John, while I generally agree, the Orlando case points out a big, and probably insurmountable problem. The shooter was a US citizen with no criminal record. He had been investigated by the FBI twice, and their investigations were closed without charges. In addition, the shooter was a licensed security officer who carried a weapon at work, and worked for a Homeland Security contractor. I don’t recall seeing any report he was on any terror watch list.
We have the same problem with the mentally ill, the suicidal, pedophiles, and others who friends and family consider a risk, but who haven’t broken any laws.
The issue being, how do we legally limit the rights of anyone who has a clean criminal history (or has served their sentence)? My personal opinion is that anyone who attempts suicide, anyone who has a restraining order against them, and anyone considered a risk by a medical doctor should get a knock on their door and have their weapons seized. It still wouldn’t have stopped this shooter. Worse, doctors will argue that if they are mandatory reporters, people on the edge and actually willing to seek help will AVOID going to the doctor, and end up costing us more lives than the current system saves.
The people who commit these terrible crimes are almost always reported after the fact as scary, or dangerous, or deranged. What we have to address is the reality that few are willing to actually make those calls to report behavior, or the people responsible for evaluating risk reports can’t gather enough information to make a valid determination. Even with all that, I disagree with the idea of disarming a hundred million law abiding citizens in order to stop a dozen or so random killers every year when the body count is a rounding error compared to street violence and even traffic deaths. If we should disarm the population due to gun deaths, we should certainly outlaw private vehicles that kill more than 40,000 a year.