Why is “nibbling around the edges” a problem?

The thing about public health is that nothing ever goes away entirely. Vaccination largely eliminated deaths from measles, but they still happen albeit rarely. Tobacco laws have saved hundreds of millions of lives, but people still die from lung cancer.

If introducing safe storage and ammo checks reduces gun deaths by 5% — the real number is likely more, but let’s say 5— that would save roughly 1,500 lives a year in the US. That’s quite a bit. Similarly with universal background checks; despite your skepticism, there’s decent evidence that background checks would prevent quite a number of shootings from taking place. Again, obviously not 100%, but what is the issue with starting with 10 or 20%?

I’m not saying any one of these laws is a magic bullet — far from it — but in combination you would likely see a massive decline in gun deaths in the US. Some have estimated as high as 90%, I would argue probably lower, somewhere around 30–40% if implemented well. That’s 9–12,000 lives saved a year. And as you yourself admit, most of these measures are not massively onerous. Most responsible gun owners would barely be affected.

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