Gun Violence Isn't a Problem — it's actually 5 Problems, with Different Solutions

Originally published at:


This article is a list of 5 very real problems (domestic violence, suicide, etc.) with different solutions. But gun violence is a 6th problem with one very simple solution. Let’s not fall into the NRA “guns don’t kill people” trap.


Fantastic article - thanks for posting it. I think you are bang on that one of the reasons no progress is being made is that we aren’t properly describing the problem - and recognize that it is really several problems.

I still feel as though there is a need for some blanket regulation, simply because a lot of the solutions rely on humans to do their part. If you’ve been convicted of domestic assault, or any violent crime, you should not be able to own a weapon. While the term “assault rifle” is, erm, loaded, we should still question the need for any human to possess a weapon that can rapidly fire multiple rounds. Nobody needs an AR-15 and if you really want to shoot one then maybe there could be a provision that you need to travel to a licensed gun range that owns the weapon.


I agree entirely with this article.


I’m pretty sure that felony conviction of any crime, violent or otherwise precludes you from legally buying a firearm. I personally was stopped from buying a rifle a long time ago while I was on probation for a driving with a suspended license conviction. It was not a violent crime as my license was suspended for failure to pay a missuse of a lane ticket. (Passed someone using a left turn lane). I had to wait until I hired an attourney to appeal the case and have it expunged befor I could legally buy a firearm.

I’m curious how convicted violent spousal assaulters are legally buying firearms


What a bunch of cry baby snow flake gun nutz who descended onto Richmond yesterday. Nobody is going to take their guns. Nobody has proposed any such legislation. Nobody, nowhere. Yet they act as if the sky is falling, NASCAR is going electric and Hillary is President.

It’s a culture of ignorance problem in addition to your 5.

Case in point:

Ignorant culture megaphone Alex Jones hides in an armored vehicle during the gun rights demonstration in Richmond, Va yesterday.

(Image via The Atlantic)

this is mostly already true. Also, you can’t buy a gun if you’ve been convicted of violent crimes- this is specifically stated on form 4473

Also- the only reason AR-15s are so popular over any other semiauto is their extreme level of modularity and adaptability, as well as excellent ergonomics. That’s the reason they sell so well- they’re 100% open source. They’ve basically become the Arduino of the gun world.

1 Like

That and the fact that they look like, and are related to, the guns that US sodliers carry.


I’m pretty sure that felony conviction of any crime, violent or otherwise precludes you from legally buying a firearm.

Maybe. But buying a weapon is different from owning a weapon. Preventing an abuser from making a new purchase, even if theoretically well-enforced (cough gun show loophole cough), isn’t necessarily going to help if they already have a closet full of guns. And, while technically convicted abusers are usually not supposed to own any either, the procedures for enforcing that are also pretty lackluster, as the article says.

Conviction, even misdemeanor conviction, is probably too high a bar for domestic violence anyway. By the time an abuser is actually tried and convicted of something, it may be pretty late in the game. Court orders to ban gun ownership in any form - including well-enforced and effective procedures to at least temporarily confiscate existing guns - should be routine for suspected abusers. AFAIK, that is not (standard) current procedure. (It may even bump up against 2A jurisprudence – but I’m pretty sure I don’t care.)


Number 5 is why I have a tough time wrapping my head around how gun owners are almost completely right wing.

But, after you reconcile that the NRA has been (surprise surprise) misusing their funds as a tool to fuel the GOP (and generally enriching Wayne), it’s starts to make sense. Especially when you look at their ads. Their current goal appears to be only keeping gun owners firmly in the GOP. The most politically divisive messages I’ve seen in the past 10 years have come straight out of the NRA.

And the thing is, firearm enthusiasts are 10x more into their hobby than any bicycle geek or NFL superfan. There’s soooo many normal, honest, reasonable gun owners who are also single issue voters, that explains the NRA using caricatures of inner city liberals, disparage socialism, blaming liberals&Obama for everything(like fabricated 22LR ammoshortages), using racist dog whistles, etc.

This is all to say- there will be no useful progress on firearms legislation until gun owners are again spread across the political spectrum. Hopefully many will come to their senses as the NRA collapses.

Gun owners have become increasingly angry with them as well, and most are now supporting the GOA Instead. The NRA took tons of money during the Obama administration and did literally nothing for gun owners in general terms of gun rights expansion when they had the White House, senate, and house while stacking the judiciary.

It’s common to see people now attacking Drumpf and the GOP in firearms forums as worse than Obama, whose ATF actually made it slightly easier to acquire suppressors. But the question always ends up being- if not the GOP, then who?

It’s hard being a progressive firearms enthusiast. Perhaps like being a Cincinnati Bengals fan, except 100x worse.


buying a weapon is different from owning a weapon

Just did a quick googlefu to confirm, but…

…I have a friend who dates a guy that was convicted of a crime 15 years ago in his early 20s and did some time. He runs his own business, has a handful of employees, treats her exceptionally well- and will never be able to own or buy a firearm ever again.

1 Like

who would be banned from carrying firearms? A noun is missing.


literally the only difference between an AR-15 and an M16/4 is an autoseer or burst mechanism. (Edit: this is a little part that goes inside the receiver. The receiver also needs some precison holes drilled)

For some people, the cosmetic look is a thing and theyll buy all the same little parts to make their rifle look just like a military man rifle, but really the market for semiautomatic rifles has been taken over by the AR-15 for a different reason

Imagine if

instead of buying a car, you bought one open source ECU/CANbus (this is the cars computer brain that controls the engine brakes electrical functions sensors etc) and that was the only thing you needed to register with the DMV. This was ‘the car’ and it could be easily swapped across your open source sports car chassis, minivan chassis, pickup truck chassis, dune buggy chassis, etc. (along with a license plate, I suppose)

Then the rest of the parts of the car/truck were available off the shelf and they were interchangeable & standardized across all manufacturers and were nearly as easy to assemble as legos.

Need a new door? A better engine? an off road (or racing or luxury soft) suspension? Different body panels? Passenger seat cup holder? Chevy, Ford, Honda, Lamborghini, Audi, Kia, Renault, Jaguar, Toyota, Porsche, … all make one or a few compatible options for all budget ranges- all as easy to install as a few nuts& bolts in your own garage.

Roll into all of that, the economy of scale- since everyone is competing to make the same open sourced parts, it drives the price way down. Any mechanic (or you) can do all the maintenance or repairs necessary.

This is why AR15s outsell every other rifle on the market.


This is one of the issues that has the 2A goons up in arms (literally) here in VA. How many times do we hear “we don’t need new gun laws, we need to enforce the ones that we have”? Well, universal background checks are exactly how we enforce the existing laws. It is true that if you can’t pass a background check you can’t buy a firearm at Walmart, but you can go to a gun show or the buy-sell page in the newspaper and get one with no check at all. The NRA feels it is an unforgivable intrusion into their “rights” to have to abide by existing laws. They suck.


And are heavily marketed based on that military association, and their killing ability via the self defense fallacy and that very modularity.

These things are not popular because “hey modularity”. They’re popular because the fire arms industry worked very hard to make them popular. They’re cheap to make with good profit margin, and they drive continued sales of accessories, parts and add ons.

It’s very much an undersung part of the firearm problem. The entire self defense justification is completely rooted in firearms marketing, as are a lot of our ideas about the “wild west”. And firearms marketing frequently plays on the same toxic masculinity that feeds a lot of gun violence. The whole surrogate penis thing isn’t just a lame joke, its basically how these things are sold.

That’s why the Sandy Hook law suit is based on marketing of firearms, not manufacture of firearms. And its a major part of why fire arms manufacturers were made immune to lawsuits in the first place. On the face of it holding companies accountable just for making the damn things wouldn’t fly in court to begin with. But marketing things in a way that increases the likelyhood of harm, is a well established way of proving culpability on behalf of manufacturers.


All five of those problems are de-escalated immediately in a world without firearms easily available.


God dammit. I copied the HTML over from my original Medium post and stripped out the code and thought I caught everything. Alas.

Anyway, the missing noun is that nearly half of all police officers in this country would be banned from carrying firearms.


Yup. And that ain’t the half of it.

I mean hell. Your big, yearly release military FPS games are basically gun commercials at this point. Gun companies pay for placement, will debut new models in the video games. And are directly involved with development for modeling and sound design for the digital versions of the guns. The same holds for accessories for online play with customizable weapons. All real world, branded products. A few such games have even included links to manufacturer websites or even to buy real world guns and parts. Though iirc that created a shit storm and ended up being removed.

But all with the goal of targeting young (white) men with macho, tacticool nonsense meant move guns. Deliberately pimping specific guns as a way to live out the militaristic fantasy. All based on which guns kill gud.


This article needs proofreading. Lots of typos.