Here’s a very tired, very frustrated Obama breaking down the steps in a Typical American Mass Shooting.
“We spend over a trillion dollars and pass countless laws and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so. And yet we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths.
“When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities.
” So the notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon,… doesn’t make sense.”
It’s a lot like Kübler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief, except we never get beyond step 1: Denial. These things happen to someone else. There are too many guns, there’s nothing to be done about it.
Except that’s not remotely true. Here’s Will Oremus, writing for Slate:
After a 1996 Mass Shooting, Australia Enacted Strict Gun Laws. It Hasn’t Had a Similar Massacre Since.
“On April 28, 1996, a gunman opened fire on tourists in a seaside resort in Port Arthur, Tasmania. By the time he was finished, he had killed 35 people and wounded 23 more. It was the worst mass murder in Australia’s history.
“Twelve days later, Australia’s government did something remarkable … it announced a bipartisan deal with state and local governments to enact sweeping gun-control measures. A decade and a half hence, the results of these policy changes are clear: They worked really, really well.
“At the heart of the push was a massive buyback of more than 600,000 semi-automatic shotguns and rifles, or about one-fifth of all firearms in circulation in Australia. The country’s new gun laws prohibited private sales, required that all weapons be individually registered to their owners, and required that gun buyers present a “genuine reason” for needing each weapon at the time of the purchase. (Self-defense did not count.) In the wake of the tragedy, polls showed public support for these measures at upwards of 90 percent.” (Full article here)
So that’s all there is to it.
Buy back the guns from those who will sell — probably at an obscene markup to encourage trade-ins;
Prohibit private sales;
Restrict commercial sales to hunters and sport shooters (e.g.: If you say you plan to hunt rabbits, your license doesn’t allow you to buy a high-powered rifle).
If Australia can do it, so can we. Let Australian Jim Jeffries entertain and enlighten you on the subject: