The BBC reports:
The German government says it plans to ban combat games such as paintball, in response to a recent school shooting.
The new measures being proposed to parliament also include tighter gun control rules and give officials the right to conduct checks on gun owners.
Sixteen people, including the gunman, were killed in the shooting at a school in southern Germany in March.
Relatives of the victims say the new measures do not go far enough.
Under the proposed rules, the authorities would be given more right to ensure weapons are safely locked up.
It is also though that "biometric controls" for gun storage might be introduced, the BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Berlin reports.
That would mean that anyone owning and storing guns at home would need to use their own fingerprint to open the safe or cupboard, our correspondent says.
Berlin also plans to ban games like paintball and laser-tag that stimulate killing on that they trivialise and encourage violence.
Anyone defying the proposed new rule could face a 5,000-euro (£4,474) fine.
But relatives of those killed in the March attack in the town of Winnenden, near Stuttgart, are calling for an outright ban on pistols and high-calibre weapons.
"There cannot be a second Winnenden," Hardy Schober, whose daughter was killed in the attack, told a news conference in Berlin.
Have these people gone utterly insane? Do they have eyes to see, and a brain to understand? What's wrong with them?
You can't stop criminal actions by banning things. You can only stop them by stopping the people who commit them. The tools used are basically irrelevant.
The anti-gunners parrot the cry, "But if they didn't have guns, they wouldn't be able to kill so many people: therefore, if we ban the guns, we'll be safe!" Bull! That's a lie, and thousands of years of history bear witness to its falsehood. Consider:
- How many people died in massacres before the firearm was ever invented? Untold millions.
- Even today, when military assault weapons are commonplace in the Third World (far more so than in the First World), what's the biggest killer of innocent persons there? The humble machete and similar weapons. Look at the civil wars and genocides in Rwanda, Zaire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burma, Sudan . . . the list is endless. Read the facts for yourself. They're out there.
- In our own First World, how many people are the victims of crime committed with a firearm, versus those who save themselves and their loved ones by producing a firearm? Statistics vary, depending on the source, but the preponderance of reliable, verifiable evidence (rather than that made up, concocted and twisted by partisan sources) is that incidents of the legal use of firearms in defense overwhelmingly exceed those of their illegal use in criminal attacks. Remember - if you disarm everyone, you'll be disarming only those who abide by the laws. Criminals don't obey existing laws, so why should they obey yet another one? They'll simply be free to attack with greater impunity.
- The deranged will do whatever it takes to achieve their horrifying goals. Remember Columbine? The two murderers prepared bombs that might have killed hundreds, perhaps even thousands. It's only because they were particularly inept bomb-makers that their improvised explosive devices failed to detonate. They killed some people with firearms, sure, but only a minuscule proportion of the number they hoped and intended to kill. If they hadn't bought guns, but had put their money and efforts into making better bombs, Columbine would have been far worse than it was.
- The death of dozens or scores of people in attacks on schools and colleges is tragic, but consider this. Those same places ban the possession of firearms on their premises. If even a single trained shooter had been present at any of these incidents, and armed, he or she could have stopped the killing with one or two well-placed bullets. The only thing those 'gun-free zones' achieved was to render those within them defenseless against criminals who didn't obey the law. Way to go, authorities! (Israel learned this decades ago. After Palestinian terrorists began targeting Jewish schools, its Government didn't throw a hissy-fit; instead, it armed and trained the teachers. Result: several dead terrorists, and decades of massacre-free instruction in Israeli schools. Q.E.D.)
- A terrorist, or a deranged lunatic who wanted to cause the maximum possible horror and revulsion, wouldn't need a gun at all. There are tens of thousands of easily-attacked risk-free targets within their reach, five days out of every seven, for nine months of the year. I'm talking about our school buses. All they'd have to do would be to get their hands on a heavy vehicle, pick a bus route with steep drop-offs, and ram a school bus full of kids over the side. They'd have a good chance of getting away in the confusion, and they'd cause a panic such as the USA has never seen before. Guns? Who needs guns? (Oh - and if you think I'm irresponsible for putting this suggestion out there, think again. Al Qaeda has already discussed such attacks in its training schools. We've captured their training materials, so we know that. We also know their operatives aren't trained to escape - they're trained to kill as many innocent people as possible before they're killed themselves. Can you imagine a Beslan-type incident on US soil? They can. They're planning for it - and with no-one on school premises armed and able to resist them, the odds are in their favor, right from the start. Think about that.)
As for banning paintball, because it might be a contributing factor to massacres, what about other violent sports? Let's ban football, ice hockey, and any other sport where the players sometimes get into a fight! After all, that must contribute to violence, right? As for banning guns, so we won't have any more massacres . . . heck, let's ban cars! That way we won't have any more car accidents! Let's ban aircraft, so we won't have any more plane crashes!
The logic of all these positions is identical . . . and equally flawed. Cars don't cause accidents: they're caused by road conditions, or mechanical failure, or flawed driving technique, or an impaired driver, or a combination of these factors. Aircraft don't cause plane crashes: they're caused by weather conditions, or mechanical failure, or pilot error, or an impaired pilot, or a combination of these factors. Guns don't cause massacres: those are caused by human beings deciding to commit murder. Whether they do so with a gun, or a bomb, or a fire, or an axe, or a knife, is basically irrelevant. In every case, the driver, or pilot, or murderer, may be sane or insane, impaired or unimpaired, rational or irrational: but there's always a human involved. The car, or plane, or gun, is simply a tool in their hands.
Consider these truths.
- We don't bring criminal charges against a car for an incident of drunk driving: we charge the driver. Banning cars won't stop people being drunk in charge of whatever alternative transport they use. (There are five examples at those links.) Their behavior is the problem, not their conveyance.
- We don't charge a match or a lighter for starting a fire that burns down a house: we charge the person who used it. Banning matches or lighters won't stop arsonists. They'll use a magnifying glass to focus the sun's rays on tinder, or use a fire striker, or rub two sticks together, or carry hot coals in a firepot. Our ancestors did all those things for thousands of years before matches were invented. Guess what? The old ways still work!
- We don't charge a knife with murder if it's used to kill someone: we charge the person who wielded it. Banning knives won't stop murders. Killers will simply use rocks, or clubs, or baseball bats, or their bare hands, or any other potentially lethal instrument.
- We don't sue a scalpel for medical negligence over a surgical procedure that's wrongly performed: we sue the surgeon who used it. Banning scalpels won't stop such mistakes. It'll simply condemn to death all those who really need surgery, but now can't get it.
- We don't charge a gun for a massacre: we charge the person who pulled the trigger. Banning guns won't stop massacres. The perpetrator(s) will turn to a knife, or arson, or bombs, or sabotage, or driving a vehicle at full speed into a crowd, or find some other method of killing large numbers of people at once.
Again and again and again, the instrument is not the cause of the problem; the instrument is not guilty of the problem; and banning the instrument won't solve the problem!
I urge you to follow the links in the points above. They illustrate the harsh but undeniable truth that if a bad person wants to commit a criminal act, he or she will disregard any and all laws forbidding that act; he or she will obtain whatever instrument they need to perpetrate that act; and if he or she can't get one instrument, they will find an alternative. That's the way it is. Welcome to the real world.
If the German government implements these proposed measures, what will they do when the next massacre of innocent people occurs? Will they have the moral courage to say, "Well, these measures obviously did nothing to stop such attacks, so we'll repeal them"? Like hell they will! They'll leave them in place, impairing the civil rights and liberties of the law-abiding, and putting the latter at greater risk by removing from them the means to effectively defend themselves.
Sometimes I could bang my head against the wall in sheer frustration at the wilful, blind stupidity of liberal politicians and their ilk.