Several years ago near my then-home airport, the Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, Maryland, a private jet crashed, in bad weather, into a nearby house and killed a mother and two children who were inside.
(In addition to killing the pilot and two others aboard the plane.) It was so horrific an incident, and so universally understood as a grotesquely “unfair” extension of damage to people who had not knowingly accepted the risk, that the entire flying community recognized it might change the future of the airport and flying practices there.
Again, lets compare it to flying, something you love.
Every year, roughly 400-450 people die in general aviation accidents.
I realize that these stats are not apples to apples and if you include suicides and accidental deaths the AR might be as deadly or more deadly than private planes (although on a per unit basis, I would say owning a plane is far likelier to kill someone than owning an AR).
But imagine if the government took these statistics and banned private planes and non-commercial aircraft. I’m sure you can come up with all kinds of reasons why flying is important and useful and banning planes would be a complete over-reaction, but I can also point out that the vast majority of people don’t fly private planes and do just fine (plus you destroy the environment and suck up gobs of government money with regional airports and below market landing fees).You would probably say that all may be true, but is not worth the deaths.The pro-gun response is that the deaths from AR’s are a small, small proportion of overall gun homicides, despite the high profile cases.What’s the mail like from those who reject the need for new gun laws? The first is — unfortunately, but realistically—representative in its tone and argumentative style of most of the dissenting messages that have arrived: No mass shootings else where? Mao...unarmed public....millions killed Russia....gulag.... KGB...unknown number killed....unarmed public Balkans.... Serb nationalism....thousands killed....unarmed public You can argue both sides until you are blue in the face, but the way this country's government acts I want to be able to protect those I love and my property.I also believe that this country has turned away from the concepts that made it great.By contrast, there are roughly 210,000 private planes, so that would equal 1 death per 525 planes.So from a purely statistical standpoint, private planes are about 80 times more deadly than AR rifles.If you are not promoting a broad fix to a social problem then you are promoting a narrow "headline" grabbing stance, then on to the next"headline". The reader says: In response to your notes on the AR-15’s I think the pro-AR or at least neutral AR position comes down to that despite the high profile shooting, the actual deaths from AR’s are a small portion of total deaths and the lawful owners of AR’s don’t see why they should be deprived of their rights due to the illegal actions of others.You, who do not shoot AR’s (or at all as far as I know) do not see these rights as important, and therefore see it as no big deal to take them away, regardless if it infringes on any rights, which you reject anyway.What if [the Las Vegas murdered] instead of buying a bunch of AR’s instead rented a Beechcraft Barron 58 (or something much larger, I’m not a plane guy), filled it up that barrels of gasoline and flew into an NFL stadium or concert full of people, something it seems he had every capability of doing? If there had been, and the government banned private aircraft and you could no longer fly, wouldn’t that piss you off?You are now prevented from doing something you love (and you only do it because you love it, there is no economic case to be made for private planes) because some evil act committed by someone unknown to you.