What many call “protection” for gun ownership has never meant no “regulation.” That’s a recent false equivalency. Voting is far more fundamental to democracy and cited in the original document, yet it is regulated, and requires registration, and no one is at risk of harm by the casting of a ballot.
“The mental health of America” is not the point of the legislation. The common factor is that across the spectrum of mental health, from rage and impulse to insanity, from social behavior driving misguided youth, the gun (not the butter knife!) is the main and overwhelming choice of weapon with which to commit murders. Not cars, or poison, or strangling–gun deaths exceed all other categories collectively. That’s why the legislation focuses on the one thing that defines the intersection of mental health, social cause, and murder–the gun.
Drinking and driving laws don’t stop people from drinking. But they do reduce the numbers who put others at risk by driving. The analogy holds true for guns. By focusing on the instrument that is used in an overwhelming, preponderance of cases, a reduction in the rates of individual and mass attacks can be achieved–as a number of studies have shown similar results for the Brady bill.