Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Modern World Gun Responsibilities

The Gun Debate

There has been a lot of debate going on surrounding gun regulations, restrictions, and rights following the massacre at Sandy Hook. I am continually told that “it wasn't the gun that killed those kids”, or “the second amendment, blah blah blah”, or “why should responsible gun owners be made to suffer, because the criminals won't follow the laws anyway”. If you are fighting for the “right” to own a semi-automatic weapon, or any weapon for that matter, I would support it with the following expectations.
  1. You are responsible for your guns at all times. This means you need to secure your weapon to prevent access by minors, and others not authorized to use said weapons. If your gun/guns get stolen, you are responsible for reporting it to the police. Failure to do so will implicate you in any crimes or violence committed by aforementioned gun. Also, if you fail to secure your weapons, and an unauthorized person/ minor uses your weapons in a crime, or someone is hur, the same consequences apply.

  2. All guns need to be registered. Yes, I know, you are worried about the “Gumment” coming and taking all of your guns. Although you may claim to be a responsible gun owner, I have no guarantees you are not an idiot. By registering all weapons, we can ensure that any guns that are lost or stolen, can be potentially identified in the future. If you are unable to keep track of your many many weapons, you will still be responsible for any crimes or violence committed by your guns, unless your report their loss or theft. This registration will also include private sales/ gun show sales. How else are we to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill if we don't require everyone to register, and how will we be able to determine if they have weapons or not if someone is later diagnosed with mental illness. 
  1. If your child, or another, is killed by an unsecured gun, you will not get out of criminal prosecution because you have suffered a great enough loss as it is. Your negligence caused a death, you pay the criminal price, no pity exceptions. 
  1. You need to take a class. There are plenty of gun education groups out there, teaching kids the proper safety and conduct for possessing, carrying, and discharging a firearm. Again, although many of you claim to be responsible gun owners, I know from experience that many of you are idiots (I have shot guns with several of them), and have no idea about handling a firearm safely. Since I won't take your word that you are or will be a safe gun owner, I would require that everyone take a firearm safety class. Those in the military or law enforcement are exempt. 
  1. You would need to limit a guns bullet capacity. Yes, I have shot a 30 round clip before, and yes, it was a ball. Outside of it being fun, it really had know purpose other than the make sure my lazy butt didn't need to reload more frequently. If you require more than a 10 round clip to protect your home, maybe you need to spend some time at the range. If you are worried about Red Dawn/ Zombies, well..... good luck with that. 
  1. Background Checks. I think everyone agrees that we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. Until we extend the background study requirement to private sales/ gun show sales, we have left a huge loophole for criminals and the mentally ill to get guns through. We need to better prosecute straw buyers, and if registration was required, then there would be a lot less “legally purchased guns” getting into the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. 
  1. Stop whining like your child was shot in a school massacre about how all these requirements are unfair. Boo frickin' hoo. Yes, criminals can get guns. Yes, they will not do background studies. People drive drunk, but we don't get rid of drunk driving laws. Criminals steal cars, but we still require the rest of us to register, license, and insure our cars.
  1. To answer the concerns about any of this violating your constitutional right to bear arms, I will defer to Thomas Jefferson:
"Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." 

Having the right to bear arms does not mean we should not have ownership requirements and responsibilities, especially in modern day America. Most of our society does not have the same experiences that our founding fathers had in the daily use of weapons, with guns being necessary to simply feed their family (by need not choice) with wild game, to protect themselves in a lawless frontier, or too defend a newly formed government in a newly found land from their former rulers. Most of us choose to hunt for sport or the special treat of wild game (but can otherwise feed our family with a credit card). We have well established law enforcement, and although we may choose to defend ourselves with weapons, it is not remotely the same need of settlers of the past. Our government is well developed, and although some people on the fringe of our society would advocate for armed revolution, I would argue that governmental change at the end of a barrel is a thing for the history books. I believe we have enough conflict and controversy that one group will never take over, and governing with a bullet is, well, archaic and unnecessary.