OMG, we have to do something, so we should ban the scary-looking plastic semi-auto rifle used by the latest madman killer. I don’t own one, such a ban would not personally affect me. But let us not fool ourselves, the AR-15 is not significantly different than a semi-automatic .22 I used to shoot in the general direction of squirrels in my youth.
But these guns are used in mass murders. Well, the grandfather of school shootings, Charles Whitman, used a bolt action Remington 700 from atop the tower at the University of Texas in 1966. The deadliest school shooting of all time in the US was carried out by a murderer toting a pair of handguns at Virginia Tech. The largest murder of school children was in 1927 at the Bath Township school in Michigan. A bomb was used. I guess there is nothing inherently evil in a black plastic gun that might make young adult males go on killing sprees.
It could be that the AR-15 is used because it is one of the best-selling guns in the US. Most criminals use a a Chevy, Ford, or Toyota as a getaway vehicle. I wonder why? It might be that some of these guys just want to be copycats and the AR-15 is what the last guy used.
We have to do something. This only happens in the US. According to Wikipedia, five of the top ten deadliest school killings occurred outside of the US, including the top 3. In fact, these killings happen all over the world, even in places with very strict gun laws like China.
We should make it hard to own a gun, really restrict who can have one. You mean like opioids? Well then let’s make guns totally illegal, get them off the streets and out of the hands of children. Just like we do pot, booze, heroin, and meth? Every state should have the same gun laws. Murder is already a crime in every state and locality.
Instead of restricting law-abiding gun owners, we should target criminals. How about this: If you use a gun in the commission of a crime, even if you do not shoot anyone, like in armed robbery, you get the death penalty. I am not talking in 15 years down the road, but in a reasonably short time. If a jury finds you guilty and an appeals court finds no error in the trial, then zip, zap, bang you are dead. Preferably, we do it it on the courthouse lawn, pour le encouragement au l’autres. I suspect gun crime will decrease quickly. Harsh? You bet. You wanted a solution didn’t you?