Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Meaningful action"


Pure evil has raised it's ugly head again and this time taken from us 27 people, 20 of them innocent little children.  We're all in shock.  We're mad.  We feel helpless to do anything, but at the same time we're determined to do something.  The President says we must take "meaningful action".  I concur.  Here's where it gets tricky.  Do what?  

The logical first suggestion is "gun control".  I don't understand what that means.  What exactly constitutes "gun control"?  Does it mean everyone who owns a gun must register it, listing themselves the owner of 1 or 2 or more guns, make X and model Y?  How will that prevent any more massacres?  Have you noticed that in many of these horrible shootings the shooter takes his own life, too?  A person could somehow lose his mind and then use his legal firearm to kill many others plus himself. And of course there is a HUGE black market in stolen guns.  This seems like it would be a huge exercise in futility.

What about just outlawing guns, with a very few exceptions?  Everyone just turn in their guns, where they would be permanently destroyed?  How would that be enforced?  After the turn-in date would the police go door-to-door looking for guns?  The obvious problem....we don't have enough police now, much less enough to take on this additional role.

In this scenario you'd probably get good response from law abiding citizens, but certainly not from the criminal element.  By definition they don't obey laws.  Why should they obey this one?  I think it fair to say you will NEVER be able to get all guns, or even most guns, off the street.  Again, a huge exercise in futility.

Why not try this:  Instead of trying to scrutinize all 300,000,000+ Americans, why not concentrate on the few million who have done something to indicate they are troubled or have already committed a crime?  Every time a restraining order is issued against someone for cause, their name should INSTANTLY go on the FBI list that precludes them from buying a gun (legally).  Any time a person is committed to a hospital for serious, dangerous mental issues, their name would INSTANTLY go on that same list.  And in both cases, a search warrant would be issued INSTANTLY requiring police to search that person's residence/belongings and confiscate any firearms found. 

And for anyone found selling guns on the black market, they would be sent to the most horrible of all prisons....an old fashioned rock-busting, brutal, hellish prison.  And if it could be proven that a gun they sold illegally was used to take a life, then they would be held as complicit as the shooter, and subject to the same penalties.  (Life in prison/ no parole or even capital punishment.)

This would take an extreme effort to pull off, and it would be expensive.  But it would be "meaningful action", and it just might work.  Meanwhile, since it has become evident that law abiding people are to a large extent responsible for their own safety, they could still possess the means to protect themselves.

There honestly aren't any easy answers, but as the President has said, we must do something.

S



11 comments:

  1. Good ideas here Scott. None of which would have kept guns out of this Ct. nut jobs hands (From the reports I have seen), but good ideas nonetheless. Criminals will always have guns, but we can make it more difficult for them, law abiding people should be allowed guns...hunting is not going to go away, and range shooting and skeet shooting are popular pastimes. I do not own nor do I want to own a gun, but if I lived on a farm in Wyoming or some other sparcely occupied area you bet I would be armed. Certianly any of these legitamate reasons for guns can exclude rapid fire assult weapons, and owning a gun should at a minimum require a licence and a written usage test, a psycological test, a use demonstration and a background check. There is much that can and should be done to limit ownership and use.

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    1. You're right Joe. We'll never make it 100% impossible for a nut job to get his hands on a gun. But we CAN make it difficult enough that only 1 or 2 or 3 in 10 vs 10 in 10 as it is now can arm themsleves to the hilt and kill dozens.

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  2. I just saw a statistic that said 47 percent of all American households have guns of some sort, so guns aren't going away anytime soon. While I do believe in a citizen's right to own a gun I don't believe the Constitution protects private ownership of assault weapons, machines designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. Returning to an assault weapon ban (which we've had before) would be a good place to start.

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  3. Scott:

    I see your comments on my new site so I'm assuming you're able to access my posts, but I'm not receiving your comments on my G-mail which is the only way I can respond to them. Not everyone wants a response but I didn't want you thinking I was ignoring you. Take care.

    CC

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    1. Yes, I read you now via Blogtrottr, and I leave my comments at the bottom of your posts as always. Should I be commenting some way different? Please advise.

      S

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  4. The cultural conditioning, public education, and other factors may be more dangerous than the weapons themselves. Our media and government openly condone and justify bullying tactics by unions and even government, in an ends-justifies-means mentality. Video games of violence do certainly have an influence. Overall, we've created an atmosphere which is bound to produce more than our share of sociopaths. Often they are glamorized in a bizarre way.
    It is an uphill battle from any standpoint. It makes me nervous to think that government officials would be the only ones with legal firearms, or that they be the arbiters of who deserves to possess them.
    In short, I think the problem is far deeper than the availability of weapons, and I'm unconvinced that more power of the state will fix anything..

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  5. These are good ideas Scott - although I'd love to see the end of all guns (except for hunting guns) I know that I'm just living in a daydream...

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  6. Violence does not always mean there is a gun involved. It is quite easy to reduce the population with chemical means. And bright individuals such as this guy have the means to do so. Sad really. Mental illness remains in the dark corner while our society is more concerned about what celebrities wear and how breast cancer will be cured. Important indeed, the latter, but no one "walks for mental illness".

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    1. Spot on! We can't bury our head in the sand and pretend this doesn't exist. But it seems to me prudent to make sure those suffering have as little opportunity as possible to harm others.

      S

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  7. After the famous "...from my cold, dead hands..." speech by Charlton Heston, Rosie O'Donnell replied with something like, "Not from your hands, Mr. Heston. Only from the criminals' hands."

    I agree with what you said, background check, mental health check, etc. before you buy a gun. Just like having a driver's license is a privilege tied to certain requirements and responsibilities, so should be gun ownership.

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  8. It was simpler in Britain after the Dunblane junior school massacre. Such a small percentage of the population owned handguns (or, perhaps more importantly, even wanted to own them) that legislation that effectively banned private ownership of almost all handguns met with general approval. Legally owned guns did have to be turned in, and yes, there were complaints, but on the whole people felt a lot safer knowing that the only handguns were in the hands of criminals.
    Shotguns and rifles were limited to more realistic levels (no automatic or semi-automatics, double-barrelled shotguns only for farmers and sportsmen, bolt-action rifles with limited magazine capacity and calibre for hunters. It worked pretty well; there has been only one mass-killing using firearms since.
    But you do have a real problem in the US – as you described, the sheer number of guns in circulation is so vast that removing them would be an enormous task. Tighter regulation on the criminal and mental background of would-be owners is certainly a step in the right direction though.

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