I have listened to the gun debates on all the network TV stations, radio, and the Internet. I have heard everything from doing away with guns to giving everybody a gun (the Archie Bunker solution). I read the second amendment of the constitution and realize the problems with it in modern times, yet want to hold our constitution sacred. There is a gaping flaw with background checks. Most of the shootings are perpetrated by young people, hence has not necessarily had time to establish criminal or mental health records. So, background checks are not the panacea we want, even if checks were carried out fully.
My personal expertise is in mental health. It appears to me that there are contributing factors to the rise in gun violence. One is economics, where there is a higher level of stress when there is an increase in personal disappointment, loss of jobs, loss of careers, loss of opportunities, especially among our youth. The second one is our general attitude and culture of solving all our problems with violence. From intercity streets to international affairs, let us use war and drones over diplomacy and engagement. People would rather just own a gun than to get to know and be friends with their neighbors. This brings me to a third cause, individualism over collectivism. That is likely why Americans feel a stronger need to own firearms than the rest of the world. A fourth cause is fear and insecurities, which is alarming for mental stability toward owning a firearm. I am sure others could come up with other factors, but I am sure I have most of them.
For another perspective, I see alarming attitudes on both sides of the debate. There is a lot of undiagnosed mental illness out there. I would rather see somebody owning a firearm that is maintaining his or her mental health than depending on the randomness of background checks. I believe in freedom and liberty, but in the same token, you do not give guns to people that are going to be a risk to public and self. From a psychological standpoint, anybody that owns or wishes to own a firearm should have a full psychological screening, at least every two years to be permitted, as conditions can change from social/economic factors affecting mental health. It they are mentally sane and stable, there should not be a problem with them owning what ever they want. Of course, they would have to be held personally and legally liable for the weapons they own. If we went to such a system, those who wanted weapons out of irrational insecurities would not qualify to own one. Those sane and stable enough to own a weapon probably would never want one, cutting down the number of guns owned in this country. The weapons would be mostly restricted to those who participate in sports or for rational need. The main need is taking the guns away from the mentally ill, which covers a large portion of those belonging to The Republican/Tea Party and the NRA.