There has been much talk and there will be much more talk about gun control. I think the discussion needs to be broader and be about controlling violence. I submit this is for these reasons. Guns are inanimate objects, they do not kill on their own. They are the instruments by which we kill each other. Yes, there needs to be a discussion about restricting guns, and/or access thereto, that are too efficient an instrument, but they are not the only means by which we kill one another. To the victims, does it mattere whether they died by gunfire, a bomb or an airliner crashing into a building.
I do not pretend to have the answers but I offer up some thoughts to provoke a discussion (hopefully civil)
#1 – A total ban on guns in this country is unworkable. There are too many guns already out there and far too many people who cherish the right to own and lawfully use firearms. A total ban (IMHO) would be as effective as Prohibtution was as for alcohol. It would also have the same effect : to make criminals out of many otherwise lawbiding citizens.
#2 – A total ban would be ineffective. It is naive to think that someone who would murder kindergarteners would obey a gun control ban. It would be equally naive to believe criminals would hand their guns over.
#3 – The 2nd Amendment does not mean that guns can't be regulated. The Supreme Court has made it clear
that guns can be regulated. For example fully automatic weapons are heavily regulated. Felons and the mentally ill may not own or possess guns under federal law. Those regulations have been upheld.
#4 – We must do better at keeping guns from the mentally ill. Any one who commits mass murder may not be legally insane but certainly there is something wrong with how they are wired. To do this however, we must loosen privacy concerns about medical records and we must not worry about placing a stigma on the mentally ill. You can't have it both ways.
#5 – Assault weapons and high capacity magazines exist for the sole purpose of killing a lot of people quickly. They are not necessary for hunting nor are they particularly good for self defense (IMHO).
#6 – Detailed backgrounds checks need to be done and waiting periods for gun purchases are not unreasonable.
#7 – Training in how to use (and most importantly when a firearm should be used) should be required before any one is given a concealed weapon permit.
#8 – “Stand your ground” laws need to be repealed. The law as always allowed you to defend yourself. A requirement that you retreat when you can safely do so prior to taking a life is reasonable. “Stand your ground” simply is a license to kill.
#9 – Use of a firarm in a crime should bring an automatic jail sentence which must be served day for day.
#10 – We must address why there seems to be so much more willingness to commit violence. Is it the violence in video games and on mass media?
Just some thoughts. What are yours?