The United States of America has a gun violence problem. People are injured or killed via guns at a much higher rate here than in any other western nation. At root this is because there are so many guns here, owing to our very lax gun control laws and resulting in nearly one gun for every citizen. These facts make getting guns easy, both legally and illegally. Some of those many guns will be used for nefarious reasons and even if it is a tiny minority, that still accounts for our very high gun violence rates.
In recent years and with alarming frequency America has suffered some highly publicized mass shootings. Most recently a man killed over fifty people and wounded hundreds more in Las Vegas. A single man armed with semi automatic rifles modified to fire very rapidly did that, not a team of highly trained killers, a single man with no history of such behavior and at the time of this writing no known motivation.
It is a sad truth that in a society as large as ours there will be some small number of people who want to commit mass murder for twisted or unfathomable reasons. I cannot pretend to have any deep insights into the minds of these men or ways in which to preemptively redirect their energies in less destructive ways. Though I do hope there are people far more intelligent and well informed working on that. However, I do think there are ways we can make it far more difficult for them to kill so many people. It is time to severely restrict access to the kinds of firearms that are capable of the volume of fire that can allow a single man to kill so many people in such a short time.
I propose that semi automatic, magazine fed rifles and carbines should no longer be available to consumers. There should be a voluntary federal buy back program in place that will buy such weapons from their present owners to be destroyed. That such weapons that have already been sold can continue to be owned and shot by their present owners, but cannot be sold or given away to anyone else, and must be turned in to be destroyed within one year of the death of their present owners if said owners didn't already take advantage of the federal buy back program.
This would do little to reduce small scale gun violence in America and I don't claim that it will. Robberies and other such crimes tend to be committed with the use of handguns, not semi automatic rifles. Likewise this is unlikely to have much affect on gun suicides. But what this restriction is intended to do is reduce the body count of mass shootings like what just happened in Las Vegas by reducing the availability of weapons capable of sustained high rates of fire. Over time, this restriction will virtually eliminate such weapons from civilian ownership in America.