But take heart, America already has the solutions.
Since 1934, US federal law has mandated licensing and registration for machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and rifles. It works. Such firearms quickly became, and remain the guns least used in crime. Today, the few states that similarly regulate much more common handguns point to similar effects, even when undermined by their gun-lax neighbors
On its roads, America dramatically reversed the soaring toll of death and injury by automobile with a holistic array of evidence-based public health measures. The world followed suit. Licensing and registration did not lead to mass confiscation, and cars remain objects of maleness, power and freedom.
Other US-led successful public health campaigns, from tobacco harm reduction to HIV/AIDS, saved countless millions of lives, all in the face of years of denial and quasi-religious opposition from self-interested groups. It can be done.
Unique to the United States, the Second Amendment to the Constitution is just that -- an amendment. As with universal suffrage, the abolition of slavery and Prohibition, Americans are free to change an outdated law when they so choose. The solution to armed violence, America's fatal flaw, is not unthinkable.
Granted, armed violence is a multi-faceted, often intransigent public health problem, which spans a dozen disciplines. Yet for 20 years, the US gun lobby has successfully suppressed research in this field
Imagine the outcry if for two decades the transportation industry lobby had managed to choke off all federal funds for road safety research. To prevent and reduce firearm injury, America's medieval purge of knowledge and evidence must, and will be overcome.
In many other nations, improvements are well under way. Latin Americans, for example, suffer gun death rates to make your toes curl. For this reason Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia joined Australia, the United Kingdom and democratic countries in the Pacific Rim in mounting massive national disarmament and firearm destruction programs, each followed by fewer gun deaths.