The US Gun Debate
Today, I saw Trump being heralded as a hero for sitting down with the NRA to discuss banning guns for people on the no-fly list. This was proposed by Obama forever ago, and most recently in December of last year. This is not a groundbreaking conversation. However, due to another mass shooting in the US, the gun reform conversation has kicked up a notch again.
Let’s be honest, most Americans hold on tightly to the Second Amendment but probably couldn’t tell you who actually signed it. They don’t really care what the founding fathers said (I’ve asked many). They care that as law abiding citizens, they should be entitled to own a gun … and they’re right. Many good people own guns for reasons such as hunting, sport, and personal protection. For example, you’d have to be bat shit crazy to be a farmer in the middle of no where with a family to protect and not own a gun. Sport shooting teaches us many valuable lessons, such as concentration, patience, and focus. Responsible hunting controls the circle of life and in many cases, offers animals a far more peaceful death than being left out in the wild to fend for themselves.
The real problem is not the people at mass, but rather The Second Amendment:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
That is the current grammatically accepted version of the amendment. It’s changed over the years, but the wording is the same.
Here’s the thing though, if you believe in this amendment without any room for discussion then you are copping out HARD. You are a cop out. You are also a hypocrite.
Why? Well, because in order for one to truly believe that The Second Amendment applies today as it did yesterday, you must also believe that no laws should change when new factors exist. Keep in mind, the amendment was written in 1792. So you’re following a law that existed prior to automatic weapons, cars, computers, vaccines, the battery, electric lights, the tin fucking can, the stethoscope, and so many other life saving or daily life inventions.
If you’re going to follow The Second Amendment to a tee, then you can’t use and of that stuff above, because you don’t believe in change. Also, if you believe in text without revision you have to admit that molesting children is okay and scientists are evil. You’d have to believe that because you can’t change The Bible, right?
If a law, amendment, or whatever kind of text you want to reference is drafted and then an external factor changes, then that text has to be updated. That’s good governance and common sense.
Here’s a great example. AI is on the horizon. If someone wants to create an army of AI robots looking to kill a certain group of people, we’d put the brakes on that project pretty damn quickly. Robots of yesterday will not be the robots of tomorrow, and we won’t stand for the unnecessary violence. If robots start walking the streets and killing people, are we not going to come up with laws to deal with that, or are our current robotics laws enough for you when AI deems us all to be idiots and thusly hazardous?
The same can be said about guns. You can’t hold onto the same principals of 1792, but introduce automatic weapons. That’s non-sensical and insulting to the majority’s intelligence.
Be reasonable, old laws have to be adapted to new ideas and circumstances. So, let’s look at what can be done.
It’s important to note that in none of these scenarios would good, law abiding citizens lose their right to bear arms.
Central Arms Database
It is simply unreasonable to suggest that you need to give ID to get into a club, drive a car, or go to a R rated movie, but you don’t need ID to buy a gun. I believe if you want to have a gun, rock on, but with an instrument of death you should have to be put in a database that all gun sellers the world over have access to. That system should log your ID, a current picture and details, and can be compared to government agency “risk” databases on demand. This ensures everyone’s communicating. If you are denied any rights due to investigation or criminal offense and try to buy a gun, you are flagged in the system automatically.
The point: The sellers and buyers are now both held accountable, and we have quick communication eliminating a lot of the issues we see when mass shooting cases come up.
One-Month Wait Times for New Owners
No one needs a gun immediately. It’s just not a thing, unless someone is looking to kill themselves or someone else. First-time gun purchasers should have a one-month wait in front of them. After they are entered into the central database, they have 30-days to get a license from an authorized vendor, and then after the wait they can return to the store to pick-up their purchase.
The process of buying a gun should be exhaustive with strong background checks (even of your relatives) and psychological evaluations.
The point: Planning a terrorist attack, or criminal offence? It’s a known fact, the longer you are required to wait for something, the harder it is to keep it a secret, and you may end up changing your mind.
Two-Week Wait Time for Additional Purchases
In this wait time, those that previously purchased a gun will simply have to wait for their purchase to be run through the system against government databases. Also, just as it should be done with drivers, you take a quick online test to re-affirm that you are still up to snuff on the laws and safety requirements.
The point: Ever seen a driver do something stupid that you know is in “the book”? They do it because they’ve forgotten the basics. That happens with most things in life. So, a refresher wouldn’t hurt … literally. Oh, and you make it free. Don’t profit off of good intentions.
If a gun owner is suspected by friends and/or family or being up to no good with their gun, or thinking about being up to no good, they should be allowed to go to any gun shop and file a complaint that is entered into the central database. Those complaints can’t be anonymous though. That would bring all the crazies out. Instead, only make it anonymous to the gun owner unless it goes to court.
The point: People will feel less intimidated filing a complaint at a store, and perhaps we’ll see more coming forward.
Get the NRA out of Washington
Obama (my man) you have failed in this regard. The NRA should have as much power in Washington as the New Jersey 1st Street Book Club. In fact, it’s just time for lobbies to go. Replace them with experts in their field who are not allowed to make judgments outside of what’s best for humanity and are guided by science/math. Why are lobbies still a thing?
The point: Lobbyists have no business swaying our government. The NRA is a joke. It’s non-elected officials with the power of those elected. Take the money out of governance.
Tougher Laws for Illegal Sale, Ownership & Misuse
If you get caught owning or selling an illegal gun, you immediately go to jail with no chance of parole for 10 years, no matter what. End of story. As long as officials can back up their claim with actual evidence, having an illegal firearm or selling it would pretty much ruin your life. Who would chance it then? An illegal firearm would be any weapon not registered directly to the person or seller found with it, and any assault weapon outside of ranges, and controlled environments.
Regarding misuse, if your kid gets your gun then goes to school and shoots people you should be fit for a cell right along with them. There is no reason you can’t keep your gun out of the hands of your kid.
The point: You get the point. Stop pretending you don’t.
I’m not going to keep going here, but there’s plenty of ways the US can improve their broken system, and how in the world does any of this actual infringe on their way of life?
This is by no means a complete solution, but rather just some common sense answers to a problem.
But then again, if America were reasonable they wouldn’t be about to elect Donald Trump.