I have never owned a gun but have known plenty of gun owners over the years. They would come in every November just before Thanksgiving to for a check up prior to the start of deer season. They were sanitation workers, business owners, and school principals. I have talked to the parent whose child who killed a friend while playing with his father’s shotgun. Nothing could erase the pain and sorrow he felt. I have listened to depressed patients talk about their gun collections and helped family members get the weapons out of the house. I have talked to the sheriff’s deputy who trained his fellow law enforcement officers how to treat mentally ill suspects without provoking dangerous situations.
Mental illness can drive people to commit seemingly irrational acts. Ask the police to repeatedly arrest mentally ill persons who endanger themselves or others. I bet the officers would prefer to treat their illnesses correctly rather than incarcerate them. My city even established a mental health court to handle these cases better by promoting treatment over reflexive punishment.
We live in a more civil society now than when the 2nd Amendment was passed. Military grade weapons are not needed for hunting game. I fail to understand why legally driving a car is more arduous than purchasing a gun.
Banning ownership of firearms is not the answer. We need to properly treat mental illness and enact gun laws that distinguish law abiding gun owners from those who should not own deadly weapons.