First of all, I want to address this by saying that I have no problem if somebody wants to own a rifle for game hunting or handgun in the way that Southern described. I am, however, in favor of more gun-control. Here's why:
Regarding mental health. We need to break down the barriers of this "us versus them" mentality. I maintain that people with mental illness are normal people who happen to have a medical condition that affects their thoughts or feelings. Yes, people with mental illness are more likely than the rest of the population to be violent, but the vast, vast majority of these people are peaceful, innocent people. Only 5-10% of homicides in this country are by the mentally ill. We cannot tell ourselves, there is the mentally ill, then there's me. The truth is, all of us are capable of unjustified murder. We have all felt extreme fear, rage, impulsivity and hopelessness. We are all capable of substance abuse and other risk factors. We are fooling ourselves and doing the mentally ill a disservice at the same time by using them as a scapegoat for a pervasive, CULTURAL problem that we have. (Side note, I think guns in general are also used as a scapegoat, although they still demand our attention.)
Regarding the American people versus the government mentality. I have a hard time understanding this argument, especially considering that the American government (including and especially Obama) has lifted nary a finger in terms of gun control for years. Even when the American people, such as now, are demanding stricter gun laws! In fact, my state has instituted several more liberal gun laws in rapid succession recently. In the future, it won't be the government that will regulate guns, it will be the *American people* who will, using law as their means. When stricter gun control laws are enacted, don't blame the government, blame the majority of your fellow American people who have lobbied the government to enact them.
It was no accident that our founding fathers used the term *well-regulated* in the second amendment--they realized the destructive power of firearms in the wrong hands. Tyranny is not the only thing we should rail against, but also anarchy and feudalism, which are ALSO slippery-slope possibilities of unfettered gun ownership.
To answer Southern's question, I want the gag lifted from the CDC, and I want just as much funding for firearms research and reporting as there is for transportation (esp since guns now kill more people than cars). I want a ban *and buy-back* of assault weapons, loopholes closed, and more responsible licensure, including periodic recertification. After that, if someone -including myself- wants to peacefully and legally own a gun, go for it.
On a tangential note, I think we as women are in a unique and promising position to cultivate our social capital, which means reaching out to the marginalized and fighting inequality. Maybe the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good woman without a gun. So to bring this back to Annie's original question--the best way we can prevent gun violence is by taking it upon ourselves to reach out to those who might use guns irresponsibly and treat them with the same regard as we would anyone else of our own social class/gender/background. We may be the only person in their lives who sees them worthy of it.
don't spam. It is completely pointless, and no one will read your stupid websites. why on earth do you do this anyway? Do people pay you money for this? Do you go home and tell your spouse that what you did all day for work was spam websites focused on connecting women in medicine? How does that make you feel?