I appreciate that it sounds like your mind is open, but it’s silly and a pet peeve that people who have no interest in being anywhere near a gun ever should have to know what distinction you and the NRA are drawing between an AR-15 and an assault rifle. Wikipedia doesn’t know the difference, either. People who have zero interest in violence shouldn’t have to go to the shooting range to feel the zen of shooting.
Though my depression, combined with a reasonable IQ, combined with a beautiful family have made the decision for me to never have a gun in my home, I do know about guns. I “grew up around guns”. So did my dad, and when his life took a bad turn, rather than turn things around, he used his .22 shotgun, bought cheap in the classified ads, to end his life. The night before he shot himself, my mom awoke to find him standing at the foot of the bed, watching her sleep. My sisters and I had been sent to stay with family, probably because my parents knew shit was hitting the proverbial fan, but every time I think about how easy it is for sick people to have guns, I wonder how many synapses my mom, sisters, and I were from being one of the many many families that gets shot to death by their dad.
There should be universal, effective background checks and waiting periods. Any sign of mental illness or domestic violence should be disqualifying (though I worry that this will prevent people from seeking help). Guns should be taxed like the death and disability machines they are. Guns shouldn’t be able to kill tons of people without reloading. We should do buybacks and whatever else Australia and Canada do. Gun owners should face prison time if their guns are stored so a child or criminal can get to them. When there’s a murder, we should all hear whose gun that was that killed that child and who sold/gave it to the loser who did it.
I was thinking the other morning, “What if the NRA started using some of the money they make after these shootings to help people see the signs that they shouldn’t be around a gun? Feeling blue? Don’t buy a gun. Got a kid who’s a little weird? Don’t buy a gun. Have kids and you’re not so great at putting things away when you’re done with them? Don’t buy a gun.” And then I remembered that the NRA exists to sell guns.
So. That’s what I think.