What kind of gun control can work?

The recent mass murder in Connecticut has moved a lot of people to propose a ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines.  If all one wants to do is stop school shootings that is probably a start.  We would also need to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.   In Newtown, the guns were owned by one of the victims, who encouraged the shooter, her mentally ill son, to learn how to use these weapons. (No prizes for smart parenting here.)   Perhaps we need to keep guns away from idiotic parents who take mentally ill sons to target ranges. 

In a real sense school shootings are not the real problem. The real problem is gun violence.  The US is a major outlier.    The US has a far higher rate of gun deaths and gun murders than any other wealthy country.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate) The problem is the availability of so many guns.  As far as stopping the misuse of guns at home, this might be impossible with the current gun ideology prevalent in the US.  What is possible is to slowly take the easy availability of guns for common criminals.   In order to reduce gun use by criminals in the US we need to track gun ownership and record all gun transfers.  A good portion of guns that are used in crime are purchased legally, either by the criminal or by a family member.  If the US required gun registration (either at the state level like cars or federal level), it would make it possible to stop many guns that currently go to criminals from being involed in crime. The idea that gun registration is tantamount to confiscation is ridiculous.  Registration like this is unconnected to confiscation. We register cars ownership and sales and nobody thinks we are trying to confiscate cars.  In MN most boats must be registered.  So, why not guns? Currently the gun lobby has blocked any attempt at federal gun registration. 

We should probably have a nationally mandated state registration system, modeled on how we register cars.

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