Thinking out loud:
A number of Americans want more gun control. Other nations are looking down their noses at us in horror as multiple killings hit the news. Victims (understandably) are demanding change.
I won’t go over the statistics on guns again (please see previous posts). Today we are going to ask questions?
How will we limit the number of guns? Many of the mass killers have qualified to purchase guns under the current application process. Should the application process be more stringent? Should there be a mental evaluation for every gun purchase? How about high taxation on guns?
Should we outlaw the sale of handguns? Semiautomatic weapons? Sport weapons? Any type of gun that is not used specifically for hunting?
If the country wants less guns, will we stand by and allow government officials go door to door to remove guns from our possession? Will we require a forfeiture of weapons? Who will be allowed to keep their guns? Who will decide who can keep their guns?
Maybe we should make really harsh laws for gun owners who allow access to their guns – i.e. children who steal parent’s guns and kill someone – maybe the parents should rot in jail for life because their guns were accessible?
The long standing thought in America has been, “if you make guns illegal, only the criminals will have guns.” Limiting “anything” in America has not been very successful. We tried it with alcohol and that was a disaster. We have tried it recently with sugar sodas and that didn’t go over well. The one positive effort has been cigarette smoking. Although smoking hasn’t been eliminated we have successfully stopped it in public areas and made it more difficult and expensive to buy cigarettes.
We have always been a nation with guns. We can turn and begin limiting the number of guns but it will need to be well thought out, well planned and it will take a long steady effort with a great deal of patience and understanding from both sides. 300 million guns and counting. Don’t expect it to change soon. The hysterics of screaming “get rid of guns” is not helping. It is too complicated an issue to make rash knee jerk reactions. The situation can be improved but bully pulpiting is not the answer.