“America has this great love affair with guns and anybody can get them,” Pastor John Paul Brow tells NBC. “Whether they’re mentally disturbed, whether they’re crazy, whether they’re part of a hate group. Just give them a gun, everybody has a gun and nobody wants to police it or rein it in.” I doubt the majority of the American public has this same knee-jerk response to mass shootings. Surely they know that millions of guns are out there, somewhere, available to criminals and crazed killers. However, I don’t think they’re aware of the fallacy of this statement . . .

And when you have things like this, it would be absurd to think that every church that has a service or a meeting would lock their doors and lock people out. You just can’t do that. And so when you look at this country and the direction it’s going in, it’s just a lot of violence everywhere. It’s almost nonstop.

Violent crime is down in America. And yet . . . does it matter? The possibility of random violent crime leads some people to purchase firearms for self-defense. Though still small as a percentage of the population, the concealed carry business is booming. Maybe “gun violence” is working for gun rights. Your take?

56 Responses to Question of the Day: Do Most People Think Gun Control Would Limit Spree Killings?

  1. Maybe. I wasn’t a gun owner until Newtown. That incident made me realize the only thing decades of gun control did was take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens and leave them in the hands of maniacs and criminals. I came to the conclusion that the government can’t protect me. Only I can.

    • I was a gun owner before Newtown, but only casually. By which I mean I paid little attention to the politics of it all and really only cared about going shooting once in a while for fun. The political fallout from that event spurred me to learn more about guns and gun laws and to lend a great deal of conscious thought to what the Second Amendment is really all about.

      I found TTAG in the days after Newtown and have been here ever since. I used to feel like an outsider to “gun culture.” Now I am gun culture. I’ve become an ambassador to friends, family and colleagues. I’ve made it my one man mission to demystify guns to the uninitiated. I’ve taken antis to gun shows and have brought dozens of first time shooters to the range.

      So, yeah, Newtown changed me. I believe the anti-gun attitude is one of complacency and wishful thinking. Jarring events like mass shootings shake the antis into vehement denial–that everything is OK and we just need to make the instruments of evil go away so that we can return to our complacency and illusions of safety. Yet some will wake up to the reality that life is not safe, nor is it meant to be, and only we can take measures to protect against unprovoked violence. And therein lies the epiphany that guns, “tools designed for killing,” can and do serve as instruments of peace and that guns in the hands of good people work toward the public good. It’s a bitter pill for some to swallow, but it is the truth.

      • I shot every light infantry weapon in the Marine. Leaving the service I wanted nothing to do with a gun period. After action on Sandy Hook, when our politicians seized teh opportunity to collective take the worng action to dealing with (not solving madness) I changed…the ONLY reason I bought one is political speech and the right to lawful defend.

    • @ TommyG

      My guess is you already had some interest in guns and the surrounding politics.

      So Newtown brought you to evaluate the reality of what occurred, the knee jerk public/political emotional reaction, and the humongous failed traditional grabber and government response to all such tragedies. I certainly hope more citizens are capable of opening their eyes to the reality of “common sense” gun control; a complete idiotic misnomer.

      Unfortunately I doubt “the majority of the [complacent] American public” is knowledgeable, interested or savvy enough to be aware that there are “millions of guns [and law abiding, intelligent gun owners] out there”. They simply accept the propaganda the legacy news media provides them and embrace all the innuendos and misinformed intentionally biased anchor and correspondent inferences fed to them as fact no matter the source. That’s what easily molded un-analytical simpletons do.

      This is why I keep driving home that the biased pro-disarmament liberal progressive media is our biggest antagonist, right up there next to Bloomberg’s, and Soros’ money.

      • I don’t blame the media; they’re just the drumbeat to a false narrative. The biggest enemy, in my opinion, is our culture of isolationism and the mistrust it breeds.

        Firearms freedom is all about trust. I trust strangers with guns to handle them responsibly and to conduct themselves honorably. I expect it of them, as I expect it of myself.

        Certainly I can trust that good people asleep to the utopian dream of a world where no bad ever happens are capable of waking up from their slumber and exercising a little critical thought. Most will not do so spontaneously, but I attribute that to simple inertia rather than the hypnotic drone of the anti-gun media.

        We POTG, too, can be victims of mistrust bred by isolationism. If we want gun rights to survive, we need to be heard and be seen in positive light. I’ve personally chosen to eschew the “OpSec” of quietly and privately owning guns in favor of sharing my hobby with people in my life and leaving them free to form their own opinions.

        • I don’t disagree with you that there is responsibility on the gun-owner’s community to ensure it does not further stereotypes or act as isolationist.

          However, if I don’t acknowledge that the MSM in the US is pushing an agenda, I should not be surprised if nothing changes, despite how many noobs I take to the range.

          I don’t mean to get into a larger discussion about this, this is a dead-horse topic.

          However I wanted to point out one thing that struck me as I was watching news casts from Europe and Asia this weekend:
          As much objections and negative commentary the US’s gun culture usually gets from other nations’ media, it was the fact that Obama didn’t mention hatecrime or racism in his initial remarks, was the top story in regards to this incident.

          From the non-american point of view, that the first black POTUS is talking about gun-control instead of this being a racist hatecrime against blacks, is unfathomable to outsiders.

        • No worries–I don’t see a need to get into a long-form discussion about the media. I’ll just add that I wholly agree that they are pushing an agenda, but that’s something I can’t do a damn thing about. Taking noobs to the range and spreading general knowledge about guns and gun laws is. My efforts may be a ripple in the pond, but perhaps in the long run, multiplied by the similar efforts of others, they can help turn that MSM Agenda into something less popular that hurts their ratings. Perhaps not. But it’s something I can do, so I do it.

          That out of the way, thanks for the interesting perspective from foreign media. I have lots of international friends, too, and it’s always interesting to learn what we look like from the outside.

  2. I have no idea. But I do know that most believe the crime rate is ever increasing because of social media and the 24 hour news cycle. And that’s a problem, because perception is everything in politics, and a fearful public that believes the government must “do something” is a real threat to all rights. A major part of our argument must include the dropping crime rate and the fact that America now is probably safer than it ever has been before.

    • In the bigger picture, the perception by the public of rising violent crime is also coupled with historic lows of trust in government. This is driving positive developments for gun rights.

      The media’s credibility is in tatters, trust at lows. Politicians trust is at historic lows. Police trust has taken a hit, some hit is justified, other of it is not. Combine these elements with high profile FUBARs like Ferguson, Baltimore, and ISIS, the public is slowly realizing the value of self defense.

      If the government hadn’t botched these high profile situations, maybe the gun controllers could make a little hay.

    • I really wish we could send these people to places in the ME or southern Philippines where daily extreme uncontrolled, un-policed violence truly exists so they could appreciate what they have here in America.

      Throw these people into the heart or Jolo or Basilan for a day and they’ll be begging to come back…if they’re still alive

  3. If we banned people in hate groups from owning guns, no registered Democrat would be able to own a gun.

    Oh, right…I see your point. I’m in favor of that, then.

    To address the question, it doesn’t matter. The media is only interested in reporting the insane fringes and making them seem normal, and both the media and politicians have a vested interest in stirring strife, divisiveness, and a victimized public. So I honestly have no clue what the public as a whole thinks, and we’ll never know so long as the Pravda is running the media.

    I will say, I take part in an eclectic bunch of activities and pro gun people vastly outweigh the antis, and that includes foreigners.

    And then there’s the ultimate answer: it doesn’t matter what most people think, at all. The Constitution is not subject to popular opinion. If it were, it would be pointless.

    • >> The Constitution is not subject to popular opinion. If it were, it would be pointless.

      It actually is, given a sufficiently large majority (and given the US political system, it wouldn’t even have to be a majority… if enough small states gang up, they can amend things with something like a quarter of all votes across the country, if those votes are distributed in just the right way). Remember, there’s no part of it that cannot be amended. With enough support, you could literally declare US to be an absolute monarchy tomorrow.

      • There have been 27 amendments in @240 years, including the first ten in the first years. That means that the Constitution has only really been successfully amended 17 times in 240 years. Hardly an easy process, and definitely not a process subject to the democratic principle since amendments are passed by sate legislatures, not by democratic referendum.

        Read Article V. It gives all the ways the Constitution can be amended and it is not an easy process by either Congressional action or a Convention of the States. It seems likely that was the original intent.

        As for the ability to pass an amendment that makes the entire Constitution itself null and void, I think that would probably not happen. What is much more likely is to slip some innocuous amendment in that the lawyers can then pervert to violate our Constitutional rights.

  4. CNN running a story that the church shooter bought his handgun himself at a “gun store” using money given to him for his birthday. If true, he went through a background check.

    Another safety fallacy exposed…

    • The kids dad bought him the gun for his birthday. You can’t legislate the heart. If a persons heart is evil they’re going to kill with whatever is available. Obama and Hillary just want to unarm us so we can be easier to control. Hitler was for gun control too , and we all saw what happened there.

      • By last report, they gave him money and didn’t know he used it to buy a gun (not sure about the last part but anyway) so he bought the gun himself and just lied on the 4473, passed no problem.

  5. No, it doesn’t matter what the facts are. What matters is what people believe. They believe if you end all gun sales you will not only limit spree killings, you will eliminate them entirely. Except for, you know, real bad guys who can get illegal guns. That is an OK risk because we stop (goes the belief) good guys from getting guns and going/being crazy and killing people.

    • There’s something very ironic about paranoid, mentally deficient antis calling for background checks to find crazy people.

    • I love the “He was a legal gun owner right up until he wasn’t.” argument!

      I find the anti freedom folks get really twitchy when you use that same example to say they are legal drivers right up the point where they hit and kill a school bus full of kids…. seems they only want to apply pre-crime to people who own a ‘device who’s only purpose is to kill.’

      • Except he was NOT a legal gun owner. He lied twice on his Form 4473 (federal felony offense) to ILLEGALLY obtain the weapon. Questions 11b and 11e.

        Had he been truthful on his Form 4473 he would have been denied the weapon at the point of sale. Thusly, a prohibited person obtained a gun illegally by committing felonies (and that was before he even left the retailer).

        • Point being the shooter PASSED the background check using false responses. Aren’t the background checks supposed to catch all the liars, felons and other creeps…even (especially) when they lie? Wouldn’t more background checks make sure no one could get away with lying about their legal status to buy a gun?

        • Been reading reports that he was only charged with a misdemeanor, not a felony, drug possession. Also, the short amount of time between his arrest and the purchase of the gun used may have been a factor in passing the background check.

  6. “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    — H. L. Mencken

    So, yes, the Great Unwashed will buy anything, even if it’s demonstrably bullsh1t. And if we didn’t have enough of our own morons, we’re now importing them by the millions.

        • I’ve seen them drive, and investigated hundreds of hit and runs (20002 and 20001 VC’s), and I’ve got to agree with Ralph. We’re “importing” a lot of morons. Some folks think that’s ok, but if I’ve got to suddenly hit the brakes for traffic I’d just prefer that the driver behind me has:

          -a license
          -a license plate
          -registration
          -insurance.

          I’d prefer he/she isn’t DUI or on a cell phone, too, but that has nothing to do with illegal immigration.

        • aaahhhhhh. wish i had thought of that term. wait….i did thought of that term. mine now !!

  7. It actually pains to argue this cr_p.

    Keep your guns for the end of America. Keep your guns to protect yourself against “hate crimes;” “love crimes;” “strong-like” crimes; “crimes of passion;” and even those “I just want to be friends” crimes and the “it’s not you, it’s me” crimes.

    Defend yourself against A N Y
    A-holes that demand you don’t.

    Only when all guns are “gone,” will you have the greatest opportunity to be shot (’cause they’ll have a hard time convincing China/Mexico, etc., and ISIS puts it on billboards and crap that they’re not likely to get on-board). So ~ get after it [?].

  8. Maybe, but it will be at the coast of a higher homicide rate add it had been in other countries that have done the same.

    As always gun control = we don’t care how many people die, as long as it’s not by “gun” violence.

    • actually, they don’t care if people are killed or injured by “gun violence”, so long as it is restricted to gangs, inner city neighborhoods and validated badguys…oh, yeah and gun nuts knocking each other off at the range or while hunting.

  9. Oh yes.Please let’s have more gun control..In the mean time,if someone gets killed that couldn’t protect theirself,we will just have to live with it,ugh..I won’t hurt anyone that doesn’t try to harm me,.but i be damned if i’m going to be defenseless.

    I

    • “In the mean time,if someone gets killed that couldn’t protect theirself,we will just have to live with it”

      Well, certain folks would tell you that’s preferable to some mere peasant such as you or I daring to attempt to defend ourselves…the very thought of it is horrid! Quick, find me some pearls to clutch…

  10. No “gun control” causes these types of things. You don’t hear about “spree killings” happening in police stations. Why not? Because everyone is armed. Simple fact.

  11. Its true. The more the media puts gun violence in the news, the more people are going to own guns and concealed carry. Americans have a culture of personal responsibility, and compassion for their fellow man. The Progressives/Communists will never turn us into a country of government subjects.

    • The progressive mindset now infects approximately 50% of the country and millions more are being cranked out every year from the leftist indoctrination centers of “higher learning” (subsidized by your tax dollars).

      You’re use of NEVER is rather optimistic and whistling past the graveyard.

  12. These people slay me. They talk in BS platitudes of the ‘need for more gun control’ in order to prevent mass shootings, but cannot speak of one thing specifically that would have prevented this. All of their ‘high cap mags’ crap and their background checks and their licensing proposals and AWB’s wouldn’t have done squat to prevent this. The dude was a felon. He was already breaking the law by having a gun (as did his Father for giving it to him) – let alone by taking it into a ‘gun free zone’, let alone by murdering people with it… What do they think will prevent that? Another law making it ‘more illegaler’???

    I think we all know the answer. They want to completely disarm the entire law abiding public, do away with the 2nd Amendment — and in so doing, leave ONLY the criminals armed, and the rest of the law abiding citizenry defenseless to defend themselves and at the mercy of the police and the government. How is THAT going to prevent more spree killings or crime exactly??? Another war on drugs? Yeah, that sure did away with Cocaine huh? Another Prohibition? That sure did away with alcohol, huh???

    Meanwhile, their complete hoplophobic hysteria (along with the current Administration and the Media’s shared agenda) keeps them zoomed in on gun-related deaths like rabid sheep with horse blinders on, while the worlds REAL issues languish due to complete inaction.

  13. Would gun control limit spree killings? Not by real terrorists or drug cartels, should the latter ever choose to do it in the US, but it might somewhat limit social misfits that are barely out of high school. Some of them, though likely not all of them, may not be street-wise enough to buy an illegal gun if they can’t get a legal one.

    However, the nationwide licensing regime that would be needed to impact these types of misfits would likely have to be of the NY/NJ/MA variety, and would constitute a massive loss of freedom. Should we ever go there as a nation, it will be worth remembering that there is one thing we do know with certainly after 30 years of shall issue carry, that limiting the carrying of an otherwise legally owned gun is entirely pointless; an evil person may be limited in his options if he doesn’t have an easy access to a gun, but not having a carry permit is irrelevant to his plans.

    I hope we continue choosing freedom in the future, but if we ever cave in, or not given a choice, on background checks and what not, at least we should fight to let people who own a gun to be able to carry it, and carry it in more places, including churches and shopping malls. And it’s time for nationwide reciprocity and the end of GFSZA.

  14. I believe spree killings are definitely waking up some people to reality. I know someone from Puerto Rico — a U.S. territory with a long and deep tradition of shunning all things firearms. Immediately following the Sandy Hook Elementary spree killing, that person from Puerto Rico stated that the obvious response to spree killers is for good people to be armed — yes even at schools.

    So, yes, I believe people are rejecting the idea that “gun control” will stop spree killers from killing.

  15. You know what is louder than all the bombs dropped in the middle east, gun fire in downtown TX, and the Church shooting combined? The cry of a 5 year old being tortured because someone wants money from his dad. Gun Control advos, come take it!

  16. Sadly a lot DO. Is it just being stupid? I didn’t realize how anti gun rights my own son was. He’s a real smart guy but full of shite about “limiting” them. Is it settled about bowl head boy’s gun buying? WE’LL see…(see you don’t have to say it’s name…)

  17. If you see gun control as the act of hitting what you’re aiming at, yeah, that could limit spree killings!

  18. Not everyone had a gun.

    No one in that church had a gun.

    Churches in that state are defacto gun free zones.

  19. Up to the last few years I viewed the gun control advocates as well meaning but misguided. The hatred, calls for violence against gun owners, mass arrests and the attack on other constitutional amendments in the name of their control agenda has been sobering. We are dealing with people who want to establish a new authoritarian America.

  20. Once again in the wake of the tragic acts of one psychotic individual, those who would use this horrific act to call for further legislative limitations on the rights of law abiding citizens to defend themselves need to be reminded of a few things:

    1. Murder is already against the law.

    2. It is already a crime in that state to carry a concealed handgun into a place of worship without the expressed permission of the church leadership.

    3. All nine of those victims were unable to defend themselves because of laws preventing them from being armed in a place of worship. They obeyed the law. They died.

    4. Criminals ignore the law, that’s why they’re criminals.

    The most effective means of stopping the actions of a bad man with a gun, is a good man with gun. (or woman)

  21. Gun control won’t prevent criminals from obtaining and using guns. Look at France’s recent terrorism incident.

    Magazine capacity limits won’t either. One can easily do the math on paper, or go to a gun range and demonstrate, that if you have low capacity magazines, you simply carry more of them.

    What will limit shooting sprees, more than anything, are law-abiding citizens who are carrying guns.

    • Facts, facts, facts.Who really cares about facts. This issue is strictly emotional for the anti-gunners. Strictly emotional. That means the 2A opponents are irrational. No one can persuade irrational people to change their minds (see Sunni vs Shia). On top o which liberalism is a mental disorder, meaning the grabbers also have the Americans With Disabilities Act working for them.

      We need to start blaring the emotional case for self-defense, the case for use of force by any means necessary to end the threat of death or grievous bodily injury. Slowly, the gun-grabbers are winning, wearing the politicians down (and eventually the sheer amount of time our legislators must spend dealing with gun rights will cause them to just give up). Our disadvantage is we are trying to defend death, which is an unnatural argument. The anti’s are selling a defense against death, more normal.

  22. Of course we want everyone to be armed — it’s the grass-roots level version of checks and balances. You engage in coercion, my gun says you’re gambling your life, whether you’re a small-time crook or a government.

    As someone said, the whole point is that every man should be armed.

  23. So many people talk about increased gun violence and that is only in Chicago. It has decreased elsewhere. The media is harping about it every day and give the “impression” that is the truth.
    It is everyone’s duty to let people know the facts.

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