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December 15, 2012


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" Identifying those people likely to do this is challenging"

It's not "challenging" -- there's zero evidence this is even possible, let alone effective. I'm all for commonsense regulations that restrict gun sales to known high-risk individuals, but we will probably never come up with a reliable method to identify the Lanzas and Laughners before they snap. I mean, if people want to administer the psychopath test as a prerequisite for gun purchasers, that's all well and good.

But the only thing that has ever actually proven to be effective in preventing gun violence is restricting the supply of firearms, controlling which types of weapons are available, and limiting magazine capacity. We know these laws work, they explain the relative gun violence per firearm rates in Canada vs. the US.


I'm all with you on that, and I know my friend is too. my question for him was, given recent Supreme Court jurisprudence on the 2nd amendment, what would be possible in the near future.


Here's what I think: blue state governors and legislatures should be pushed to taking up the same level of restrictions on gun ownership and sales that red state governors do with abortion and women's health. Mandate long waiting periods, widespread notification (your family, your local police department, the state police department, your place of employment), a full psychological test profile, as well as a viewing of Bowling for Columbine before someone can buy a gun. Gun sales should absolutely have to be recorded, in all instances, and gun salespeople should be registered, licensed and required to be, at the very least, auxiliary police officers in their local community. If they're not, they shouldn't be allowed to sell guns in the state. If you want to restrict access to a thing, we know what works. So let's do that.

The real larger issue here, though, is completely cultural. These mass events are terrible, but they're not the ones we should be concerned about. More people died in Chicago this summer from gun deaths than in Afghanistan. A man killed his girlfriend and himself two weeks ago and people are rushing to explain it away. And yes, two disturbed individuals took multiple lives with guns this week and received bountiful attention for it. We have a culture that says if you have a problem, if you're angry about something or upset, grab a gun and take care of it. That's the larger problem. How do we confront that?

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