Below is an outline of a five point plan to reduce both individual and mass homicides in the US.
1. End the war on drugs. After battling for 50 years, with countless wasted lives and mountains of wasted money, it should be obvious to everyone that it this a pointless exercise. We have the highest imprisonment rate as a proportion of our total population in the world. A large proportion of these prisoners are there as a result of the illegal drug traffic and its ancillary crime and violence. Save the billions being spent on drug agents and jails for the other things to be suggested below.
2. Dismantle the internal anti-terrorism apparatus. It is too costly, it truncates privacy rights by creating a surveillance society and it accomplishes nothing. The FBI is quite capable of protecting us without tapping everyone’s phone and reading their e-mail. Abolish the TSA. Let the carriers handle security and pass the cost on to the travelers. Save the billions for other things to be suggested below.
3. Use information sharing to prevent mental patients from buying guns legally. The current instant check system is efficient and non-intrusive, but is only as good as the information it is given. In every case, the mass murderers have histories of mental illness that would have prevented them from buying a handgun in most states, if the sellers had only had the information. They didn’t because instant check didn’t. This can be done with very little money and quickly. Include military semi-autos in the group of firearms that need instant check to buy.
4. Stop illegal gun traffic. Use item 3 to end the illegal gun trafficking, including any being done by the BATF. Banning the private ownership of categories of firearms by law abiding, mentally sound citizens does nothing the stop this traffic. Law enforcement has to focus on the bad guys rather than the objects.
5. Use the savings from 1 and 2 to increase funding for mental health treatment of troubled young people. In many cases, the families had nowhere to turn when dealing with their violently paranoid children. This needs to end. Mental health professionals will tell you that there is no way to predict of a specific individual will commit a mass killing, and I agree with that, but I can make an observation: None of the mass killers were undergoing active psychiatric treatment at the times they committed their crimes. Lots of people fit the “profile,” but the ones who do it are always alone in whatever mental state that allows them to commit these atrocities. We don’t have to let this happen and we shouldn’t.