Control The Guns

downloadWhy is it that anytime an incident occurs in the country that involves firearms someone or many someones will take advantage of the event to politicize the time-worn topic of gun control. It does not matter if it is a mass shooting or a tragic accident involving a child. Personally I think that most of the politicizing is not so much a persons concern for the tragedy as it is an opportunity to create a sound bite and name recognition. The problem is, gun control is an important topic and we as a people need to talk about it and we need to work it out. We need to find a way to decrease the tragedies caused by the proliferation of guns in the country while at the same time not trample on the rights of people to own a gun. The real question is, are we talking about gun control or controlling the guns.? That is a fine distinction between the two, but a distinction none the less.

When ever I talk to anyone who is advocating gun control, I asked them what they mean by gun control and what measures they feel could be  taken to implement gun control. It is at this point that I usually get a blank stare and then a fumbling of words trying to state their position. One person even went so far as to recommend taking the guns away from everyone except the military and the police. That sounds suspiciously like martial law or a police state, so I would have to dismiss that recommendation out of hand. The most recent gun control concept just emerged today. It is reported that President Obama plans to make another end run around congress and implement some gun control concepts via executive order. As I understand it he plans on imposing new background-check requirements for buyers who buy weapons from high-volume gun dealers. and a requirement for dealers who sell over a prescribed amount of guns to have an ATF license. The latter will, of course, put the concept under the control of the politicians in Washington. That is never a good idea. Gun control means different things to different people.  Most are not really sure what gun control is. I guess the best way to say it would be to apply Judge Potter Stewart’s concept of pornography, “I will know it when I see it”.

I believe gun control should mean limiting access to guns by certain people based on criminal background, mental stability, and age. I think it should be easier for a person with law enforcement experience and training or a person with military experience and training to obtain a gun. That, of course, includes the restriction that these individuals are found to be free of mental instability or a criminal record. I believe that anytime a gun is transferred a record of that transaction should be kept in a database. The key words here are “every transfer” including giving cousin Bobby your old shotgun to selling a target pistol at a gun and knife show. I believe that all gun ownership should be licensed and registered and the ownership information should be as readily available to Law enforcement as is ownership information of an automobile. Additionally I believe ballistics information should be available from every gun manufactured or imported into the United States. This ballistics information should be maintained in the gun ownership and registration database. Finally, I believe it should be a requirement, under penalty of the law, that all lost or stolen guns be reported to law enforcement. Additionally, criminal charges will be mandatory for any person caught with an unlicensed and unregistered gun.  Controls of this sort would certainly aid law enforcement in their fight to control gun violence such as we are experiencing here in Cincinnati and elsewhere in the nation.

There will be, of course, pros and cons to implementing the above measures. It will become more difficult for a legitimate buyer to obtain a gun. It may take longer to get a gun and it will most likely increase the purchase price of a gun. It won’t keep guns out of the hands of criminals but it may increase the difficulty for a criminal to acquire a handgun. Obviously, if a handgun is stolen and the owner reports the theft, the stolen gun will still be in the possession of the thief. All of this will not bring about an end to gun violence in the United States. I don’t think that will ever happen. At most we can hope that the gun violence will decrease. One final point, the 2nd Amendment speaks of   the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It provides that right to “the people”, but not to a person. That is something to ponder upon.

Those are my thoughts, what are yours?

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Tom Lind

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1 Comment

  1. TimOctober 9, 2015

    Exactly. Taking guns away is not the answer, but trying to ensure they go into the hands of responsible owners, is. Nothing is perfect, but a step in the right direction. People have the right to feel safe and others should not feel their rights are being trampled on.

    Interesting take on the Second Amendment, by the wayl


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