Control The Debate It is obvious that recent mass murders have two things in common. Mentally deranged people and guns. Like it or not, the gun control debate will heat up considerably and some type of gun control will likely follow. If the debate is not focused on mental problems, gun owners will lose. Calling names, insulting elected officials and chest beating bravado do nothing more than add fuel to the fire. Making statements based on opinion that you cannot back up with real facts and real statistics makes you look as crazy as the folks we need protection from. For those of us who value our Right to Bear Arms, it's time for a reality check. Guns must be kept out of the hands of the mentally deranged. In order for this to happen, restrictions are going to have to be enacted. Throwing your hands up and saying it's impossible to protect ourselves from crazy people is not going to work. While we probably can't do it 100%, we can certainly do better than our current system. 1. Make it illegal to sell firearms to the mentally deranged. In other words have a national database that must be checked for all firearms sales. This means gun show sales as well. 2. Find our people with mental problems before they find guns. It seems to be common that many deranged shooters are loners with few friends who have real difficulty adapting to our society. Our schools do a lot of screening now. Two of my granddaughters have been diagnosed with scoliosis through school screening. How hard would it be to find kids (or adults for that matter) who have difficulty coping. We all take a myriad of standardized tests. If these folks could be identified, we may be able to provide them with the help they need. Even though the mass murder in Newtown was done with pistols, assault weapons are going to be front and center in the debate. Assault weapons are purposely designed to kill people. They are not hunting rifles. They are extremely poor home defense weapons. Our government has done a good job of protecting us from Al Qaeda. You can't. I see no plausible reason not to put assault rifles in the same category as fully automatic weapons.