Monday, July 20, 2015

Taking a stance value 4: Gun laws need to improve

How many more shootings have to happen for there to be change? 

I am well aware people will quote their constitutional right to bear arms. It is our right, but seriously, acting as if there isn’t a massive problem borders on lunacy.

Don’t you dare touch my guns!

I need these guns for protection!

Guns don’t kill people!

I keep hearing the broken record of this tune and it worries me.

A lot.

People keep protecting guns with a fevered passion that I just can’t wrap my head around. I have family in Texas and they have guns of their own. They hunt and they have the right to enjoy it.

I’m not saying I like the concept of hunting. I’m saying I get people that are into hunting and want to have a gun. I'm even going as far as saying that I'm related to people who enjoy these things and I still love them. I’m not on that bandwagon, but I respect people’s interest in both these things.

Now that we got that out of the way, can we please address the issue of gun laws and how maybe there’s a better way to distribute guns and control who has them and how many?

We’re not talking electric guitars you collect. We’re talking about a weapon that can easily and swiftly end a life. I’ve seen some people with weapon caches that border on the worrisome… enough to arm a small military force.

At the security risk this poses, I wonder if there should be a cap on how many guns and how much ammunition a household has. If this is a bad idea, I’d like to hear why that is a bad idea. Why can’t there be a limit of rounds per person or per household?

Then I see people on social media blatantly brandishing weapons and although I could focus on the really worrisome people shooting at posters of actual people and putting captions like “Got im” or even handling weapons around babies, I’ll instead focus on the people who consistently show off their weapons. Could those pictures also be flagged as inappropriate? I ask because it’s a bit odd to see it is so easy to report obscene pictures of breasts and booty yet it’s utterly normal to point a gun at a camera.

I brought that up because the media and social media do shape part of our collective consciousness.

Which also begs the question whether there should be parental features that filter out gun content.

Actually, I’m not for this at all. I grew up with GI Joes and have seen plenty of violent movies, even as a kid… but I don’t own a gun and at the very least, I think it’s an interesting question to bring up to hear the reasoning for and against it if only to understand the larger issue at hand a bit better.

Then there’s the question about selling weapons.

You want guns? Perfect.

Take a psych test to determine whether you’re capable and competent enough to handle weapons responsibly. That's for starters.

After that, we’re going to do a background check for violent offenses, any disciplinary actions taken against you and verification that you are not currently taking any medication that may induce mood swings, violent behavior or emotional instability. Drug check is mandatory as is record of alcohol abuse. After that, a 30 day waiting period. Hell since we all like a deal, if you wait an extra 30 days for a 60 day total, you’ll get a 10% discount.

If any of that sounds ridiculous, then how does it sound when I tell you that right now in certain places I can get a gun off a rack, two or three cases of ammunition and pay in cash without an ID?

Moreover, if you had to choose a world where everyone had a gun and a world where there were no guns, which would you prefer to raise your kids in?

Now returning to the point. Some people want guns, others don’t. We all have the right to bear arms… although I should quote the constitution in full:

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Two things I’d like to focus on:

  •        Well regulated militia
  •        Necessary to the security of the free state

Last I checked, a lot of people who own guns do not serve in the military but that’s just me nitpicking. The other bit I would like to focus on a bit more. By the statement established by the constitution, it is in fact expressed that we have the right to bear arms, but it also establishes the need to regulate such a right. So here’s to the constitution and enforcing it in full.

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