For Americans these laws are highly controversial. The majority of Americans prefer to keep laws as they are. We see the problem as the failure of the Federal and State governments to enforce existing laws. The guns used in Paris and San Bernadino were illegal* guns. If the laws we have are not being enforced, what makes anyone think new laws will be enforced?
Europeans and Australians think the removal of guns in their countries has reduced crime. But, those people have not looked to see how crime reporting has changed. So, they are easily confused by reports showing crime is down and other reports showing crime is up. The path to clarity is in looking at how those writing the reports count crimes and label what they are reporting. (UK now the most violent country in Europe.)
Japan is held up as a good example of gun control working. Japan has made guns and swords illegal. But, the most influential aspect of Japanese crime reduction is their putting a police officer on each street corner and having a legal system and cultural willingness to lock criminals away with harsh sentences and tolerate police searches of any citizen at any time. (Reference)
10 Myths About Gun Control (PS: link broke – replaced 12/14)
The Facts That Neither Side Wants To Admit About Gun Control – I will point out that it appears this writer did not examine the crime reporting method changes.
There is a myth that all guns can be removed from society. We saw Russia disintegrate and soldiers in countries like Ukraine start selling off military grade weapons. After thousand of years of history the need for armies is obvious. Armies are never going a way. Thus guns are never going away.
We have seen 3D printing moving toward low cost manufacturing and production of plastic guns. There is demand for more durable 3D printing materials for general manufacturing uses. But, we know from past experience those will be used to make better 3D printed guns.
Metal machining tools are scattered throughout the world. Any moderately competent machinist or hobbyist with plans can build a weapon. There is nothing to keep them from making it a fully automatic gun. The San Bernardino shooters converted semi-automatics to full-auto.
Removing all guns from the face of the Earth is an impossibility. While it is possible to disarm the law abiding, it simply is not possible to pass a law that disarms criminals.
So, what does that mean for you?
In the USA we have an Average Response Time of 10 minutes. (References) The best response time according to DoJ is 4 minutes and the worst 1 hour. (Women’s Self Defense Institute.) Chicago reports a response time of 3.46 minutes for priority 1 calls. In Detroit average response time is 58 minutes. The problem with these numbers is interviews with residents of Chicago and Detroit in poor neighborhoods reveal they are much longer. But, who are you going to believe? The government, police, or a few residents? Personally I see the motivation for government and police to tweak the numbers to avoid looking bad. Residents enduring the wait probably tend to exaggerate. The true is likely somewhere in the middle.
How will you defend yourself for 3 to 12 minutes in a gun free theater, NFL event, or other large gathering when a jihadie or mental case starts killing people? Call 9-1-1 and wait? Run? Or just hope someone else had the foresight to arm their self?
*The spin is they were ‘purchased’ legally. But, the guns were illegal in California and later modified beyond legal limits. It is also illegal for any person classed as a criminal, which includes terrorists, to own a gun. If properly vetted the wife coming from Pakistan and being associated with a radical mosque would not have been allowed into the US. So, legal or illegal is a mess of technicalities and verbal parsing. The point is laws intended to stop this person were not enforced.