s Life.   I have a mint Eddystone Enfield made in 1917 that is more than adequate to deal with any gang banger.  The key is to deal with spray and pray thugs at a distance. you have the millions of sales and trades that have taken place between private citizens.  None of this is tracked.  I picked up a G-3 clone the other day from a guy because it had a broken extractor and he could not get it to run. if kept dry has a shelf life of over half a century.  Occasionally I will get a request from someone to shoot weapons from WW II.  We shoot surplus ammo from the thirties, forties and fifties.  On a lark about five years ago I shot three rounds of WW I 45 acp.  Two out of three of them fired. There is easily a trillion rounds of ammunition in private hands.  Then you have the reloading community that can no doubt roll out another trillion rounds should the need arise.  A few years back I used up the last of the small pistol primers my dad bought back in the 60’s.  We are not going to run out of ammunition.At best, all these control freaks can do is make the rest of the country look like Baltimore.  

In reply to by Verniercaliper

Bwana Fri, 11/17/2017 - 15:02 Permalink

Every person who has looked into Sandy Hook is aware it was a false flag event. To start with the school was not in use prior to the event. This can be proven by the "Way Back machine" and google maps. Secondly the way the electronic security doors were arranged somebody had to open them for Lanza to get in. Of those pictures released, two distinctly show the bullet holes coming from outside-in not inside out. Next we have to ask why federal police were immediately at the scene and why crisis actors were present and put on TV as representing the parents. Then why were all local police barred from the scene until all of the school was knocked down and hauled away. The coroner's reports are sealed and one of the girls shot was photographed a few days later in the White House with Obama. All the families moved out of the area into new houses. Then at the next false flag event, The Boston Bombings", the same two crisis actors are present.There is a new cop show called Live PD. The host is a New York anti-gun liberal is backed up by two actual policemen and sometimes a police dog. The viewers regularly call or tweet in things the cops miss such as drugs or weapons being tossed. The cops take the suggestions and go and pick up what has been tossed. The problem is all of the false flags in this country have been so crudely staged that most people who see all of the videos and news reports very quickly find all of the false information that has been created. That's why there is a total blackout on the Las Vegas shootings because the acoustics and eye witnesses prove there was more than one shooter. People aren't stupid and when there is an anti-gun false flag nobody accepts the official or fake-news story anymore.Just the opinion of an old Private Investigator.

dchang0 Fri, 11/17/2017 - 15:15 Permalink

This fool writes in support of background checks without a peep about how the background check system totally failed regarding Devin Patrick Kelley.It's like the TSA who now only fails to catch 80% of banned items versus 90% before--the process is the punishment, and millions of law-abiding Americans are punished daily while the truly determined criminals can still do the evil deeds we are told these erosions of our freedoms are meant to stop.Background checks aren't free. In Calif., we pay a DROS fee that is of course raided and misused by the state gov't (search for Calif. SB 140) for a purpose other than the originally-stated purpose of the fee. All this money collected from the law abiding and no delivery of the promised violence-free utopia--that is just plain fraud.

Mr.BlingBling Fri, 11/17/2017 - 15:38 Permalink

FUCK universal background checks (i.e. the prohibition against unrecorded gun sales between private parties), because the only way that such a system can be enforced is by the registration of each and every firearm. And just as night follows day, gun confiscation WILL follow gun registration.  It really is just that simple.

koan Fri, 11/17/2017 - 15:53 Permalink

Poorly written article. I can, however, tell you how to reduce gun crime.

Change TV/Movie/Media content so that it no longer has violence or guns in it, and stop the worship of the military.

The less murder and mayhem is seen as "entertainment" and the military as some honor bound duty that makes you a hero the better.
Consider who is creating the TV/Movie/Media stories... people like Weinstein, scummy perverted termites.
Would you leave your underage daughter alone in a room with Harvey? No? Then why would you allow her to watch something Harvey had a hand in making?

Once, a long time ago, people gathered around the fire to hear the shaman tell stories, these stories defined the culture and history of that tribe.
Today look at who we allow to tell the stories, some of the worst people on the planet get to define us.

JoeSoMD koan Fri, 11/17/2017 - 17:54 Permalink

Yours is the primary argument in "On Killing" by Grossman.  Desensification (sp?) to violence from watching violence on TV and movies, and playing violent video games is powerful.  The military started using desensification techniques after WW2 in troop training, and it was extremely effective in getting soldiers to pull the trigger when they had a human in their sights according to the statisics that Grossman provided.  He has decent lectures up on YouTube if you are interested in drilling down more without reading his book, which reads in many places like a PhD dissertation (it was based on his).  He was an Army special forces LtCol.

In reply to by koan

makinbacon Fri, 11/17/2017 - 15:57 Permalink

The police are just around to do the paper work and direct the coroner where to pickup the body.They can't stop crazy.Worry about the guy with a knife. 

ILIKEMITTENS ILIKEMITTENS Sat, 11/18/2017 - 02:41 Permalink

Oh ye.......wonder who will be paid w our tax $ to set up n run the registration? Well i have a pretty good idea. Theres a company in is real hell that specializes in just that. Actually, theres a compny there that specializes in just about everything that has to do w guns/media/violence/war/cops/slavery/ yada yada yada........nothing will change until we deal with the REAL problem. We all know what that is.

In reply to by ILIKEMITTENS

SweetDoug Consuelo Fri, 11/17/2017 - 17:18 Permalink

'''There's this thing on that there indernut, called a 'search engine'. A company by the name of 'google' is the preferred search engine, although I don't know why, but that's another, long story.Go to and type or copy this phrase, "las vegas shooting interview survivor"You'll find many sources there of people who... Well, survived and are being... Interviewed.Enough snide and snark.If you morons are so weak-willed, limp-dicked, guillible dopes that you can't even do basic stuff like this, but would rather believe Alex Jones crazy like it was all a big conspiracy, then we are good and truly screwed.If you're so sure Sandy Hook was a conspiracy, then literally get your ass into your car and go and visit the place to confirm it yourself.@#$%! (Huge face-palm)OJOV-V

In reply to by Consuelo