Until now, Softball Politics has intentionally avoided commentary on gun control. The subject is a hot potato if there ever was one.
This essay will not take sides in the controversy, on the heels of two domestic terrorist attacks in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. Two gunmen killed 29 and injured 59 people. The writer will attempt to bring some common sense and possible compromise to the contentious debate relating to gun control, so we can all be safer in public, at work, at school and in our homes.
Guns are not responsible for the plethora of violent deaths across the country. They are inanimate objects that evil and troubled individuals use to generate fear and terror, and to ruin lives. In the aftermath of gun violence in which innocents are slaughtered in shopping malls, schools, universities, places of work and places of worship, many of those supporting gun control, and even the abolition of gun ownership, continue to attribute the problem to the weapons themselves and the proliferation of arms in this country. This is only a part of the overall problem.
It is true that statistically the odds of being shot by a domestic terrorist are much greater than by a foreign-supported terrorist. So what should the most civilized and advanced country in the world do to stem gun violence to protect Americans from future attacks? Banning weapons is not an option because the Constitution protects our right to bear arms.
An obvious solution is to make it as difficult as possible for a deranged person, a criminal or a child to gain possession of a gun. Additionally weapons that are manufactured and sold to the public should not include weapons that are clearly designed to kill humans. Weapons made for military and police purposes are the most dangerous.
The country is evenly split about what you will now read. If a weapon is created to generate significant firepower, a civilian should not own it. Why make it easy for an individual, whose spouse cheated on him, is insane, was fired from his job or is a white, black or brown supremacist to buy a gun with a large clip that can shoot many bullets at a rapid rate. By banning all automatic and semi-automatic weapons potential killers will not be able to murder others so easily.
Many things in our lives are dangerous to the health of citizens. These items are regulated for safety reasons. Automobiles are an excellent example. A person who is unstable, has poor vision or is experiencing poor reflexes should not drive a car. When individuals apply for licenses or renewal of them, DMV officials assess these issues.
Why shouldn’t all gun owners be licensed similarly? Why wouldn’t it be useful to have a complete list of all gun owners and the weapons they possess? This would be no more intrusive than knowing whose driving cars in the country and what cars they are driving.
Citizens who have psychological issues or are convicted felons should not be able to own a weapon. The verification process should be long enough to completely eliminate spot decisions to buy when a person is distraught.
It’s understandable that gun advocates are concerned that if they make concessions, further concessions will be mandated. It should not be a slippery slope for gun advocates to work together with those who oppose gun ownership to enact sensible regulations that keep guns out of the hands of criminals, children and mentally impaired individuals.
Too many innocent people are being brutally gunned down. There are too many guns with excessive power and performance in the hands of undesirables who may want to kill another person.
Above all, we must all respect the Constitution, which makes it legal for Americans to own guns. But effective regulation about the types of guns we own and the character of people who own them is critical.
Every time another tragedy takes place our leaders and lawmakers are outraged. It only takes a few weeks for the outrage to subside, and nothing is done.
Let’s at least make it more difficult for military and police weapon to not get into the hands of those who might use them to kill. Simultaneously we need to protect the rights of Americans to own guns for protection and sport.