Let's admit straight up that if James Holmes had not had any guns, it's unlikely that he could have committed the carnage that he did. The same thing is true for Jared Laughner, Dylan Klebold and others. To me denying this, or making a claim that as a medical student he could have found another way to commit such a large level of carnage is asinine.
In the wake of the tragedy in Colorado there will be a rush towards trying to control people's access to guns. Already there is talk asking how the gunman could have had so many weapons or whether or not an assault rifle is too powerful of a gun. And of course there will be a lot of hyperbole around the issue. It is not a leap of judgement to say that outlawing all guns will cut down on the amount of gun related homicides.
We can also say that if police were not required to have warrants to search people, they could make a lot more arrests. Look at what's happening with "Stop and Frisk" in New York. It's clear according to the NYPD's own statistics that thousands of completely innocent people are being stopped and searched. But it can't be denied that this does make the streets safer.
Let's take it a step further. Automobile deaths dwarf gun related homicides. We could save a lot of lives just by banning driving in cities by private citizens when they could be using public transportation. And not just saving lives -- we'd be helping the environment too!
-- I don't need to continue the example. It's clear that the "Nanny State" can make us all safer by abrogating our freedoms. The question is what freedoms should the government under no circumstance be allowed to deprive you of? Thomas Jefferson got it about as succinct as think it's been stated: "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
There's another famous gun control quote: "God made man, but Colonel Colt made him equal." We have a short history with personal firearms, but be have a long recorded history before that. And before the advent of the gun, big strong men won a lot of disputes by playing the "might is right" trump card.
Your and my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed at the last level by us. All American's agree we do not want a state where the police monitor us at all times to ensure our lives are free of crime. And yet we want to be secure in our homes and our possessions.
In Cold Blood? or the Cheshire home invasions? Above I had said that it was asinine to deny that guns played a role in the scale of the massacre in Denver. It's equally asinine to deny that we live in a world that is populated with true monsters.
People have a right to feel safe. If a gun is what it takes for someone to feel safer, they should not be denied one. We can look at statistics that may or may not indicate that the security provided by gun ownership is illusory.
We have many laws already restricting gun ownership. We have waiting periods and restrictions on automatic weapons and types of ammunition. We require registration to own a gun. I don't think any of these are unreasonable. And I think there can be further conversations about compromises but I will never support a ban on firearms. And considering that firearms can be used responsibly, I don't see any reason to restrict the freedom of the responsible because of the actions of a very few.
Especially in the face of traumatic events, our considered principles must guide us. It's common sense.