I know that strictly speaking this isn't related to gaming but gamers are being scapegoated and also are trying to have a moments silence on online shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield, so it is linked.
Of course on Friday there was a mass shooting at a school in America. It was obviously a great tragedy and has affected everyone quite profoundly. It has also led to the inevitable debate on what should be done. Should guns be banned? Should mental health specialists do more to prevent such things? Should violent games/films/music be banned? My feelings on this issue are quite strong and I honestly feel that in this case the moral issue is not one of opinion but of fact, that being said I may be quite strongly opinionated here and may upset or offend some people. I'd like to make clear that that is not my intention and I apologise in advance if I do so, of course you can feel free to chip in with your own views in the comments below.
The first issue is the issue of gun control, though it is unrealistic both economically and ethically I feel that a) guns should be banned among civilians and b) civilians should have their guns they currently own confiscated and destroyed. Of course the industry creates a lot of income and employment so the impact of its removal would be profound and of course confiscating people's property is a moral and legal nightmare but the total removal of guns would have a massive impact on both the regularity and severity of gun crime in America. Just look at a country like England or France for proof of this. I accept that this is highly unrealistic and maybe America should merely remove automatic weapons and the ownership of multiple guns (how many guns do you need to defend yourself anyway?).
Honestly though I feel as though America, its people and its government can never be given credibility as a civilised nation so long as its people are armed. The fact that there are men and women in the world who believe that guns are not only ok but are in fact necessary - some even think teachers should now be armed! - is truly sickening, almost as sickening as the massacres themselves. The people who believe this may or may not be a minority but they exist and they should be given treatment. Whether the reason guns are legal is historical, economic or otherwise the fact that so many people are ok with it is truly alarming. The world's most influential nation contains an alarming amount of gun lovers who think people should have guns. This needs to be stopped or else crimes like this shooting will never stop. As far as I'm concerned if you own a gun and think that that's ok then you're only a step or two away from being as bad as the shooter himself.
The other issue is one raised by Morgan Freeman, he argues that gun control isn't the real answer and that mental health work is. Why was this man not in treatment? Why was he allowed to do this? I agree with this to an extent in that I believe that yes he should have been treated and this should have been prevented but I think that a gun ban or at least massively tightened gun control is also needed. Also I genuinely (please don't be offended) feel that anyone who owns a gun and believes it to be ok or thinks that teachers should be armed needs psychiatric help, anyone who thinks weapons in a civilian population is a good thing obviously is unstable in some way. Weapons are used to harm, no healthy person should wish harm on another.
Ultimately with a push in mental health work and a ban on guns this sort of case will become a very rare occurrence where currently it is worryingly widespread. What do you think? Should guns be banned or am I a lunatic liberal?