Within hours of the terrible attack at a Batman screening, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I get all my news from Bloomberg because I misunderstand that he's not the TV channel) talked about restricting gun ownership.
He said: "Maybe it's time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country."
How can there be anything to talk about? Some nutter gets 4 guns and uses those guns to kill people. If he didn't have those guns he just would've been a nutter who stood up during a film. This story would've been so different if nutters weren't able to buy guns.
It turns out there is a counter arguement to this logic.
Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, a Republican, said the story made him wonder, "With all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?"
Oh. So this happened because not enough people have guns? Q: How do you stop sick people going out and shooting others? A: Make sure everyone has guns? What could possibly be the flaw in that argument?
Well, let's see. Imagine a society where the number of nutters is N, a positive integer. If no one had guns the number of nutters with guns would be 0. If everyone has guns the number of nutters with guns equals N, and N > 0. These are extremes but real life will lie somewhere between the ends of the spectrum, and if the number of nutters with guns is ever > 0 you have a problem.
Does Gohmert want to live in a country where everyone who goes to the cinema has to carry a gun to feel safe?
And would you want to be sat in a multiplex where everyone had their hand on a trigger? Have you seen Paranormal Activity? It made me jump and nearly wet myself. All it would take is for the main protagonist in a film to open the door on a mirrored bathroom cabinet that shows there's no one behind her, and then close it to show a figure there, and someone would let off a round.
Cinemas are tense places. Someone's mobile phone gets a text message and everyone in the auditorium hates them with a passion. We don't want to bring guns into that situation.
So, Gohmert, you wondered why someone in that cinema didn't have a gun. They did, and he was a murderer. Imagine that cinema with no guns. Imagine that country with no guns.
There comes a point where one of the things written into your constitution is used to kill people, and that should mean it's time to change it.
I probably don't know what I'm talking about. After all, I live in a country where it is very difficult to get a gun and we have never had a tragedy in a cinema like this. Two facts that I'm sure mean I should go back to news stories about pants.
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