Stricter gun laws are not the silver bullet (pardon the pun)
IMHO, the American People is a wonderful bunch. Hospitable, eager to go the extra mile, curious, adventurous, creative, innovative, moral, spiritual, artful, persistent, playful, traditional, respectful, on the whole.
However, also some negative aspects color American society. One is that it has a violent trigger-happy culture where life is cheap. Also emotional life, looking at the rape rate.
This is not innate. Historically, something went wrong. It is amendable.
By now it is well-known (and soon it will also be well-understood) that something was seriously off at the time of the funding of the Republic. Racism is the short term for a went wrong in a country that got started on mass-murdering the Native population, inventing modern (skin-color-based) racism, and trading in and employing (exploiting) Black slaves.
Furthermore, the Nation got rooted in war. Its War of Independence and (the aggression wasn’t over) a Civil War (nothing civil about it).
In this violent mix of bloodshed, the Constitution was written and it included the Right to Bear Arms. So that citizens could defend themselves if a government would start infringing on their basic rights.
But now, firearms hurt more than they prevent injury. We’ll return to this.
Around the Globe
This is very different from the situation in the Jewish part of Israel. Here many people wear a loaded weapon but for personal safety and the safety of the people around them. The permission is given on a personal basis after careful evaluation and selection. No mass shootings or bank heists.
On Island they love rifles. Fire arm sales boom. They are cruel enough to consider hunting animals a nice hobby. But they don’t shoot each other. Maybe they kill (!) their aggression on animals. Gun owners first get shooting lessons. Semi-automatic and military-style weapons are banned.
Switzerland hasn’t had a mass shooting in two decades. Some 8 million people there own some 2 million guns. The murder rate is about zero. Teenagers train there in shooting competitions. No killing involved. No military conflict since 1815. No enemy will invade. Too many arms around. Very strict gun laws. Been aggressive or drunk, no gun. No walking around with guns. They do have gun suicides as in all rich spoiled countries.
Japan sees some 10 shooting deaths a year in a population of 127 million. Owners must first pass a mental-health evaluation at a hospital, and a background check including interviews of friends and family members. No handguns, only shotguns and air rifles. The Japanese were known as the most vicious around. Losing a world war seems to help. (Ask Germany.)
In The Netherlands, murder is mainly the prerogative of the mafia. Ever since women are equal in number in the police force, much violence is diffused and prevented. This has a ripple effect on the whole of society.
So Much Can Be Done in the USA
. One of the Ten Commandments is against murder, not against all killing. Planning to kill someone is a category in itself. It must be taught properly.
. Restrictive gun laws seem to help most. Countries, that had authorities massively buy back weaponry, saw murder rates plummet too. So, those are the first two things that should happen in the US. But there’s more.
. The armed police must no longer interfere in cases of domestic disputes, or physical or emotional distress. Social workers are trained to do so.
. Life seems too cheap in the US. Besides getting most people out of jail (not the worst murderers), the US should abolish capital punishment. The laws to see if someone ‘deserves’ the death penalty are contradictory to Biblical Law. The Talmud explains that the judges had to try to exonerate every accused. If someone was still guilty, G^d could deal with him. It calls a court that convicted more than one person to death per 7 years: a bunch of murderers. And some Sages say that with more than one in 70 years! Also, death row is considered cruel and so are the ways the US executes.
. Eating less meat may help too in teaching that death is a horrible thing.
Next on the list to make life in the US more peaceful: uproot poverty and homelessness, free health insurance for all, a basic income, and real social security. No one who lost her or his job should feel that now life is over.
. Last but not least, history needs to be reevaluated. White America needs to admit, regret, disavow, mourn, and right the historic wrong of racism. In the same way, the American People needs to revisit its violent past. There is a need to deeply regret all the killing and bloodshed that drenched the foundation of the State. Stop denying and stop falsely blaming the Natives for having been vicious. From now on, the best hero is not someone who killed the most or got sacrificed, but someone who prevents bloodshed.