Automatic Weapons? Why? Handguns. Sure. Long rifles. Sure. Shotguns. Sure. Hunting rifles. Sure. AR15. Not so much.
As a civilian, one who lives in a country and society which is supposed to afford the protection of the rule of law, I do not believe that Assault Rifles are necessary. If they are military weapons, then the civilian version should be limited in its capacity to afford military levels of firepower. Unless, of course, you're looking forward to the day when the rule of law fails, chaos erupts, and it will be necessary for you to defend yourself against your neighbors, who will come to pillage your home. When it comes to slaughtering your neighbors, you need as much firepower as you can muster.
Mental Health? Kids, today, grow up in a world of violence. Video games, popular TV shows about zombies, NCIS, NCIS:LA, Rizzoli & Isles, Law & Order (in its many manifestations) - all these programs, and many more besides, depict violence or the result of violent behavior. Halo. Black Ops. All of those first-person shooters on X-box, Playstation 3, etc. 60 years ago, kids played with toy guns, bows and arrows with rubber suction cups on the end, cap pistols, air rifles, bb guns. But come supper time the toys got put away and you went home to eat - the imaginary war games, the hot afternoons of Cowboys & Indians, the secret trips to the empty field across the road to shoot your best friend's bb gun, all gave way to family time. Supper. Balance.
There is no balance today, in many homes. Kids stay up half the night with that stuff.
Finding a kid with "problems" is one thing. Finding a way to deal with that kid with problems - your kid or somebody else's kid - is the hard part. The statistics are out there. I can't recap them all. But as you read them, research them, you will find more and more kids with issues are sent into the Justice System, not the virtually non-existent Mental Health system. Juvenile Justice is deplorable. Juvenile Mental Health is worse, in that it is virtually impossible to find for those who do not have extraordinary financial means at their disposal.
Most of us don't.
And if you stop and think about it, every one of us has known someone, at least one someone, who we were afraid would grow up to be an axe murderer. You've known at least one kid with
"problems" - and that kid was scary. Made you nervous. Made you afraid.
How do you deal with someone like that?
How do you deal with a kid you're afraid to leave alone in the house? Like Adam Lanza's mother was.