I've been thinking about the school shooting in Connecticut, like a lot of people. The comments on Facebook and in other forums are more or less the same as they are whenever this sort of mass-scale tragedy happens.
The fact that we have a basis for comparison for this sort of thing is fucked up, by the way.
Instead of commenting in every place where it seems appropriate, I'm going to subject y'all to my opinion here.
1) No, people would NOT inflict just as much violence with knives as they would with guns. It's pretty hard to kill 27 people with a knife before someone takes your stabby ass out. In China today, a man armed with a knife stabbed 22 children and 1 adult outside a primary school. No one died. Guns don't kill people, but they make killing people a lot more efficient. That's why modern militaries have abandoned spears.
2) No one knows for sure what the Founding Fathers were jabbering on about with the Second Amendment. Maybe they intended for people to be able to protect themselves from government tyranny. Then again, maybe not. The Second Amendment goes:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
If you're part of a well-regulated militia and you own a gun, congratulations. If you aren't part of a militia, don't be so sure you have the high ground.
Addendum: Unless your rifle can shoot down a Predator drone, you aren't protecting your family from the government with it. You're waving it around in the air like a hick firing at UFOs.
3) We have the term "friendly fire" for a reason, because even highly trained soldiers and police officers fuck up from time to time. And these people get some of the best training in the world. People like teachers, accountants, hair dressers and bloggers don't usually have that kind of training, and expecting them to be combat ready just because they shoot pretty well at a range is insanity.
4) Guns don't cause violence. Maybe it's poverty. Maybe it's income disparity or broken families. Fuck it, maybe Super Mario is to blame, what with shooting all those fireballs at innocent turtles. I don't know. But we're a country that can't hold our ammo. We're like boozers at a bar. If you can hold your liquor, the bartender will keep pouring tequila into your shot glass. If you vomit all over the Maraschino cherries and threaten to kill the bartender for looking at you funny, you're cut off and kicked out. We're drunks who can't hold our Cuervo.
I'm not even sure tighter gun control would help at this point. There are already so many guns in this country, and making laws tighter might encourage people already living in fear to double down. But what we're doing now isn't enough.
Look at the math. It's unlikely you're going to need to defend your home from the government or your neighbors. Despite what the Internet says, the Apocalypse is not nigh, and your neighbors aren't coming to eat your wives and rape your livestock. It's more likely that you're going to be killed in the crossfire of something you had nothing to do with, or accidentally shot with your own or a friend's firearm. Even that's improbable, though. You'll probably die of cancer or a heart attack, so keep the faith. But pretending that gun violence has nothing to do with guns is willfully blind.