So this thread is sort of meant to piggyback on eeyn's on the issue of Doing Something in the wake of the recent shooting. So, here's a general presentation of facts that we'll need to deal with in discussing firearm violence:
1) Homicides are at sixty-year lows. Seriously, our murder rate hasn't been this low since men wore dapper hats in public non ironically.
1a) America's homicide rates are generally way behind Western Europe and Canada, but ahead of the former USSR and developing world.
1b) Spree killings are horrifying, but statistically, they amount to a rounding error in tallying up the number of gun homicides.
1c) Something seems to have caused the number of spree killings to kick up recently, but it's hard to know because these events are rare enough that it's hard to figure out trends.
2) The framers of the Constitution pretty clearly intended the Second Amendment to apply to an individual right to own firearms.
2a) But they also intended this right to exist in an environment when all Military Age Males could be called on for militia service.
2b) Even in the days of the early Republic, militias were mustered by city and state governments and reported to the state government. Even a citizen militia reports to its state government.
2c) The days of those state militias are long-gone. These days the state militias have been replaced by the National Guard. Your average citizen doesn't report one weekend a month for drill and spend a month in summer training.
2d) All of which having been said, we still have an individual right to keep and bear arms that both recent legal scholarship and the courts have said is there.
2e) But even Scalia has said that an individual right can be regulated.
3) If you've argued for flexibility on the Fourth and Eighth Amendments and Establishment Clause, you can't really huff and puff with indigantion about the Second Amendment.
4) The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was, by the time it reached WJC's desk, largely based on cosmetic elements. If you want an effective ban on assault weapons, you'd need to basically outlaw any weapon in which the gas discharged by a round going off drove the bolt into position. But that ban probably runs into constitutional limits.
4a) There are already so many military-grade rifles in circulation that you'd basically need to confiscate existing weapons to have a ban be at all effective. And then you run up against the Constitution.
5) Since 1968, the manufacture of fully-automatic weapons for civilian use has been illegal. But in some states you can still own machine guns made before then, although they're subject to a strict licensing regime.
5a) You almost never see a spree shooting that happens with machine guns. Machine guns tend to be the preserve of the well-heeled hobbyist and stay out of the hands of the unbalanced. The level of regulation that applies to Class 3 weapons might be a good place to start for keeping guns safe and legal.
6) Any actual gun control legislation is a dead letter while the GOP controls Congress, so immediate calls to Do Something aren't going to go anywhere.
7) You can do a rather effective spree shooting with a bolt action rifle or pistol, but it does raise the threshold of competence for the would-be spree shooter.
8) Any proposal to train kindergartners to launch banzai charges at spree shooters or to give all teachers a 9mm is not an actual proposal but the conversational equivalent of a squid blowing ink.
Did I miss anything?