It seems that after every tragedy involving guns, there is a knee-jerk reaction calling for measures that do not work. There are always calls for “common sense” gun laws. No amount of legislation can prevent a heinous act of violence.
The very notion of trying to regulate human behavior by regulating an inanimate object has never worked, cannot work, and never will work. Why not consider some things that have a chance of working?
Project Exile is a partnership between local police and federal prosecutors in Richmond, Virginia. A criminal act with a gun gets federal time. Gun violence has been greatly reduced. How about a partnership between police and schools? Ask any secondary teacher if he or she has ever had a potential psychopath in class. But to do so would require changes to privacy laws. Are we willing to do that? Not likely.
The current background check system is flawed in that it cannot show if a person has ever been treated for mental illness. To do so would mean changing HIPA laws. Are we willing to do so? Not Likely.
The next great panacea is the Red Flag laws that allow a family member to report a relative they deem to be dangerous. The police could then seize the "dangerous" person’s guns. In theory, family members are most likely to see a potential killer early on. This idea can work if it guarantees due process to the accused. What prevents a person being branded dangerous out of revenge, or hate? Such laws need to be written carefully. Can we avoid a time consuming and cumbersome process? Not likely.
Meanwhile, legislators continue to increasingly restrict the people who have done nothing wrong. Sort of like saying that to have fewer DUI events we should have fewer cars.
Mount Holly Springs