Someone once told me that if you wanted to find a bad law, just look for one that was named for a particular crime victim. The more a law was tailored to a specific event, the less effective it would be in dealing with the problem at hand, and the worse side effects it would have. Currently the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut has opened a debate on the issue of gun violence in this country. I’ve noticed a tendency to argue particular policies based on whether they would have been successful in preventing that specific incident.
For example, would eliminating loopholes in background checks on gun purchases at gun shows have kept the Sandy Hook shooter from acquiring the guns he used? Would an armed guard in the elementary school have prevented the tragedy or at least some of the loss of life? Irrespective of whether either of those policies would be effective and appropriate, focusing on whether they would have prevented a single incident seems to be too narrow a focus in formulating a policy.
So here’s the first question:
What are the three most important actions that should (or should not) be taken in this country to deal with violent crime in public places? (Not taking an action that others advocate may be an “action,” for example, not placing guards in schools or not changing laws on background checks might be one of your three actions.)