This is something I wrote in response to the recent Oregon shooting.


Over time, both on Facebook and IRL, I’ve accumulated a number of American friends, from across the political spectrum, whom I interact with quite frequently.

So whenever I hear of another mass gun shooting I get the usual responses from across the political spectrum. Now personally I like living in one of the safest cities in the world. Guns in Singapore are virtually illegal. Unauthorised gun users and traffickers are executed. That’s right, if you use a gun to shoot a rat, you’ll be executed. If you possess a gun you’ll be jailed.

So I like living in a place where the dangers of getting killed by a gun is virtually zero and I have no problems with extremely draconian gun control measures, if not its complete ban.

That said, we need to look at the empirical conditions on the ground. America is obviously not Singapore. From what I understand about the Oregon shooting, Oregon already has universal background checks on gun purchases, the campus where the shooting occurred was a gun free zone, and the security guard was unarmed. Also another friend pointed out,

The most consistently violent places in America are the places with the strictest gun laws–D.C., Chicago, New Orleans, etc. And almost every one of these mass-shootings occurs in “gun-free zones”–movie theaters, colleges, schools, military bases, etc. They don’t happen at hunting conventions, gun shows, or shooting galleries–the places with the highest concentrations of firearms.

[Edit: Given the recent shooting in Florida I think it would be instructive to note it was also a gun-free zone.] Gun control is entirely sensible, provided it is enforced across the board. But piecemeal gun control is lunacy. To disarm just one segment of the population is not to keep them safe from guns, it’s to give the other segment of the population, with access to arms, power over them. The logic of firearms is like the logic of nuclear weapons. If one country has it, other countries must have it otherwise that one country would dominate the rest. If some parts of America have access to guns, then every other part of America must have access to it in order to protect themselves.

Thus, either America does something incredibly draconian like Singapore, make using, selling, and trafficking of firearms a capital offence across the board, or they have to give everyone the means to protect themselves. But this doing things by half is just sheer stupidity.

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