I'm not convinced by the penalty threat suggested above as an actual deterrent - the threat of jail time has little to no effect, and this has been shown time and time again.Archibald,I agree with part of your outlook,warm fuzzy f feel good BS is useless.
a simple straightforward partial solution:
Universal background checks.
This would include a database, so far the NRA and others in the gun lobby have background check data kept on paper,no central computer electronically transmitted data is available. Current process has participating gun sellers submit their request and the government never responds or responds long after the prescribed waiting period.
Basic safety training and standards.
Anybody buying a gun or ammunition would need to present a Gun Safety Card for the purchase,like you do for a bottle of wine or whisky. Presenting a valid ID that is similarly required for a pack of cigarettes.
mandatory prosecution for gun crime involvement.
If a weapon you own is used in the commission of a crime,you are subject to a non negotiable year in jail. Like the Sandy Hook example. If the shooter gets a gun,ammo or support from someone else,that responsible person goes to jail.
Safe Zone laws..
Get caught a gun in a school,preschool,airport or hospital. 5 year minimum.
If those non feel good measures don't have an impact on gun violence,keep those and add additional safeguards until numbers decline.
Also don't use weapons,like nuclear bombs against tropical storms and other weather events.
Likewise, while the background checks and waiting periods sound great in theory, weren't there two of the more famous recent mass shooters through those systems without raising any flags? Hell, wasn't the florida nightclub guy on an FBI list at some point, then dropped off it before doing his thing?
Put them in place by all means, especially licencing, but dont' expect any instant results, or for the crims to come to that party
I think you catch the nail on the head in your last sentence - that thought process to use weapons to solve an issue.
As jmdirt mentions above about it being more socially acceptable to hit/punch someone, that you have an issue with, back in the 80's. Hell, I got bullied at school. I knew where my father's rifle was, and where the bullets were. But, never did I think that I should take them to high school and shoot up the bunch of ar$h0les that were doing it... It's that thought process that now seems to be the more [socially?] acceptable solution to kids having such issues, that I'm interested in. That is where I feel the root cause of much of this is, and therefore where you look for effective solutions.
I grew up with frequent stays on rural property where we took and used my dad's rifle. Was taught to respect that it wasn't a toy, how to handle it and use it safely, as well as what to use it for (mostly rabbit/fox "hunting"/culling)... so is the issue from parenting/education??
Or is that change from the media, as dj hints towards?