When the 2nd amendment was written we didn't have access to as many no-no's as we do now. We are, without question, a society with a much larger population, a population in which far more of us shouldn't have easy access to firearms.
...A focus on mass murder, while critical, does not get at the broader issue of gun violence, including the hundreds of single-victim murders, suicides, nonfatal shootings and other gun crimes that occur daily in the United States. And focusing on the mentally ill, most of whom are not violent, overlooks people who are at demonstrably increased risk of committing violent crimes but are not barred by federal law from buying and having guns.
These would include people who have been convicted of violent misdemeanors including assaults, and those who are alcohol abusers. Unless guns are also kept from these high-risk people, preventable gun violence will continue. ...NYT editorial
The federal statute on gun ownership doesn't include alcohol abuse.
The evidence linking alcohol abuse and gun-related violence is compelling. One study found that subjects who had ever been in trouble at work for drinking or were ever hospitalized for alcohol abuse were at increased risk of committing homicide and suicide. ...NYT
Similarly, the federal statute includes some forms of misdemeanor but not others.
Federal law prohibits felons from buying and possessing firearms; it also bars people convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. But it permits gun purchase and ownership by people convicted of other violent misdemeanors, defined variously under state laws, including assault and battery, brandishing a weapon or making open, credible threats of violence. ...NYT
The state of California tightened that up.
... Gun buyers with even a single prior misdemeanor conviction were nearly five times as likely as those with no criminal history to be arrested for gun-related or other violent crimes. After the law was enacted, a significant decrease in arrests was attributed to the denial of gun sales to people with misdemeanor records. ...NYT
In my view, clinging witlessly to the 2nd Amendment is about as intelligent as clinging witlessly to slavery, giving the vote only to white males, allowing a restrictive interpretation of marriage and family, and upholding parts of the Constitution that shorten lives just because some of us are addicted to "I wanna."
By the way: does anyone out there agree that believing that your "militarized" weapon will keep a determined government from killing you? Doesn't that put you right at the top of the "mentally ill" list?
A bipartisan group of senators is on the verge of a deal that would expand background checks to all private firearms sales with limited exemptions, but significant disagreements remain on the issue of keeping records of private gun sales, according to aides familiar with the talks.
An agreement would be a bold first step toward consideration of legislation to limit gun violence in the wake of the mass shootings at a Connecticut elementary school in December and comes as the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected this week to begin considering new proposals to limit gun violence.
The talks, led by two Democrats and two Republicans, are expected to earn more GOP support in the coming days and likely enough to move the bill through the Senate, according to senior aides of both parties who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. ...WaPo