There is no need for an AR 15, it’s pure avocation. But absent a need doesn’t warrant prohibitive regulation. Now that we’ve established the fact that there is no legitimate need for an AR 15, let’s return to your original post to review some points: “We are not beset with a greater number cases of mental illness than other nations.” Perhaps not, but unlike other nations in the developed world we’ve failed miserably to afford mental health treatment to our citizens. Millions of Americans have no access to affordable healthcare, no access to mental health screening and treatment, and the situation will only grow worse as we continue to refuse to implement a universal healthcare system found in the rest of the developed world. “There is something foul about the numbers of shooting victims here compared with other nations in the developed world. What do you suppose is our unique American problem?” One cannot compare the United States to other nations in the developed world because indeed the problem is unique to America. Unlike other First World nations, the United States has a uniquely violent culture, where violence is perceived as a legitimate means of conflict resolution, from corporal punishment in our schools to capital punishment in our prisons, and the many wars waged to the benefit of the military/industrial establishment. The issue of gun violence in America is complex and multifaceted, immune from resolution with more restrictions, more regulation, and bans.