In the wake of Las Vegas, there have been calls to finally legislate the "gun control" that has evaded the United States (except for in states like California, Illinois, and Louisiana which have high amount of gun deaths and some of the strictest state gun laws) for decades (except for the banning of automatic weapons in 1934 via the National Firearms Act and then the Firearms Owner Protections Act in 1986, which heavily regulated old automatic weapons and banned the purchase of new ones, but let's not pay that any mind). See the point I'm making? We already have laws that make it difficult to get these "assault weapons."
Regardless of what the media or your brilliant college kid tells you, regardless of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban- which President Bill Clinton passed in 1994- expired in 2004, the amount of gun deaths has continued to steadily decline. You can pull out the statistic of roughly 30,000 Americans were killed in 2011. But let's dispel some of the notions in there: Two-thirds of those were suicides, roughly 2,500 were accidental shootings, and the remaining approximate 8,000 were murders. Very sad, but of those 8,000 only 323 were committed with rifles, and an even smaller percentage of those victims were killed by "assault rifles." See here: https://hotair.com/archives/2015/10/04/the-truth-about-gun-deaths-numbers-and-actual-solutions
Wow, that's amazing.
Now, according to an article written by Maggie Koerth- Baker at FiveThirtyEight.com, while the number of mass shootings have gone up since 2000, the overall number of homicide victims in which a gun was used has decreased. The explanation? Well, it is not entirely clear. According to the author, the situation depends on the victim, the perpetrator, and the given situation. Comparing gang violence on the south side of Chicago to the attack in Las Vegas is like comparing apples and oranges: both fruit, but ultimately different. The solution? Again, not as simple as one might think (read more directly from FiveThirtyEight.com: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/mass-shootings-are-a-bad-way-to-understand-gun-violence/)
So what are people calling to legislate? Like in plenty of instances in the past, some Americans are calling to legislate morality. Like in the 1920's with Prohibition or in the 1980's with the War on Drugs, guns are seen as a menace to society when abused by some people. But that's the thing, isn't it: when abused by some people. If you're asking me, I believe most killers with legally obtained guns are a minority of gun owners. Don't believe me? Take into consideration that there are more guns than people in the United States and yet the amount of gun deaths is under a fraction of a percent of the American population. For a device "only meant to kill people," there is an amazing amount of restraint. (Also see: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/27/new-evidence-confirms-what-gun-rights-advocates-have-been-saying-for-a-long-time-about-crime/?utm_term=.9cfb0588769b and http://www.gunfacts.info/gun-control-myths/crime-and-guns/)
If there's an issue in the United States, I believe it is that of misunderstanding mental illness. Mental illness is often depicted in media as as affliction that only criminals and serial killers suffer from. In actuality, mental illness affects numerous people in numerous ways: from anxiety in college students to depression after a loss of a loved one to Post-Traumatic Stress after a life-changing event.
The problem with trying to legislate guns based on mental illness is that 1.) we don't know how mental illness affects people on an individual basis and 2.) an omnibus law that rips the rights away from people due to a problem they didn't cause is not the answer.
People are looking to legislate evil. Give the government enough power, and you'd think evil would be vanquished. But in reality, only the good people suffer. Even if the criminal is incapable of acquiring a rifle illegally, they can carry out an attack with a blade (see Minneapolis, MN; French train attack; Poland; Oklahoma City, OK), with a vehicle (see Nice, France; Charlottesville, VA; Oklahoma City, OK; Brussels, Belgium; etc); homemade bombs (Boston Marathon Bombing, MA; Oklahoma City, OK; Paris, France). Evil will always find a way, it's up to the good people to stop them.
God bless- DB