The reaction of gun-control proponents following a shooting death is similar to placing a stop sign at a dangerous intersection after a family has died there. How many deaths is "too many" to the lawmakers in Washington? Logically, the number should be one, but too many lobbyists, too much red tape and a shared paucity of backbone among members of both houses of Congress stand in the way of a solution to the issue.
Guns do not kill people; people kill people. The difficulty rests in defining which people should be allowed to purchase weapons. Firearm registration documents already contain questions about whether the applicant has been institutionalized for mental illness, and a "yes" disqualifies a person immediately. Yet many of the shooters in the recent atrocious shootings are said to have been mentally ill as they brandished their guns and killed innocent people.
Should the United States adopt a policy to ban gun ownership, the first hurdle would be amending the Constitution. The second would be trying to cope with an inevitable increase in the crime rate.
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