Will Newton be Americas Dunblane?

Right straight off the bat this is not a gun legislation discussion, we already have one of those here. Instead I want to talk about the cultural side of the issue.

For those of you that don't know Dunblane is a Scottish town that in 1996 suffered a similar tragedy to the recent shooting in Connecticut, where a gunman walked into a school and killed 17 people, 16 children aged 5 and their teacher. In the aftermath of this there was a massive campaign that lead to the government banning handguns in mainland UK. From what people have told me there was a general ambivalence towards handguns before that; they might not want them personally but they didn't see the problem with others having them. After the massacre this all changed and people were determined to see handguns gone due to the risks they posed in the wrong hands.[1]

This rapid change in opinion would most likely come about due to the horrific nature of the crime (one of the UK's worst gun-related massacres to date) and who the victims were. When it comes to children we get hit harder, it's just part of human nature, because of that the backlash is going to be much, much stronger.

Now I'm not saying that the US will go from it's current state to 'ban all guns' overnight, gun culture is completely different from the UK, however is it possible that American culture could turn against certain aspects of gun culture?

The reason handguns were specifically targeted was they were the type of weapon used at Dunblane, could the same happen in America when it comes to semi-automatic rifles like the Bushmaster .223? From the interviews of locals I've seen on numerous news channels the main thing everyone comes back to is the speed of the massacre; less than 3 minutes from what I've heard. Could backlash cause these guns to face the same animosity handguns had in post-Dunblane UK?

Again, this is not a discussion on what politicians should do; I don't want to hear about what the NRA suggests as a new policy, I don't want to know what Obama should do. What I want to talk about is America as a whole thinks about their gun culture. Will opinions shift towards a colder relationship with weapons (especially semi-automatics) and increased campaigns for control or will the popular reaction swing in the other direction with higher gun sales and calls for the removal of no-gun zones?

[1] I know this will be highly subjective but I can't find anything on prior opinion

It won't change all of America, it will only make its extremes more... extreme. For example look at NYC and Texas and their respective gun ownership laws. I guarantee you that in places where certain lobbyists work, the state's laws will change accordingly. When it comes down to the Federal level, I don't see it changing.

Citizens of the USA will veer away from the idea of weapons at home, but the smashing majority was already in favor of that concept before this incident. Now it will just change it to a majority, and there's a long way till an anti-gun consensus in the USA will be reached, To answer your question - no, this isn't going to be some massive turning point... but it will be the reason why many Americans will change their minds - just not enough.

Nah, if anything, Columbine should have been the USA's Dunblane. But different ideas about guns, a different political spectrum, and media bias combined to ensure that the guns are there to stay, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Edit: Ooh, 1111 posts, yay me.

I doubt it. One quite sensible idea I've seen floated is that the supply of bullets rather than weapons should be heavily regulated, so that if someone does go on a shooting spree, the death toll won't be able to get that high. Same thing applies to extended magazines.

Highly unlikely that any additional measures will be taken against semi-automatic rifles, since they're the main hunting weapons. Even though I prefer bolt action rifles and shotguns myself (Just in general. I have a hunting license but don't hunt-hunt 'cause killing defenseless animals is all kinds of sad)

All in all, nothing will change and this incident will be forgotten quickly enough. At least until the next massacre happens.

Karma168:
The reason handguns were specifically targeted was they were the type of weapon used at Dunblane, could the same happen in America when it comes to semi-automatic rifles like the Bushmaster .223? From the interviews of locals I've seen on numerous news channels the main thing everyone comes back to is the speed of the massacre; less than 3 minutes from what I've heard. Could backlash cause these guns to face the same animosity handguns had in post-Dunblane UK?

Probably, unfortunately. I say "unfortunately" because instead of actually addressing the problem, they'll just stop short at doing something to semi-autos or "assault weapons", effectively ignoring the real issues or even addressing weapons that are used far more often in violent crimes(handguns). But it will be something that makes people feel nice and cozy even though it does jack shit. Like the TSA.

Why put in the hard work to actually make people safer when it's so much easier to pretend?

That wasn't the only policy change. There was also a big tightening of security around schools and nurseries. After Dunblane my school and I assume all schools had big doors that stayed locked except at break times, and anyone wanting to get access to the school had to go through a reception area and be let in by one of the secretaries.

That sounds like basic stuff, but the Dunblane killer literally just walked in.

So I can see changes to school security being put into place, if they're not already there.

well gun ownership in the us in the last 30 years has dropped from 50% to 32% and 20% of those own 65% of the guns. it seems like less and less people are finding it acceptable to own a firearm in the usa but the small group that owns them owns ALOT. to put it in perspective the usa has 5% of the worlds population yet has 50% of the world gun ownership.

will this change things? i dont know. you guys have far too many gun in circulation now to practically do anything about them

wombat_of_war:
well gun ownership in the us in the last 30 years has dropped from 50% to 32% and 20% of those own 65% of the guns. it seems like less and less people are finding it acceptable to own a firearm in the usa but the small group that owns them owns ALOT. to put it in perspective the usa has 5% of the worlds population yet has 50% of the world gun ownership.

will this change things? i dont know. you guys have far too many gun in circulation now to practically do anything about them

Umm... where are you getting that number?

Here for example has 46% currently of people owning atleast single gun: http://www.gallup.com/poll/150353/self-reported-gun-ownership-highest-1993.aspx

Now, if you mean that 20% of people own 64% of the gun in America, that might be skewed as a few number of people having huge collections. I am not sure, because A you haven't cited your source, and B. your language is confusing.

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/12/16/connecticut-school-shooting-doesnt-deter-crowd-at-gun-show-in-montgomery-county/

I'd say no. A lot of Americans believe the issue with these shootings is the mental health of the shooter, not the gun.

No, within a week no one will care about this incident. I have no idea why people think this, when evidence says otherwise.

Karma168:
The reason handguns were specifically targeted was they were the type of weapon used at Dunblane, could the same happen in America when it comes to semi-automatic rifles like the Bushmaster .223? From the interviews of locals I've seen on numerous news channels the main thing everyone comes back to is the speed of the massacre; less than 3 minutes from what I've heard. Could backlash cause these guns to face the same animosity handguns had in post-Dunblane UK?

There's a large difference between culture in the United Kingdom and the US though.

UK thinking: We're in a society and everybody's connected and carries a responsibility

US thinking: We just happen to live in the same country and it's every man for himself

A little simplified, but valid nonetheless. The US' culture is very individualistic and tends to shun any sense of responsibility towards others outside of the overblown social interaction norms.

I smell the Clinton-era assault weapons ban coming back. Many of you are too young to remember, but when I was going to gun shows at 12 years old in 1994, AKs and ARs were marked up like 2-10 times what their owners paid for them; because it wasn't illegal to sell a pre-ban weapon as a private owner. You couldn't buy a high-cap magazine unless it was made pre-ban. 100-150 bucks for a 16 shot mag, 10 bucks for a 10 shot mag. As a 12 year old, it seemed quite stupid to me.

Anyhow, I bought an AR last night and today they are sold out, website lists them as "on backorder."

Guess I'm not the only gun owner who remembers the Clinton years. Also, there were more school shootings in the 90s than there have been in the past 10-12 years. Maybe it's because they were all the rage back then, or maybe it's because with 300+ million guns already in American, bans don't mean dick. The increased cost is not a factor for someone who is going to kill themselves in a shooting spree, the Virginia Tech shooter bought his guns on credit cards.

Gun bans in this country are just an emotional reaction to a problem not caused by guns. Nobody wants to ban how fucked we are as a society, or even talk about it. Nobody wants to talk about the loss of the sense of community. People don't know their neighbors anymore, nobody bothers. Parents don't bother to stay together. And the kids, the young people- never before has been a generation of young americans so utterly and hopelessly screwed.

I could not even fathom having to climb to the top of shit heap as a teenager in 2012. You have no future basically the way things are looking now. You can't get a job, you can't get experience, if you can't get a full ride, you're going to school on loans and coming out with still no job and you've already mortgaged your entire life away.

At what point do people just lose hope and decide they're going to just end it all and maybe take a few people with them? Or do the opposite and lash out, rob, cheat, lie and steal from a system that is already corrupt and has failed them?

To me, that shit is more of problem than guns are.

I'll tell you one other thing too, I have no problem with longer waiting periods, expanding the criminal checks. I have never even been arrested, not even once and let go. I don't drink. I don't use drugs. Check me all you want. They say something like 25% of kids are arrested now before they even make it to 21; no charges necessarily- but they've been detained.

Why not expand it to misdemeanors? I have no problem with that either, can't respect the law then you can't respect a gun.

And yet, if you tried to take my guns from me, you would be having a very bad day. A lot of the other folks in the NRA, they look at as a slippery slope argument. If we give them things like that, they'll want more. And hell, they're right. I already know they're gonna lose this time and the Clinton ban is coming back, but from here on out they will fight tooth and nail.

 

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