Here’s some common sense for you. I want gun ownership to be as boring and annoying as car ownership. I want you to go to some Department of Weapons and sit for hours. I want folks who own guns to prove their skill, their mental and physical health, and to be licensed and reviewed over the years just as happens with our driver’s licenses. You earn the privilege to own and drive a vehicle; earn the privilege to own and use a gun.
Quibble with me over semantics if you want to; what is a “right” vs. what is a “privilege.” I’ll be busy with my friends and colleagues trying to prevent more unnecessary deaths.
Gun ownership isn’t some inalienable right granted by God. Remember, the Constitution was written by men coming out of a long and bloody war near the end of the 18th century. It was written for their time.
It also implicitly (and, uh, rather explicitly) included the “right” to own a human being. Check out the provisions on property. They weren’t just talking about the front yard at your great-great-grandaddy’s plantation. As an aside, learn about the 3/5 compromise. July 12, 1787. Philadelphia. History is very interesting if you bother to pay attention before losing your damn mind in a comments section on these here interwebs.
I want a voluntary federal buyback program for firearms, with hunting weapons and vintage/historic weapons exempt. I want the sale of weapons to be even more tightly controlled than the sale of Xanax and other controlled substances. I want advertising for firearms to be as regulated as DTC (direct to consumer) advertising for pharmaceuticals (“May cause shortness of breath, long-lasting boners, etc.”) You’re required to purchase car insurance, right? You ought to be required to purchase gun insurance as well.
It’s just common sense.
We can do all of this. It’ll create jobs, believe it or not: regulators, educators, enforcers.
It will not end murder. It won’t end rape or robbery either. It WILL make it harder to commit those crimes. There will be a black market for guns as there is for any coveted item in a capitalist society. (And I’m not anti-capitalism, btw. I’m a fan, with reservations! Sorry, hippies. I do love you guys, by the way, you’re very nice people with good instincts.)
Continuing education credits for gun owners should be required, just as they are with medical professionals. When you have a greater ability to take a human life you have a greater responsibility to prove your fitness to wield the tools that may create that end.
And that’s how the fuck you well-regulate a goddamn American militia.
Update: RIP Christina. And Trayvon. And…there are too many names to list here. Some make national headlines. Most don’t. It happens every damn day in this country. And this post becomes relevant again, and again, and again.
It never stops.
Update 6/12/2016: Jesus Christ.
Update 8/3/2019: If I updated every time this happened, I would not have time to do anything else. So let me say for now and always: do not vote for any candidate who accepts any contributions from the NRA. Ever. End of story.