As a hunter and person who lives in a rural area I have use for a gun for hunting and protection. However, neither of these activities require a semi-automatic weapon. I am completely in favor of 1. registered gun ownership of all weapons and 2. a total ban on all semi automatic weapons. Now with that said I must add that neither of these ideas will solve the kind of problem that occurred in Connecticut. However it will at least reduce the probability that future acts of violence will not rise to the level as seen in the carnage in Connecticut. The problem is not just the availability of people killing weapons. It is a problem of our lack of social systems that actually work towards the betterment of all individuals within all communities.
In the early 70s Comprehensive Community Mental Health Care was established as a means towards creating a system whereby those in need could receive services paid for by the community itself. Unfortunately as the Federal Government began withdrawing its share of the funding, State and Counties dropped many of the programs. What is really needed is a social system initiated in every community across the country that is constructed to aid communities in helping each member move forward in social evolution. As an example developing activities that include all citizens which focus on family and community mental health. This could be something as simple as monthly block parties in which people get to know their neighbors and also a time where parents needing some help or advise can get it before home problems become insurmountable. The point is moving towards social evolution and an integration of every member of the community: neighborhood guilds. It would allow for more observation of possible community problems before they become catastrophic.
Individuals who are on the fringes of normal social interaction could at least have an opportunity to find a way to become an integral part of the community. The neighborhood guild can be designed to insure that all members within the neighborhood have the opportunity to achieve a positive sense of self worth and a sense of community pride.
There is nothing new about this idea and in fact is the basis of such programs as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The problem is that these programs are much to broad. They can be initiated, using volunteers within each neighborhood of every community across the country.