The first time I was ever handed a gun I was taught the only safety rule that matters: Never point a gun at anything you don’t want dead. Every other gun safety rule is mere elaboration on that point. American laws need to change to reflect the basic deadly nature of firearms. Here is a proposal.
Let me be clear at the outset: this is not a call to ban guns. In fact, what I’m about to propose could be used to allow for the private ownership of tanks. But in the United States, in 2012, there have been 7 gun-aided massacres. That number may or may not go up again in the next two weeks. Part of the reason these attacks are terrifying is their seemingly random nature.
Many in the US are claiming that guns don’t kill people, that it is deadly intent that kills people. As a point of reference, I want to mention that today in China, there was a mass stabbing. 22 children have been hospitalized as a result of this attack. 22 children injured. But not- as of this writing- dead. Crazy people do irrational things in response to bad mental stimulus. We cannot prevent the brain from misfiring. We can make it harder for those with ill-will to turn their intention deadly.
Let us say that any person who wishes to buy a firearm must get a license. Any firearm someone purchases must be registered to that person. Firearms may not be stored in any private home. That sounds crazy, but please keep reading.
Accidental shooting deaths are routinely in the top 10 non-natural-causes deaths in US. In fact, the NRA tells us that accidental shooting deaths happen- on average- twice a day. Getting guns out of homes wouldn’t do as much to reduce accidental deaths as putting the speed limit back to 55 miles per hour, but… one thing at a time.
Instead of storing guns in the home, lets allow people to house their guns in private gun clubs. Clubs might simply offer secure lockers- or they might be full-service facilities which also offer shooting ranges, cleaning gear, ammo, etc. Someone wants to own a fully-automatic military-issued weapon? Why not? As long as she numberswiki.com
can convince a properly licensed, monitored, insured, (and soundproofed!) gun range to hold onto it between weekends spent firing it off, there’s no problem whatsoever.
Or, you know, all of the above. But with tanks instead of guns.
So what happens when someone wants to go hunting? No problem! First you would need a hunting licence for a specific, in-season, animal. Then you’ll need to say how long you’re taking it out for- up to a week. You get your gun, you go camping, and then you shoot your limit. Bonus: it helps keep animal populations healthy by preventing over-hunting.
Any time there’s a gun-crime, police would be able to track down where that gun belonged. They’d be able to find out why it was taken from where it belonged, and they’d be able to find out how long it had been gone for. If a gun were stolen, it would be reported nearly instantly- and we’d probably see rates of gun-theft plummet– after all, a club would be selling their reputation for your private possessions secure. Why wouldn’t they do everything possible to ensure that security?
The degree of annoyance involved in getting a gun out of a gun range would nearly eliminate crimes of passion that end in gun-caused murder. In case of invasion, gun clubs would pretty much instantly become armories stashed across the nation.
Finally, by making gun-ownership even slightly difficult- something that has to be actively maintained and paid for- society begins to limit gun-ownership to people who are actively interested in maintaining their skills. Hobbyists would be able to become “a well regulated militia” in short notice.
In light of today’s schoolhouse massacre, I am trying to refrain from frothing at the mouth and screaming about what needs to be done. I think this is a fairly balanced proposal that accounts for the interests of hunters, gun enthusiastic, and the need for Americans to not be murdered in their beds. As an added bonus, this would not cause serious issues with the Second Amendment. There may be holes in the proposal, but it provides a framework.
I seem to have stumbled into an American version of what the Swiss are using. So that’s a good sign.