Would stricter gun control have prevented the terrible crime witnessed at a Connecticut elementary school today? Not likely, suggests Professor of Criminology Gary Kleck of Florida State University.
Unlike more common, petty gun crimes, Kleck writes
, mass shootings are typically planned long in advance of their being carried out, unlike the more "heat of the moment" homicides that don't make the national news. This makes them resistant to being prevented by gun laws when a willful, deliberative decision to break
the law is precisely what's in the works.
"Gun control measures that merely delay gun acquisition, such as waiting periods, merely place minor obstacles in a gun buyer's way," observes Kleck. "The terrible reality is that premeditated violence, especially that carried out by killers willing to die by their own hands or those of the police, are among the hardest violent acts to prevent."
Does this mean that gun control measures are pointless? Hardly, says Kleck, who believes it perfectly reasonable to extend routine background checks with the goal of uncovering prior criminal activity that reveals poor impulse control: "This...could prevent casually motivated gun acquisition by high-risk persons who are less powerfully motivated than mass killers to get guns regardless of the obstacles."
Via Pacific Standard