Jeffrey Swanson, a psychologist and sociologist at Duke, found that mental illness is not a good indicator of gun violence.
(Drug and alcohol abuse are far better predictors.) Most mass murderers don’t have a history of mental illness, while the vast majority of mentally ill people don’t ever kill anyone.
They might look like “common sense” to many (though certainly not all) Americans, and they might prevent some deaths, but it’s hard to believe they would make a serious dent in the rate of gun violence. In terms of what effect it might have on the cases you cite, one calculation based on a database compiled by ’ “How They Got Their Guns,” a visual display of the types of firearms used in notable shootings, tracing how the shooters got the weapons. He was allowed to buy the gun not because the rules weren’t strict enough but because of human error—meaning the existing system should have worked to stop him.
What starts to jump out as you trudge through the tragedies is how many of the guns were acquired legally. Why bother tightening controls if the current rules work but aren’t enforced, some gun-rights advocates ask?
The many shootings have produced a robust (if seemingly gridlocked) debate about how to stop gun violence.
The government has to do something about the growing number of deaths caused by gun violence.
It would require either enormous customer demand or a government mandate, which seems unlikely, given that much more modest reforms have stalled in Congress. So we should just keep boosting gun-ownership rates. That’s the argument put forward by the conservative economist John Lott.
(In fact, it’s even the title of his book: .) You’ve heard it expressed “the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” though the deterrent effect is also a central element.
Does confiscation drive down gun crime, and could it work in the U. Several countries have tried that, and they have generally been successful.
The United Kingdom aggressively reduced guns following the Dunblane massacre and Australia after the Port Arthur massacre, both in 1996. Effectively banning guns does, unsurprisingly, lead to huge reductions in gun violence.