I know there is a cry for more gun controls laws now, but more gun control laws that affect only law-abiding citizens will not reduce crimes.
I have often stated that I wish we lived in a rational and peaceful world, one without violence, but we don’t. The fact that there are an estimated 270 - 300 million firearms already in circulation make it impossible for gun control laws to have any effect on reducing violent crimes.
What we can do perhaps instead of legislating more gun control laws is focus upon and address the causes of violent crimes: mental illness (psychosis, schizophrenia, depression, paranoia...), prejudice, racism, economic injustice, poverty, unemployment, gang activity, drug trafficking, substance abuse, alcoholism, demographics...
Until that happens, according to Gary Kleck, “The best policy goal to pursue may be to shift the distribution of gun possession as far as possible in the direction of likely aggressors being disarmed, with as few prospective victims as possible being disarmed. To disarm non-criminals [through more gun control laws] in the hope that this might indirectly help reduce access to guns among criminals is a very high-stakes gamble, and the risks will not be reduced by pretending that crime victims rarely use guns for self-defense” (Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control).
I have stated this on my blog three years ago: I view the 2nd amendment's declaration that “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” as a guaranteed right of the State as well as an assured right of an individual.
Moreover, although I agree with “gun control legislation [that mandates] prohibitions on concealed weapons and possession of firearms by felons and the mentally-deranged, and laws imposing conditions and qualifications on a [specific] commercial sale of arms…” (District of Columbia v. Heller – Case Brief Summary), gun control legislation to decrease gun availability will not deter the potentially-deranged killer from obtaining weapons. Why? It is impossible to predict when the next mentally-ill person with a weapon will commit the next carnage.
I will also add this to provide some insight into myself: I do not - simply cannot - view any firearm as morally neutral. They are not like a knife or a car. Those can be used to hurt, but they are not designed to do so. Apart from target shooting and hunting, the purpose of guns (especially a hand gun) is to hurt or kill (or threaten to kill) other people. This is grave power, one I only put into the hands of legitimately constituted power holders like police or military.
Is there no way to tell? Maybe not definitively, and yes there is a black market criminals tap to get guns. But I refuse to believe an individual as mentally deficient and alienated as Adam Lanza would have been able to what he did without access to his mother's mini arsenal. Do you think he could have driven into an inner city neighborhood and negotiated his way to so much illegal firepower?
* Fully funding and fully staffing the ATF, bringing the minimum number of agents up from around 4,700 to at least 10,000 to fully track and investigate all federal gun crimes. (We prosecute less than 10% now.)
* Allowing direct appointment of the ATF leadership by the President and not requiring Senate approval of ATF leadership. (They've stymied a replacement now for months.)
* Adding staffing to US attorney's offices to fully prosecute every illegal attempted purchase of guns caught by improved background checks. I'm usually against mandatory minimums, but everyone needs to learn: play with illegal guns, go to jail. For a long, long time.
* Institute the background checks that were in the bill defeated in the Senate after Sandy Hook. That bill had 90% public approval. It should have been law.
* Not simply allow but mandate that the CDC study gun violence as a public health menace. Give researchers the ability to investigate whatever they deem epidemiologically appropriate and make any public policy recommendation they deem appropriate. NO MORE NRA CENSORSHIP!
None of these would impact any poor law abiding gun owner. They'd all help.