I should have made it clearer — any of the three steps could be done in isolation and have a benefit. And I know the third step gives gun owners the creeps, because they have been so tremendously burned in the past. One idea I heard bounced around as an amelioration to the Step 3 proposal is keep the licenses at the state level, or just keep the NICS in place and simply require proof of a training class to purchase, which could be issued wholly privately and not tracked at all.
I do think, however, that much of the “gun deaths” problem can be traced to a general epidemic of lack of responsibility in the country, that spans multiple issues on many levels. This is a social fabric thing, that’s much wider in scope than any series of gun policy articles could ever tackle. I may tackle it one day, but it would be tough to do without writing a novel.