First, the guns we most need to control are those in the hands of the police, the military and the secret agencies that are neither. Getting these guns under control means we make sure the job of these agencies is to serve people, not to oppress them. Just the number of unarmed people openly killed by police agencies far outweighs the number killed in the church in Charleston and all similar events. This does not count the numbers killed by drone attacks on wedding parties, secret assassinations, etc., etc.
It’s not just the actions of those armed by the state. There’s a whole culture – movies, TV shows, ceremonies to honor soldiers and police (some paid for by the Pentagon) – glorifying those armed by the state. When this culture dies out, we’ll know we’re making some progress controlling state-sponsored violence.
Second, if we had single-payer health care which covers mental hospitals, many of the nutty people who act out with guns could be getting treatment instead of shooting people. Whether they were racist or not, an astounding percentage of school/church/theater/crowd killers were on the street and taking drugs known to make a significant number of users violent. That’s not anything like good treatment, but it is what insurance companies will pay for.
Third, if we can get the first two under control, then we will see how much of a problem it actually is for ordinary citizens to own guns. Maybe periodic competency testing, as we do for drivers’ licenses, will be adequate.
If we focus on the least important aspect of gun violence and let the other two go, then no significant improvement will be made. Of course, police, military, other agencies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and so on would like us to look at anyone but them. Don’t go along with this bull$#!+. As the earlier civil rights movement correctly said, keep your eyes on the prize.