So, gun control discussions are now on the front burner. Again. I suppose it might be a start to do something about those assault weapons (hey, Mr. Bush), but even that will be a battle. Given that the opposition to restrictions HAS the assault weapons, it could be a bloody battle. "Cold dead hands" and all that.
I don't see anything being done about handguns. Just ain't gonna happen, folks.
The American culture celebrates --- something --- I don't know what to call it. "Rugged individualism" sounds good, but that's not it. That's just buzz words. Same with "rights" and "freedom". More pretty buzz words.
It's more like a xenophobic, running scared, defensive machismo, hiding behind the pretty "patriotic" buzz words. If you take their guns away, you have castrated them.
Ain't gonna happen.
What scares me the most are the folks who want everyone to carry concealed weapons, all the time. There are actually some schools (guess which state) where teachers are encourage to carry. Ok, if people in the movie theater had guns, or if the classroom teachers had guns, maybe the carnage would have been less.
Think about this --- and think hard about it. There are a few people who decide to commit mass murder. They are rare. One here, one there. It would be nice to keep them unarmed, but we can't. If you're in a theater, or a school, or a mall, there is probably way less than one chance in a couple million that there's a potential mass murderer there with you.
On the other hand, stupid people are everywhere. Assholes are everywhere. You can safely bet that the more stupid they are, the bigger an asshole, the more likely they are to be packing, if they're allowed to, and as soon as they are allowed to. And as soon as you strap a gun on a guy (yeah, I'm biased against testosterone here) he's going to be looking for opportunities to use it. It has been shown in study after study that a person carrying a concealed weapon becomes more vigilant, more paranoid, more nervous. If you're in a theater, what's the chances that you're surrounded by armed idiots and assholes? A hundred Zimmermans anxious for the chance to be a "hero"? Just don't drop anything loud on the floor (or shake your Skittles). "Oops...." And no one will ever again be able to carry an umbrella.
The only solution is to change the culture. Make gun ownership a low-class thing. Sneer at guns. Take the attitude that someone with a gun is less than a man.
That ain't gonna happen any time soon.
[P.S. Timothy McVeigh didn't need a gun.]