Guns & reason
I was driving with my wife when she glanced at Facebook and told me there was “breaking news” out of Texas involving a shooting. Without hesitation I said, “God I hope it’s not a church.” She asked why my mind went to that scenario and I said, “Look at your watch. It’s Sunday. This is when people gather at church.” Within minutes my fears were confirmed.
Because this has happened so often before you knew exactly the script the media would follow and how the talking heads on TV would blather on. It’s almost as if there is a MASS CASUALTIES AND HOW THE MEDIA SHOULD RESPOND playbook. Step 1- If it appears the shooter is foreign or has a foreign name go out of your way to say things like, “a mechanic from Cleveland” as opposed to a Syrian national here on a work visa. Unless you’re Fox then play up his nationality. Step 2- If it appears the shooter is a white male be certain to stress that there is no such thing as gun control and more people died in Chicago last week and nobody cared. Oh and whatever you do blame it on “mental health” and steer the conversation away from terrorism, religion, athiesm, a failure of anyone in government to actually do their jobs or the type of gun that was used.
I’m not a gun control nut nor am I the type who screams SECOND AMMENDMENT and tells you there can be absolutely no restrictions on weapons because that’s what Adams and Jefferson wanted. I’m pretty sure the guys loading muskets couldn’t imagine the types of weapons our dark minds would create someday. I do think we’ve had enough of these mass shootings for every adult in America to have an adult conversation about solutions.
Before we even begin we have to acknowledge a few truths. First no laws will stop bad people from doing bad things. Since the days of Rome and Judas evil people commit evil be it with a rock or rope or whatever was available. Second thing to acknowledge is that you can’t get all the guns back even if you wanted to and in all honesty you shouldn’t anyway. There are millions who have guns for hunting or target shooting or personal protection who have every right under the constitution. Last thing to admit is that 99 percent of the politicians are using these tragedies for political gain. Period. They are full of crap on both sides of the aisle.
All that said can we agree with all the drug abuse and mental health issues in this country right now it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make it just a little tougher to buy multiple guns in a short period of time? When I see these mass shooters have 50 weapons in the trunk of the car it tells me it’s a little too easy to arm up for judgement day. A quote “average person” has a few weapons. A few. Once someone passes the 20 guns mark can we have some extra paperwork to fill out or maybe a closer screening where someone actually asks them why they need this many weapons, assuming they are not a gun dealer? If there is a legitimate reason and the person is kosher fine have at it.
We also have to enforce the laws already on the books. The monster in Texas who shot up that church tripped every single red flag you could- tossed out of the military, hurting animals, hurting women, etc... and yet here he could amass this arsenal. The government completely dropped the ball.
Next thing, since the semi-automatic AR whatever rifle seems to be the weapon of choice to hurt lots of people could we, without banning them, just make it a little tougher to get one? If you are a good person with no record and really need one for target practice you make your case. Maybe it’s just a little bit longer of a waiting period and scrutiny, exactly what we do with pistols and pistol permits now, not a ban. Just take a harder look at who wants one and why. That seems reasonable and law abiding citizens shouldn’t object.
Last thing. Anyone who tampers with a gun to make it more deadly should go to prison for a minimum of ten years. Anyone who sells a device that makes these guns more dangerous; same sentence. Oh and if you’re at the gun range or out hunting an see another guy with an altered weapon making it more deadly and you report him; $5,000 reward.
Nothing can stop evil but we can make it a little bit tougher for the crazies to hurt so many people. You can do it without taking away all the guns. And for anyone tempted to write me and tell me we can’t restrict weapons I’d simply point out we do already. There’s a reason you can’t buy a machine gun and grenade launcher at Walmart. And for those who want all guns gone I’d point out it was a good guy with a gun who stopped the killer. There is a middle ground where reasonable adults can meet. I really believe that.