Leading up to the next presidential election America will have a renewed and vigorous debate about guns. This debate will not be easy and probably will not go well, because We Americans are not good at compromise, and gun control is certainly among the most contentious and fiercely debated issues we Americans face.
The conservative side will wave Second Amendment banners in our face and threaten to go to war with their fellow Americans if it is not taken literally. Well, let’s take it literally then. It speaks of a “well regulated Militia” being “necessary to the security of a free State”, and ends by saying, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”.
We could acquiesce to concerns of the American Gun Culture by affirming the right to own guns as a matter of personal freedom; but if we do, that right must be much more severely regulated. The wild west of unregulated gun trafficking must come to an end. Criminals are benefiting and children are dying. Frequent mass shootings by off-balanced individuals are a symptom of our current gun dysfunctionality.
We are becoming an international pariah. Guns legally purchased here in America are being used for crime and violence here and all over central and South America. Drug Cartels have the biggest weapons. They favor the massive BAR 50 caliber rifle, with rounds the size of a pickle that can penetrate just about anything. They buy them up here in America and take them south as seen in a recent Vice documentary. America’s permissive stance on guns is not shared by other nations. Our Mexican neighbors, for instance, have meaningful regulation. Mexicans can only buy guns at a government run gun store. They wait two weeks after the application for a background check. Furthermore, the biggest caliber gun they can buy is a .38.
As I said, a good compromise here is unlikely, but here is what should happen:
Penalties for using an unregistered gun in a crime should be more severe, but too frequently our problems are also the result of legally obtained weapons.
Guns should be registered to a single owner who clears a background check with a long waiting period. Reselling must be banned or subject to a mandatory background check and registration for the new owner. We should take steps to eliminate under the counter sales. Guns should always be secured as a prerequisite of ownership. In order to reduce the number of times guns get sold on the black market, there should be hefty penalties for “lost” or “stolen” guns. Possession by the registered owner should be verified once a year.
Open carry should be rare or non-existent. Stand your ground laws should be restricted to prevent frivolous gun play and accidental shootings.
However, in order to meet the American Gun Culture in the middle, a handgun for family protection should be proforma after training, a background check, and registration.
If owning an assault rifle or a BAR for shooting on a gun range is so important to Members of the American Gun Culture, then they should be ready to be taxed through the nose for large caliber weaponry.
Proposed: We should all grow up and accept responsibility for the right to own lethal guns.