The theory the more laws will prevent anything has a fundamental problem. There have been laws against murder and inflicting violence on other people since time immemorial. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, there is a prohibition on murder from the highest authority. For most of human history, the crime of homicide has been punishable by the death of the killer.
William Connell Cawthon Jr.
Laws have saved lives from traffic-related deaths. Factory and labor deaths. Medical and food-related deaths. And so on.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of most laws and regulations. I do think it’s possible for people to police themselves without someone deciding guidelines for them (although this also requires some kind of checks-and-balance on the power dynamics within that community). That being said, I still recognize that the “laws don’t help anything!” platitude is fundamentally flawed as well. As the songwriter Frank Turner once said, “Be suspicious of simple answers – that shit’s for fascists and maybe teenagers.”
Finally, while I’m aware that suicides can never be stopped entirely just by gun regulations, and that desperate people will find a way to die (or kill) no matter what, the fact remains that gun laws in Australia did in fact save lives, as did gun laws in England, and that while the US may not be exactly the same, this is evidence that lives could likely be saved here, even in less-extreme manners. A stubborn adherence to a grammatically incorrect tradition is an emotional, rather than objective, response. Which is why I’m trying to encourage conversation.