America is unique in having a constitutional amendment allowing its citizens to own guns. The second amendment is clear on this “the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. So whatever you think about guns, it is a constitutional right and would have to be amended to change it.
Does this right extend to modern military type rifles? Rifles currently available to the public are similar to current issue military rifles but are not capable of automatic fire. The trigger must be pulled for each shot. The intent of the writers of the constitution was for citizens to have the latest military arms. Indeed the Minutemen had rifles which were superior to the muskets of the military. If there had been a restriction on civilian arms, the American revolution would probably not have occurred.
Can something be done to stop the violence. Yes schools and other public places can have improved security. Armed citizens are a deterrent to crime. The subject of allowing students at Virginia Tech to be armed was debated before the attack there. The attacker went to the debates and argued against guns on campus before he staged his attack. He would not have done it if guns had been allowed. The Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooter went to the only “gun free” theater showing Batman.
In countries that have banned guns, crime rates went up. Japan did not invade the US in WWII because Admiral Yamamoto advised his military command that “Americans are armed and an invasion would fail”.
The United Nations wants to ban hand guns worldwide. President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Congressman Adam Smith favor the UN law. This law if approved by the US Senate could supercede US law and overrule our constitution. The latest version of this UN law I have heard from Adam Smith in public debate is to ban large weapons like tanks, planes and artillery. I do not know of any threat to our security by private groups or individuals owning such weapons but it could take away Tom Cruise’s P 51 airplane and military collections of Paul Allen and the Commemorative Air Force. If passed it could be amended to include small arms.