Yesterday, a nutcase went on a rampage and shot dead ten people in Alabama, in the gun-crazy United States, where they let just anyone own a firearm.
Today, a nutcase went on a rampage and shot dead fifteen people* in a high school near Stuttgart, in Germany, where they have strict gun control, registration for anything bigger than a pellet gun, and a tough need-based purchase license system that would make politicians in New Jersey or California weep with joy.
For good or bad, guns are a highly desired commodity. As the War on Drugs has shown us, you cannot get rid of those, no matter how many laws you pass, how strict you make those laws, or how much time and money you spend on enforcement. Anyone who wants a gun can obtain one if they want it badly enough, regardless of the laws in place. You cannot stuff the technological genie back in the bottle just by drafting words on paper. Gun control only works on those who obey the laws in the first place. Spree killings by unhinged lunatics can happen, do happen, and have happened in countries with loose gun control, strict gun control, and total gun prohibition. They’ve happened in the United States, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria, the UK, and Canada, among others.
I’ve said it before on more than one occasion, but it bears repeating: the only thing that will quickly stop a spree killer is another gun. The final body count is solely determined by whether that gun is already at the scene of the crime, in the holster of an intended victim, or whether it needs to be carried there in the holster of a police officer.
*The CNN article quotes ten dead in Germany, but the German newspapers say the victim count is “at least fifteen”. The shooter was a 17-year-old former student who fled the scene on foot and was later killed in a gunfight with police.