Another shot at gun control
I know, a terrible pun, but laughing is better than sobbing. The best idea below is not mine, but I do not remember where I read it. In any case, since any mention of gun control seems to send gun enthusiasts into paroxysms of dismay (to put it mildly), perhaps we can do this another way. It would take three steps.
- Elect representatives and senators who are not owned by the NRA. This would be the most difficult part, but perhaps the massive surge in school shootings where the perpetrator used an AR 15 assault rifle (or similar) will create voter outrage when the amounts a candidate received from the NRA are made public. Those amounts are coming out now, and the numbers are eye-opening.
- Have the newly elected representatives come up with a new category definition: “weapons of war.” This would no longer be considered “arms,” as in the right to keep and bear yadayadayada, but would be defined according to their original design intent – war. Target shooters and hunters (both of which groups deserve to exist and have a long history of fine behavior in the main) do not need a weapon capable or expelling tens or hundreds of bullets at a time.
It would not be enough to simply specify particular weapons by name, such as AR-15, because weapons manufacturers would simply design a new model in search of more profit. Instead, the definition would have to include a performance standard. I would leave that to people with more gun expertise than I (which would include most) but perhaps a limit of 5 rounds per minute would be a place to start. If you are a target shooter, is a shot every 12 seconds enough? If you are a hunter, would the inability to hit your target in 5 shots indicate you might need a new hobby?
- Banning the sale of such weapons would not solve the problem, of course, as there are hundreds of thousands of them already in existence. But it would be a start. Once the sale is banned, there might be a change of opinion among the mass public and such weapons might soon be seen as not the cool thing to have.
Back when people began talking of banning cigarettes it was thought to be impossible. People smoked in their offices (I was one of them), in restaurants, on planes, and pretty much everywhere. Look around you today.
It can be done. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Copyright 2018 David Preston