Gun Violence Part 5: My Thoughts on My Thoughts

Over the past two years I have gone over the issue of gun violence time and again…and referenced those headline grabbing stories from Congresswoman Giffords to Sandy Hook to the more common, more frequent, more deadly stories of children picking up their parent’s gun and killing themselves or others to the man who kills his entire family because he is paranoid about an uncertain future. I tend to write as a systems analyst, looking pragmatically at all sides of the issue, all causes from access to guns to the mental health and stresses that cause folks to go just that far over the line.

Now to a personal view… MY observations and solutions that I make from a position of being a long time gun owner and target shooter [over 50 years since I first learned to shoot and 40 years as a gun owner] AND a supporter of the need to solve the problems of gun violence.

The very first element of my solution is to honestly define the problem.  That means looking at everything that is in the swirl of the violence and what it will take to actively reduce the body count.  It also means not disrespecting the tens of millions of gun owners who are not violent, not unstable…not part of the problem.

This missive addresses gun issues ONLY, please refer to other articles to address the multitude of causes of violence that need to be addressed to diffuse the other side of a shooter’s actions.

Personal Responsibility

Starting at the foundation means addressing personal responsibility to remove from the equation the senseless deaths of kids with their parent’s weapons and the 200,000 guns stolen per year that end up outside the system, more likely to be involved in crime.  That means a requirement to stow your weapons and further to maintain liability if your gun is stolen.

Stopping the ability of gun owners to buy/sell firearms without a paper trail must be addressed if a continuation of liability is to be achieved.

Government Intervention

From the perspective of regulations, I believe that a ban on 30+ magazines is reasonable.  They serve little purpose in the many legitimate uses of a semi-automatic rifle.  I do not believe a ban on future sales of semi-automatic assault weapons will work to solve the problem, it is more kneejerk than solution.

Chicago is looking at putting a tax on ammunition to pay for their ever escalating gun wound costs at their ERs.  While it affects the 99% of gun owners who do not contribute to the problem of gun violence, a reasonable tax on types of ammo has merit.

At some point there needs to be an enhancement of background checks at the point of purchase to insure that nobody who should not own a weapon slips through the cracks.  That means requiring states to include mental health evaluations into the NICS.  It will be costly, intrusive but can weed out some buyers.

Right now many prisons are revolving doors…those with violent tendencies are out well before their sentences demand.  We have to fund prisons to address convicted violent people and not let them back on the streets to get one of the many underground guns that are so available.

There are too many loopholes in current regulations, and many are not enforced due to budget considerations.  Among them, closing a loopholes that allows strawman purchases, that allows undocumented buy/sell of guns.

Will this stop gun violence…NO.  Will it  – along with addressing the causes that make a shooter pick up a gun – slowdown the gun violence and deaths…YES.

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2 responses to “Gun Violence Part 5: My Thoughts on My Thoughts

  • Monte Harrison

    ” That means a requirement to stow your weapons and further to maintain liability if your gun is stolen.”

    Negative. If someone steals my car and uses it to transport drugs, I am not responsible for that crime. If someone steals my money and uses it to buy a gun to rob a liquor store, that is not my liability.

    “a ban on 30+ magazines is reasonable. ”

    …and futile, and naive. These were banned from 1994 – 2004, all it did was inconvenience the non-criminals. The fact of the matter is, the number of crimes committed with “assault weapons” is such an infinitesimally small portion of gun crimes that this would only punish the innocent while having NO effect on crime. These occurrences, such as you cited above, are EXTREMELY isolated events. There are TENS OF MILLIONS of these guns in civilian hands in America. The news media should be reporting on how SELDOM they get used in crimes.

    One interesting side effect of the “high capacity” magazine ban: we got some great new gun designs as the gun companies explored the smallest gun possible that could still hold ten rounds.

    “I do not believe a ban on future sales of semi-automatic assault weapons will work to solve the problem, it is more kneejerk than solution.”

    Bingo. ALL calls for increased “gun control” in reaction to these tragedies are just that: emotional reactions.

    “a reasonable tax on types of ammo has merit.”

    So you would charge people a tax for the privilege of being able to defend themselves? Again, you punish the non-criminals. And since criminals tend to get their ammo through the same channels they get their guns, the tax would affect them not at all.

    “At some point there needs to be an enhancement of background checks at the point of purchase to insure that nobody who should not own a weapon slips through the cracks.”

    On this, I agree 100%

  • mcallisterbryant

    Regarding the stowing of weapons and liability…with either the automobile or cash there are a multitude of reasons and outcomes for stealing. With guns there seem to be two…either to sell them [again under the table] or to use them. Not many of the 200,000 guns stolen per year are just used for target shooting or hunting.

    The idea behind liability is to insure that gun owners properly stow their guns, keeping them from children or criminals, not to be punitive to gun owners.

    A better example of responsibility and liability is for restaurants and serving alcohol…if a drunk driver kills, the restaurant, the bartender, the server can all be held liable for the chain of events that caused the drunk driving deaths.

    It is why I have a 6’X3′ safe bolted to the basement floor.

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