During the recent and repetitive brouhaha on gun violence, some of my friends have expressed their desire for second amendment advocates to put forth some common sense laws to deal with what they perceive to be a “gun Problem.” OK, let’s talk about it.
Common Sense begins with an understanding of the issue. I have found two good articles that present a clear understanding of the subject:
Both sides are wrong on the gun debate. Here’s why. By Pascal Emanuel Gobry at The Week
7 Gun Control Myths That Just Won’t Die by Sean Davis at the Federalist.
Additionally, many of the proposals being floated on social media about guns laws are already on the books or misleading. These are the most often misunderstood:
- To buy a firearm requires a background check. The only exception is a private (read infrequent) transaction between individuals, including family and close friends. (This exception prevents an infringement.) While you may meet a private seller at a gun show, no specific loophole exists for gun shows.
- You cannot buy an automatic weapon, machine gun, hand grenade, bazooka, cannon, etc. without obtaining special permission from the government. Such permission is rather difficult and expensive to obtain. This law has been around since 1938. There are civilian weapons available which look the same as the military weapons but they do not have automatic capability. The classification of “assault weapon” is simply a manufactured lie. The weapons that we use in assaults, are limited to the military.
- The Second Amendment simply says; “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” There is no hunting, self-defense, or musket standard. The wording on militia is simple explanation or clarification. It was never intended as a restriction.
Ignoring the lies, skirting the misunderstandings and in giving deference to valid information, here are five ideas that might actually improve our environment:
- All “Gun Free Zones” should by law be required to have controlled access points, metal detectors and armed guards; like courthouses and airports. Otherwise the only thing a “gun free” zone does is make the area a target. It does not prevent violent crime. Gun free zones actually attract violence.
- The creation of a “must issue” National Concealed Weapons permit which requires NRA certified competency in three areas. Firearm safety, law and skill. This will ensure good guys who wish to carry guns are properly trained. Good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns between five and twenty times more often than violent crimes are actually committed with a firearm.
- All citizens who have been trained in law enforcement, certain types of security and other professions where civilian defensive firearms training was required should be strongly encouraged to carry concealed. Highly trained individuals who have left these occupations could continue to be of great assistance to the public in violent situations. We should encourage them to volunteer.
- Many of our issues with gun safety arise from our citizens living in a gun culture without understanding or being trained in firearm safety. Safety and training should be required in school just like sex education. Guns, like sex, require a mature and informed population.
- With the Second Amendment as part of our legal and national persona. It seems ridiculous that our elected officials are so ignorant. That needs to change. Accordingly, the law should require them to show firearm familiarity and competency in any of the recognized forms of shooting, including skeet, trap, clays, cowboy, long range, etc. This would include members of congress, the President and Vice President. Those who make our laws should know what they are talking about.
These suggestions are just band aids but do not address the underlying cause of such violence. A young man doesn’t simply run off and start shooting people because he saw a shotgun in the back window of an old pickup. He does so because he has, over time, become desensitized to the horror of violence. We need to formulate legislation that will effectively address the issues of violence in movies, video games, TV and other entertainment which glorify street violence, drug and alcohol use, pornography and promiscuity. A possibility to address such issues might be a restrictive “society denigration tax” to be levied on such destructive and readily available influences. The underlying cause of our “gun problem” is not the second amendment, it is, in large part, the abuse of the first.
Samuel Waen Jensen