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Gun crazy in America

July 23rd, 2012
04:42 PM ET

By Christiane Amanpour

After a heated discussion on gun control on our program, both my guests reached a point of agreement; that a larger debate on the Second Amendment must continue. This would seem fitting, given a Pew poll shows Americans are practically evenly split over gun control: 45% in favor, while 49% are against.

One of the aspects of this debate I find exceptionally important is that while some blame the culture in America, in Europe they watch the same movies. Yet, they have hade many fewer mass shootings. And after each one of these attacks they have implemented and legislated change and a tightening up of gun laws, which has worked and cut down the violence significantly.

One of the guests in our debate tonight, Alan Korwin insists we should all be armed – you can watch his perspective, and the fascinating conversation we had, in the video above.

soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Thor

    Being american and living in Europe for the last 8 years, I don't believe Europe is any less violent. I have seen more gratuitous stabbings, bludgeonings, etc. here in Europe... with little judicial punishment. You're right, probably less gun related deaths here in Europe... but Mohamed Merah had a fully automatic AK-47 in France and this with their tough gun control laws... so as you were so quick to say, 'come on, as a journalist I would know if Europe were just as violent'... thanks for your opinion, madame, but just the facts please.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
    • Tom Douglas

      The enire focus of the program was on gun violence...not whether Europe was less violent than the States.You missed that crucial point. Considering Amanpour's considerable journalistic career especially during the Yugoslavian civil war ie. genocide, concentration camps, ethnic cleansing, rape, pillaging and murder of civillians I would seriously doubt she requires a lesson on violence in Europe. She must be aware of the rampant violence with gangs in European football, or racism and intolerance connected to European immigration. Therefore that's not the point The focus was on gun violence and accessibility to military weapons.Try listening carefully and not allowing your own views to cloud your ability to maybe amplify and maybe see the clarity of other people's reasoning....Strive for intellectual honesty!!!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
      • Thor

        Yes, you're right, the point was gun violence. I also note that Amanpour confuses an AR-15 (Semi-Auto) with an M-16 (Full-auto)/ Wants to reinstate the gun ban when no stats confirm that that helps (in the US atleast)/ Says that 50 mass murders in the US in 1 year but then points to the Brady report that says 60 mass murders since 2005 / Compares Norway (5M people and a different culture) to the US (300M people and a different culture) / Wants to know 'what we can do globally' when only talking about 'this one instance'. Do I believe we can do more and should find a compromise, yes... but let's talk about the real problem: violence and violent people. McVeigh used a bomb to comit mass murder, and a gun wouldn't have stopped him. Comparing the US to Europe or other countries is like comparing apples and oranges. That is my point. My point is also, is that an AR-15 is not a military weapon. I reacted to the fact that it wasn't a report, but her sensationalizing her own opinions with muddled facts. Lastly, I have to agree with DW: The major media in the U.S. insists on creating anti-heros of these fame seeking misfits – that is a real problem too! (eventhough you would be right in saying that wasn't the focus of the report). I hope you've found I've been intellectually honest this time around.

        July 24, 2012 at 5:22 am |
    • Jasmine

      Of course, there are violence everywhere in the world. It's not US people whom are particularly violent. The problem is Gun makes it possible for a single individual to be capable of causing a grander scale of damage than a person with a knife.

      July 25, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
  2. henrybowman

    Amanpour and company seem to be stuck in the same rut: let's do something, anything, even if it's worthless. We had a ban on so-called "assault weapons" for a decade. Gun crime stats didn't go down. The ban expired. Gun crime stats didn't go up. Comes a point where you have to justify your prejudicial fantasies with hard results, but "journalists" never seem to want to pin the gun control advocates down to this standard.

    And to hear Amanpour baldly state that "there is no sporting purposes to an AR-15…" Really? Who made her an expert? She's just parroting a hysterical Brady talking point. If Amanpour has ever pulled a trigger in her life, I'll eat my hat.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  3. Dean Weingarten

    Europe may watch the same movies, but they do not have the same media. The major media in the U.S. insists on creating anti-heros of these fame seeking misfits.

    July 23, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  4. Matt

    This was an excellent interview. However it has made me so angry. The reason being that inaction on this topic is all political. I can only hope that Obama somehow manages to get some sort of bi-partisan support for regulation. I agree, the second amendment is held important by so many Americans, and that needs to be recognised, but as mentioned in the interview, it also needs to be recognised that civilians do not need military-equivalent weapons. It's just crazy! At least with smaller weapons, if there were to be a massacre, it wouldn't be on such an enormous scale!

    July 24, 2012 at 5:28 am | Reply
    • HWS

      What does it matter if law abiding folks own an AR-15 or AK-47? They are no threat. Of course there is always a GOMER in every PILE that makes everyone else look bad. Prosecute those who misuse liberty. But those of your mindset would be willing to give up liberty for security? We have a "Bill of RIGHTS!" Not a Bill of "NEEDS!"

      July 24, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
  5. Jhetch

    Amanpor to quickly dismissed Korin's observation on today's culture in the US. It doesn't stop at movies. Look at the video games, TV shows, and cartoons even, that glorify weapons, destruction and violence. None of which I see on television when I travel overseas. Today's youth in the US are bombarded with this kind of programming and have become desesithized to this type of violence. Guns are nothing more than a tool. If a tool becomes unavailable, these types of mentally insanepeople would just use another tool. You can not go after the right of the normal citizen to protect themselves and expect less violence.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:12 am | Reply
  6. Gordon

    Why do people keep bringing up the sporting use phrase. The second amendment wasn't put in place for target practice or hunting. The question of culture must be addressed.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:01 am | Reply
  7. Carl

    The media in the U.S. is our worse enemy. They continue to cover the stories of the mass murderers, giving them the limelight that they are wishing for. I see it all the time. Plus, they are even allowing them to write a book as to why they did what they did...bringing them millions of dollars and more fame. I do believe that if we would stop giving the bad guys so much t.v. time and more isolation it wouldn't be near as bad. I have seen time after time where the bad guy is all smiles for the cameras even when being sentenced in court. At some point in time, there is going to have to be some kind of way to put these killers away...away from the media. It's like they are being praised for their actions all over the news and internet.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • Mehr Kalami

      I fully agree with your statements of wisdom! It is true. Murderers and criminals are being hailed (throughout the world; in particular terrorists) as some form of heroes!!! They should be arrested, tried and sentenced to the maximum penalty as per the law. Just a brief message about the proceedings until the end results and convictions! No fanfare and no drama for a killer!

      July 24, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Reply
  8. Roberto

    Dear Christiane,

    Could you please forward this news to the relevant people or organization that may help with this issue?

    Thank you, I tried to post it myself, but I am not sure it may get to the right people.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply
  9. Eric

    Debate is great. From a practical matter, the Supreme Court has ruled that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right. No one has to agree with their reasoning, this is simply a fact and the court tends to dislike making radical adjustment to its own precedents and now changes made by states and the congress will have to deal with this fact. The bill of rights contain most of those things which have been taken out of the hands of the majority in a democracy, specifically the rights of individuals and the minority. Therefore significant change will most likely take an amendment, so essentially, 2/3rds of both houses and majorities of 3/4 of the state legislatures just need to be persuaded.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  10. Hope

    Ask the family members who lost loved ones in a movie theater,ask congresswomen ,who take a bullet to the head,ask the students at Virginia tech,you won't get ,answers as they were silenced by bullets from guns.Its not hysterical,it's a fact,remove access and the violence will be diminished.Korins argument that persons armed can be vigilantes ,please? That's just hyperbole,his agendas Rae that he gets paid to be a mouthpiece and gun advocate,bring in a family member who lost a love done.Thres is the agenda and voice of reason.Is everything so desensitized that we must watch innocent people mowed down doing innocent activities,we are all vulnerable and nobody is going to ask Kiorin if he's ever lost a loved one to a shooting,so let's be real here ....

    July 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  11. Slick

    When comparing USA and Europe gun violence wouldn't you need to also take into account how many guns are in circulation in the particular countries? That is,a measure of how many acts of violence per gun?

    July 25, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
  12. Abumere Christopher Wilson

    the story is shocking as little ia known about the young man's original intentions.

    July 25, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
  13. Auro

    I find the contention that more and more people should all be armed, at once narrow and shallow. Why can't we be armed with strong minds? The strongest minds are those that can shower unconditional love, beyond the material gives and takes. The problem of violence needs to be handled in a calm, albeit strong, manner. The best way to counter gun violence is not procuring more guns since this will multiply the danger of perpetrating violent acts, nay, almost justifying it, but widening our minds with acknowledgement, understanding and appreciation of others' pains and tribulations. It's a tragedy that while millions of people are unfed, uneducated, untreated in the world, we are thinking of abating this problem with more gun purchase. As if there is no other problem in the world.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  14. samuel welsh

    bloody stupid speaker from usa
    swiz ,norway and usa are gun countries
    we are not the same in europe ,hes a idot

    July 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  15. XYZ

    Solving problems with violence or the demonstration of power through weapons shouldn't be regarded as the only and best option to solve a conflict. And having a gun has nothing to do with liberty. You must take care while running around with a gun all the time and store it properly, because most people want to feel protected, but they don't want to shoot a human being. I think it is madness to sell guns like toys and diminish the danger. There must be a reform, an additional contribute to traditional values, because the world has changed, the time of the' wild frontier' and western heroes is gone!

    July 27, 2012 at 4:30 am | Reply
  16. WWW

    The Brady report is padded with drug shooting and other crimes that are not the same type of incident as the Aurora shooting. Then they compare Europe and America as if there are no shootings at all in Europe. But the statistics they compare to do not include the local crimes that the Bradys stats for America contain.

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