Another school shooting, another debate over gun control. An overwhelming majority of Americans want stricter gun laws, but Congress is unlikely to ban assault rifles outright, and some of the president's proposals — a ban on "bump stocks," for example — have unclear paths to success.

But there is another approach that would be constitutional and well supported by historical precedent. It might even help reduce the budget deficit that Republicans just sent skyrocketing. Of course, Washington is showing no signs of even considering it.

During Prohibition in the 1920s, organized crime took control of much of the market in illegal booze. Many of these criminals, as well as run-of-the-mill bank robbers and other miscreants, began arming themselves. While handguns proved useful, many opted for more dangerous weaponry: sawed-off shotguns, submachine guns like the "Tommy" gun and full-fledged machine guns.