This is, admittedly, an incomplete thought, so I’ll share it as an observation:
The problem we’re trying to solve is gun violence.
Gun control is a vague label attached to policy ideas. Calling this a gun control debate already cuts off a number of possible solutions that may not involve simply banning guns. The mental health angle that so many folks are talking about isn’t about controlling guns, for example.
We could also talk about mandatory gun safety education. Or tax incentives for using gun safes at home. Incentives or coverage to have periodic mental health screenings just like we do vaccines. I’m sure there are a dozen different ideas out there that I can’t even imagine that might work.
Sure, we will want to talk about gun purchasing restrictions, too. And, yes, there are problems with all of those things I just mentioned, but something tells me there’s not a simple solution that’s going to be perfect to deal with this. The point is to get ideas on the table, then evaluate them. Can’t do that without getting the ideas out first.
Anyway, just a random thought this morning as I spent it with my wife and son. We need to focus on the violence part and deal with the guns as much or as little as we need to in order to reach that goal.
PS: I don’t know what to call people that don’t believe in unfettered gun access… the motivations are quite different among various groups, and as such the common labels seem to carry too much baggage.