Howdy j4d3! I hope your night has been going well. Do you mind if I throw some advice your way? It seems like the subject of gun control is a very important issue for you and even though you and I are on separate pages here, I really want you to feel encouraged to explore the subject. It's an important issue that affects a lot of people, I think not only here in The States, but worldwide. So if you could give this an honest read, I'd much appreciate it.
One of the crazy things about guns and discussing them is that everyone has an opinion on the subject and those opinions vary wildly. There are people out there who believe that the world would be a much better place if we beat all of our swords into plowshares, while there are others who want to hold steadfastly on their rights to purchase, own, and enjoy firearms with little to no interference. Then there are people in the middle ground, like me, who believe that guns have their place, but that temperance and well thought out laws in regards to guns also have their place. So here's where it gets crazy. When it comes to talking about guns, no matter what position you take, if you want to talk about them seriously, you really need to know your facts. There's tons of them out there, and whether you're pro gun or pro gun control, there's someone that can out debate you on the subject if you're looking to fight about the matter.
I want to preface this by addressing your response to yellowoftops insightful post.
If you think Dylann Roof should have been able to buy an assault weapon, I'm not sure we're going to find common ground.
It's awesome that you understand where your viewpoints are and where they might clash with others when it comes to terms of opinions. When you understand what your own personal biases are and why they are what they are, you can use that knowledge to help reduce the kneejerk reactions you have when it comes to discussing issues you care deeply about. That said, as yellowoftops has pointed out, this particular crime was committed with a handgun and not an assault rifle. That's a very important distinction to make, as the types of firearms people can purchase do vary based upon factors such as state and federal laws, as well as the age of the purchaser.
I'm kind of getting the idea that you think our government is loosey goosey with creating laws when it comes down to guns. The fact is, you couldn't be further from the truth. Guns here in The States are tightly regulated, some states (California for instance) being much tighter than others (Wisconsin). However, even the "less regulated" states have tons of laws that say what you can and can't do with guns. If I went into every last bit of detail and went and pulled up sources for everything, we'd be here all night. Suffice to say, there are laws that regulate the purchasing, selling, shipping and transportation of guns, modifying guns, and on and on and on. Most of those laws are federal, though individual states have a lot of say in the matter as well where they feel it is prudent. Speaking of State laws, some states have even stricter laws than the federal laws. Then there are things like state reciprocity laws in regards to concealed carry, that is if you live in Wisconsin and have a concealed carry license, that license may be considered valid in some states and not valid in others. For the people who own firearms and have a respect for the law, there is a lot to know and take in, and while a lot of people might gripe saying that some laws are too ridiculous, for the most part they'll follow them because the consequences of neglecting to do so can be quite severe.
If you want, what I'm going to do is stop here, because I don't want you to feel like I'm lecturing you. I am however going to throw a few links your way for you to peruse if you so wish, and I do hope you do because I think it's great to be well informed on the issue of guns. I will tell you though, that I'm no expert, so if you want to get deeper and more detailed information, you might want to find yourself someone a bit more qualified. I promise you though, they're a dime a dozen so you wouldn't have too hard of a time doing so.
The federal agency that oversees the sales of firearms is the ATF. Some people would argue, though I wouldn't know myself, that out of all the federal agencies the ATF is full of the most strict and hard assed agents.
Form 4473 is the standard "Background Check" form that every person has to fill out every time they purchase a firearm through a licensed gun shop. It goes into the basics like name, address, etc. and then it gets into some finer details, such as criminal history. While it's a felony to lie on this form, some people get around it through "Loopholes" such as purchasing a gun from a private seller or having someone purchase a gun in their name on your behalf, also known as a "Straw Purchase."
The Second Amendment Foundation is a foundation that is concerned about protecting the rights of gun owners. What the EFF is to technology, they are to guns.
The NRA started out as a sportsman group but it eventually became the biggest gun lobbyist group in The States. I feel it can honestly be argued that at this point, they're more concerned with the rights and interests of gun manufacturers than they are concerned with the rights of individual gun owners, but the waters on this issue are a bit murky, as they're closely tied together.
Here's a breakdown on Concealed Carry and here's a breakdown on Open Carry. To the very right of the Open Carry link is a list of a ton of articles about the various Gun Laws that have been passed in The States over the years. It's definitely worth checking out if you have a free Sunday afternoon.
I really feel like I'm bombarding you with a wall of text here, so I'll leave things as they are. However, I want to encourage you to keep on talking about this issue in hopes that not only will you be able to sharpen your own debate skills on this particular subject, but can also come to a better understanding about guns, the rights of gun owners, and laws in general. I hope you're having a great night man and I hope you keep doing what you're doing, cause let's face it, you're kind of awesome.