I was ruminating on this over my morning coffee after reading about Giffords' plaintive appeal in the paper this morning: I agree that something should be done, but it's not the firearms that cause the problem any more than it's that machete lying dormant in your basement. First, universal background checks aren't a bad thing, BUT the NRA has a valid point: what's the purpose of the check, if you're not going to prosecute those who lie on the form (a felony, by the way). If a universal requirement was also followed by universal prosecution for falsification, I'd favor it. And it should be applied to private sales as well. Let's leave the "inheritance" issue alone for now. Second, this "mental health" issue is a red herring; medical people are ALREADY required to report those who they believe will go bonkers to law enforcement (shrinks, chime in here?) Third, a storage requirement would pretty much eliminate the utility of any firearm to be used for defense within a home, so that won't work,either. This brings me to my thought on the actual question of the debate: is this for lunatic/criminal control as a means of preventing this outrageous violence, or is it's purpose to disarm a society completely so the people who have a phobia about guns will "feel safe"? I don't have any answer here if the question's to prevent the loony tunes from whacking people, but... the availability of firearms I don't believe is at the heart of the issue. When I was a kid, you could walk into any hardware store in the nation and walk out with an M1 Carbine, hi-cap mags and all, or a Garand, both battle rifles with a decent capacity and quick reloading ability. There were NO crazies blowing kids away in schools, so this looks like it's some sort of cultural or sociological issue. The crazies were there, for sure, but something else is going on now that wasn't present then. The sad thing is: while a University study to determine if the bubble curtain in a glass of Guinness actually goes down received a grant, but effects of violent video gaming? Haven't seen any. this may not have anything to do with the issue, either. Another thing that has drastically changed is the way we educate our kids. When I was a kid, and you were bullied, it was up to you to defend yourself-the school wouldn't do anything about it. If you did smack the other kid, nothing usually happened to you. Now, the school really doesn't do anything about bullying, but God forfend if you smack the asshole-you're outta there! Has society deteriorated so far, with unwed mothers all over the place, schools punishing those who try to stand up for themselves, Tuba Man murderers repeatedly let go after they commit yet another crime, little or no consequences for criminals of all stripes. Then, there's Switzerland, where the military is primarily housed in their own homes, along with their fully automatic weapons. Their military is all able-bodied men; it's a national requirement. Don't hear about a lot of gun violence there, do we. Why is that, do you think? Just wondering... And musing.