Most of the guys who walk into schools to shoot kids have said or done extremely troubling things leading up to the massacre.
As a practically lifelong gun owner (I got my first .22 rifle at age 12 and now keep that rifle, three shotguns and a Glock pistol in a gun safe), I’m somewhere between Second Amendment, pry-it-from-my-cold-dead-fingers absolutists and the confiscate-them-all anti-gunners. After the failure of even minimal gun restrictions in Congress following the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, nothing surprises me.
But I keep hoping. If I could wave a wand and make two things happen in Congress, they would be these: Universal emergency protective orders (“red-flag” laws). Most of the guys – and they overwhelmingly are deluded and angry young men – who walk into schools to shoot kids have said or done extremely troubling things leading up to the massacres, usually enough to alert friends, family, teachers to their growing lunacy.
Give people the right – and if possible the duty – to report them, and a judge the power (where it doesn’t already exist) to confiscate their guns at least temporarily and bar them from buying more. Yes, there a lot of problems with this, and it’s at best a partial fix, but we’ve got to try things.