Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Yes, It's Called Gun Control

Remember, a truly Conservative government would just confiscate your weapons (and conscript you, probably). If you call yourself a Conservative and oppose, oh, Government, or its regulations put into law by our elected representatives, you probably aren't really, truly a conservative.

We live in a nation of laws, and our government works, to some extent. Pretty much all of our problems are caused by the influence of money, and these can possibly be fixed within a few generations if we are determined to fix them. The problems of guns, and their terrible costs to us, and the world, are also largely a matter of outside money controlling government.

Gun ownership is a tricky thing. I don't think many people would think twice about most of us having a shotgun or a .22 if we live on a farm, or live 20 miles from our nearest neighbor or town, or in a cabin in the woods, or if we hunt for what we eat, or if there are bears or lions in our neighborhood, or if we are in law enforcement, National Guard (our Well Regulated Militia, now generally not serving to protect the interests of slaveowners), or the actual Army/Navy/AirForce/Marines/CoastGuard, etc.

200 years ago, for one or more of these reasons, many of our ancestors had a gun for one or more of these reasons. Now, few of our households have a gun, but most households with guns seem to have many. Most of these guns were legally purchased, which in many cases means you have a pulse, and somehow, some way, criminals keep getting more and more guns. Could it be that legally purchased guns are re-sold with no oversight, no regulation?

Even with criminals getting guns - and ammo - because we refuse to reasonably regulate their sale, violent crimes, committed with guns, have been decreasing as the number of households with guns have decreased (I'm not declaring cause-and-effect here, but it's a factor).

What has increased? Mass shootings have increased, and they have increased especially since we ended our Assault Weapons Ban. Murder by gun as the period on a sentence of domestic violence has increased, and suicide by gun has increased.

The bland reason is that guns of various kinds are far more effective for mass shootings, murdering your spouse or child, or killing yourself, than any other item. If you do not read this and understand that yes, guns do kill people...well, you're probably not reading this far anyway...

We need some simplicity on this issue:

-limit the quantity of guns anyone can buy
-limit the capacity of guns to shoot many bullets in sequence, and their ammo
-limit the sales and usage of guns to adults, like driving and drinking (exceptions for kids on farms, OK, maybe)
-background check every sale. Is it reasonable to expect that we don't sell to felons, those under treatment for mental illness, etc?
-tag every gun and bullet for subsequent identification

None of these reasonable regulations would in any way infringe on the right that you were born with to protect yourself, or the right enumerated in the Constitution to bear a musket in a well-regulated militia. If you feel they would, you probably get your facts from the wrong sources.

I have some other suggestions:

-teach your children that guns are not the answer, and lead by example
-if you do hunt for food, or shoot for target practice, or collect guns as examples of craft and art, keep your weapons with great care, as if the lives of your children depend on it, because they do
-hope that as we cease our obsession with guns, we will see less of them in movies, TV, songs, video games...art is a reflection on society, and the mirror doesn't always paint a pretty picture

What makes these common sense solutions difficult? Money, again. Money from billionaires and corporations are pooled. We, against any common sense, let them buy elections, write legislation, and enrich our legislators. In this case, we have a lobbying organization for arms merchants and those who buy their product (terrorists, the Military Industrial Complex, non-well-regulated militias intent on sedition, etc.) doing all of these at an astounding rate. The #NRA represents 2% of Americans (many of these are among the appx. 24% of households who own guns) yet control a vast percentage of Congress (as well as local and state politicians). Trust me, the NRA doesn't care for a minute about your constitutional rights, beyond what they need to keep the free flow of money from manufacturers of weapons of mass destruction to politicians).

Remove money from politics, and after some time the will of the People may once again be represented.

What the People want is, indeed, Gun Control, not people control.

No comments: