A very well-written piece by Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker called The Simple Truth about Gun Control.
Those who fight against gun control, actively or passively, with a shrug
of helplessness, are dooming more kids to horrible deaths and more
parents to unspeakable grief just as surely as are those who fight
against pediatric medicine or childhood vaccination. It’s really, and
inarguably, just as simple as that.
Keep in mind that when you have people like former Governor Rick Perry who called the Charleston mass murders an "accident." This idiot is running for President. (He claims he meant "incident." Still an idiot and the irony to that is that we have so many large-scale killings in this country that they are now "incidents.") I note that Hillary Clinton says "this time we have to find answers together." That's great but we've heard that before. At Columbine, V-tech, New Town. Which "incident" will it take?
Even within this gun-crazy country, states with strong gun laws have
fewer gun murders (and suicides and accidental killings) than states
Gun control is not a panacea, any more than
penicillin was. Some violence will always go on. What gun control is
good at is controlling guns. Gun control will eliminate gun massacres in
America as surely as antibiotics eliminate bacterial infections. As I wrote last week,
those who oppose it have made a moral choice: that they would rather
have gun massacres of children continue rather than surrender whatever
idea of freedom or pleasure they find wrapped up in owning guns or
seeing guns owned—just as the faith healers would rather watch the
children die than accept the reality of scientific medicine. This is a
moral choice; many faith healers make it to this day, and not just in
thought experiments. But it is absurd to shake our heads sapiently and
say we can’t possibly know what would have saved the lives of Olivia and
On gun violence and how to end it, the
facts are all in, the evidence is clear, the truth there for all who
care to know it—indeed, a global consensus is in place, which, in
disbelief and now in disgust, the planet waits for us to us to join.
I weighed in elsewhere but here's what I think could make a difference.
As Mr. Gopnik says, strong gun laws = fewer gun murders. That's one.
Two, don't laugh but make bullets (except for law enforcement) more expensive. A lot more expensive.
Three, make sure there are heavy civil penalties for negligence for those who do not secure their guns in their homes/cars and a gun incident occurs. They don't have to go to jail; they just have to keenly feel the financial pain of their indifference to the power of a loaded gun. When you hit people in their wallets, they tend to pay attention.
It's interesting because Washington State is, indeed, an open carry state but I have never seen anyone do this. (Not saying it doesn't happen, I just haven't seen it.)
To note, from Wikipedia:
The Federal Gun Free School Zones Act
limits where a person may legally carry a firearm by generally
prohibiting carry within one-thousand (1000) feet of the property-line
of any K-12 school in the nation with private property excluded.