It's been a few days now since the senseless killing of 9 worshipers at a church in Charleston, SC. Tragic....racist....simply beyond comprehension. But it happened, and it has started the conversation anew about gun control. And IMHO we have again taken the wrong fork in the road. We're headed towards a dead end where nothing will happen except get everyone even more polarized and pissed off.
We have lost our sense of reality. As in most instances, we know what we would LIKE to see happen, without seriously acknowledging what actually CAN happen. There is quite a difference between the two.
My liberal friends think Congress should pass a law restricting certain types of guns, or even outlaw them all together, similar to what has been done in the past in the UK, Australia, etc. End of problem, and we all live happily ever after. La-tee-dah!
My conservative friends think Gubment agents will soon be knocking on their door....no....KICKING THEIR DOOR DOWN....in order to confiscate all their firearms.
The first scenario is a pipe dream, and the second is silly.
No law can change people's thinking. A law is a signed piece of paper, nothing more. People have to be willing to accept it before it can have any long-term practical affect on our society (think Prohibition), and a huge portion of our population will NEVER give up their firearms. ("....when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.") It simply won't happen. And no one, no amount of force, can go door-to-door and confiscate people's guns. There would be blood in the streets.
And for that same reason, no Gubment agents are going to come into our houses and confiscate our firearms. There aren't enough police or soldiers to do it, and besides, a good many would probably mutiny if they were ordered to do so.
Nor can they prohibit / buy up all the ammunition, making our guns little more than paperweights. There are already BILLIONS of rounds of every caliber ammunition you can imagine in private hands. That goal is even more pie-in-the-sky than confiscating our guns!
Instead of chasing those windmills, why don't we pursue something more realistic, something we can all (?) agree on, like keeping firearms out of the hands of known criminals and the mentally unstable? How difficult would that be to do? Damn difficult....but much easier than turning the country upside down looking for several hundred MILLION guns and BILLIONS of round of ammo, and creating a civil war in the process.
Known criminals are just that, known. They should regularly be subject to random searches of their residences, cars, their persons, etc, to insure they are not in possession of guns they are prohibited having due to their status as felons. A daunting task for sure, but even if marginally successful, likely to yield immediate, noticeable results.
The mentally disturbed....Oooo....that will be tougher. Who gets to decide who is mentally disturbed? Their former spouse? Their next door neighbor with an ax to grind? Will counselors and therapists rat out their patients who they suspect might be dangerous, without having any real proof? Will that doctor / patient confidentially thing come into play? I dunno. Still, I think this, more than anything else, will make our country safer.
We must somehow identify those among us who are disturbed enough, desperate enough, hate-filled enough, to resort to violence. Making this a national priority should start NOW. We can talk this subject to death and accomplish nothing, or we can get real and maybe see something good come of this tragedy.