The carnage never stops. (We passed that particular milestone four days ago, actually.)
James Fallows passes on the following comment from a reader:
This panel, and the rest of the media nearly always misses two points that are critical.- Daily gun deaths [not the big massacres] are the real killer.- The shooters are most likely to be either pissed off and jealous or perfectly rational with a heavily distorted value system, not mentally ill. And mental health experts state whenever they can that it is very hard to determine which patients will become violent. Most will not, and that is certain.
This is absolutely true. The massacres may get our attention, and this last one seems to have finally got us moving on this issue again. But it's the day-to-day killings that really add up: we've had the equivalent of 37 Newtowns since Newtown. In other words, every day's another Newtown.
Banning high-capacity magazines will help with the massacres, but not with the everyday shootings. It's really hard to say what will help with those. But I think it wouldn't hurt to try Sir Charles' idea for a free-market solution: require gun owners to carry liability insurance, and let the insurance industry sort out the risks. That would also put a well-financed lobby on the right side of the issue, for once. And maybe we'd get lucky, and the ongoing cost of insurance would cause a few malcontents to throw in the towel and sell off their guns.
Universal gun registration would be a necessary precondition of such a step, and unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be part of President Obama's proposal. It's unfortunate - if there were ever a time to press for it, now would be the time.