Gun violence is a complex problem. No single solution will prevent all gun violence, and while some of the more sensible solutions I’ve written about are a significant part of a larger solution, there are a lot of other things we can do too. In other words, no one thing is ever going to be a complete solution. The gun industry knows this, as do the lawmakers they fund, which is why the only thing many congressmen have been capable of offering are thoughts and prayers. It’s easy for politicians to attack any single idea if it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Just like other complex problems, a multi-faceted solution is needed here. Also like other complex problems, the success metric shouldn’t be reducing gun violence to zero, but rather how much we can move the needle down from the 33,000 lives lost to gun violence each year. The need for a creative and sophisticated solution is especially true in the United States, as there is an inherent fear among part of the country that we will become just like Australia – a country that has had zero mass murders in the past 20 years, and yet still remains a democracy. This sounds simply awful to some.
Rather than go on about the need to follow Australia’s model (which we should), or the desperate need this country has to fire most of our politicians and reform campaign finance law (which we should), I’ll attempt to outline my opinion of what I think would move the needle on gun violence significantly in this country, keeping what is realistic in sight.