Now, now - I own the "average American arsenal" of 7 firearms. Like most such people, the very number is misleading since several of them are family heirlooms and several cannot even be fired - or would be impractial to load.
My sole handgun is a black powder replica I don't even know how to load. When I do manage, it usually misfires.
The one from the 1700s is a German fowling piece with a jammed barrel
- it hangs on a wall.
Two belong to a friend - I am keeping them for him - more antiques. (He lives in public housing and can't keep them there.)
I have two useable rifles and a shotgun. The Remington (probably the best) was my Dad's and his dad's, as was the shotgun.
The one solely mine is a European war vet - made in my birth year, 1940, and probably used to defend Russia from the Nazis. It is also useable but hard to load due to an oddity of design.
So first, as a matter of practicality, cut the gun ownership stats by at least half - probably two thirds. Most guns in American homes are mostly a danger to the one firing them. The police routinely use the higher number to scare voters into voting more money for policing - which they then use to buy cars and hand out traffic citations (which makes them $$$) NOT
for gun abatement/control.
The real problem remains mental illness
. Yet we routinely CUT
medical help for those who need it!
Now, as a lover of mystery fiction, I know how to kill someone with a knitting needle, part of a jellyfish and many ordinary household items... none
of which fire gunpowder. Yet no one really knows why people like this looney go so far off the rails as to do this. WHY? Because investigating it isn't as easy as scaring people into doubling your departmental budget.
In this case it begins to appear he had a dislike of police and was using the shooting to decoy them to his booby-trapped apartment so they would all die.
I might add that I have been socially friends with two documentably insane men, one of who is criminally insane. BOTH
of them think this sort of behavior is WAY off the scale of "crazy". Neither of them owns a gun. (Why? The law? No, my criminal pal is an ex-thief - he'd just steal one...)
I keep hoping one of these horrific incidents will trigger a RATIONAL
response, so we can find out what's at work in these minds. My belief is that we should change the sentences/punishment to life as an experimental subject for scientists investigating this form of madness.
This would also act as a serious deterrent, as "crazy" people fear psychiatry more than anything...