Shawn makes the valid point over on her blog that the gun laws are to blame for the seemingly endless shootings in the U.S., not any spurious connection between religious extremists of any kind, and she is right.
Since the law that prohibited the sale of assault weapons to anyone other than the military lapsed in the U.S. (I have only just discovered that there was such a law), most criminal street-gangs consider at least one Uzi machine-pistol to be a requirement of being worthy to be called criminal.
Hand-guns have been banned in the U.K. for quite a few years, and licensed, smooth-bore, semi-automatic shotguns are limited to three shots maximum - also by law. Any more than three shots in the chamber and you need a firearms licence, not a shotgun certificate, and you need a very good excuse to own one - trick-shot display shooters are the only people I can think of that need rapid fire. Being caught with an unlicensed ten-shot shotgun means an mandatory 5 year prison sentence.
Obviously, you can kill a lot more people with an automatic weapon rather than a single shot rifle or 8 shot pistol, and also it gives the authorities much more time to shoot you back if you have to stop every few seconds to reload.
If the President of the United States of America has no power over a private organisation like the National Rifle Association, then it is going to be a long time before the U.S. can begin the massive task of clearing the nation's streets of weapons which were bought legally to be used illegally.
Cynips; the state of play. - Please excuse the bad photo, but I think it does go to show just how badly our Chestnut trees are being affected by this dreadful insect; Cynips. Almost ...
1 hour ago