(This is a serious post today. My thoughts, prayers, and tears go out to the families of Newtown.)
I'm a gun owner. And I favor expanding gun control legislation. But I don't think it's going to happen.
As a former POW of the culture wars (four years as a teenager in an evangelical household) I can tell you that the main obstacle in any gun control is that a large portion of conservative America *literally* believes that any law enacted will be horribly abused by those in power. If we have restrictions that keep people with mental illness from obtaining firearms, the government will then declare that anyone who wants to shoot their own dinner rather than buy it from the supermarket is "crazy," and therefore they can't have guns.
Back in the former Soviet Union, dissidents were often labeled with some form of mental illness; it allowed the government to simultaneously discredit them... and lock them up. Fear of this kind of abuse of power is what causes the resistance to gun control legislation. Do I believe it? Absolutely not. But *millions* of American think like this. If we find a way to overcome this fear, then we can move forward. But until we do, we need to understand *why* the other side tolerates events like Sandy Hook without seeing the need for changes in gun control laws--they literally believe that the alternative could be as bad or worse.
That's what we're up against when we try to put additional legislation in place--just thought I'd translate the rhetoric. Talk amongst yourselves.