One of the most controversial issues of the day is gun control. Every American is concerned with the violence that has become common in our country. Many believe that the main reason for the violence is because of an overabundance of guns.
I have some thoughts on this issue.
Guns into themselves are not the issue. The issue is that guns are in the hands of unstable persons or persons who are intent on doing illegal actions. How do you stop this from occurring? This is the burning question of the day.
Should be limit automatic weapons? We already do. Does a person need a military style weapon for security? No, a person may not need it but might want to own a fully legal and registered one for sport. Should we limit the number of rounds a weapon can have in its magazine? We could, but only the law-abiding citizen would follow that. Even if you limit the number of bullets that a gun can have at time, that still does not stop the person for having a large number of clips to continually reload with.
We already have strong gun legislation that needs to be adhered to. However these laws are for the law-abiding person. Almost like locking your car. Locking your car will prevent the casual criminal from breaking into your car and stealing it. If a professional wants your car you have almost no way to prevent it. Unfortunately it is the same with guns. You can register all the guns but if the gun is stolen by an unstable or unsavory person then the gun can be used in a violent way. Both the Sandy Hook and Columbine shooters were using guns that were registered to legal owners but were stolen and used to commit murder.
There are some more things that can be done with legislation but it will mostly be ceremonial. There are two such legislative initiatives that would help.
First would be to prevent anyone on a no-fly list from buying a gun. This is a no brainer. However, if you are a person on a no-fly list or a radical then you will get your guns from your organization that can source it from almost any place on the earth. It would however, stop a person before they are fully radicalized and plotting an attack. This might have stopped the shooting in Orlando. Not all background checks were done on this individual before he was able to get his weapon.
Second would be to have a renewable license to own a gun. This would be like a driver’s license. Currently you get a driver’s license which gives you the right to drive a car. This license has to be renewed from time to time. This gives the Department of Motor Vehicles a checkpoint on the ability of a person to be able to drive a car. The same principle could be applied to gun ownership. Have the license to own a gun come up for renewal which would allow a background check to be performed on that person. If that person has been institutionalized for any reason or convicted of a crime then the right to own a gun could be revoked.
There are several legal hurdles that would have to be address to make either one of these ideas a reality. My goal is to at least express some creative solutions to start a conversation on how to address this issue.