The tragedy at the Newtown Sandy Hook school probably couldn’t have been prevented by any law or security system. The guns were legal. The gunman had problems, but his family and community gave him a better than average opportunity to get help. As long as we believe it is acceptable to own and store multiple guns in a home, events like this can happen.
The only solution I can think of is to increase acceptance of the danger that guns present to society. That is, begin to persuade people to deal intelligently with some of the 300 million guns spread throughout this country. Maybe we can make people sufficiently afraid of their own firearms to either get rid of them or keep them in a safe place.
We might start with a law making anyone manufacturing, selling, or owning a gun responsible for keeping it from being misused. They should bear the burden of proving they did, and share liability for any damage caused by their neglect. These weapons are as dangerous as drugs. Making, marketing or using them should carry similar responsibility.
When this law takes effect those possessing firearms should be permitted to contribute them to a designated federal agency and relieve themselves of future liability. If they sell them or give them to anyone else they must use care. If they keep them they must do so in a way that prevents theft or accidental use.
Any gun law will be resisted, but this discussion would be about responsibility, not availability — not about preventing the Sandy Hook killings, but about who should pay for the damage caused by our obsession with the second amendment. This might be the best we can hope for right now, and it might encourage the insurance industry to become a major ally in getting this kind of law passed.