Let’s talk about firearms regulations

US-Gun-Control-Laws-85835243137

Enough of my personal angst, lets talk about society and one of our current hot button issues – Gun control, weapons reform, firearm regulations – whatever you call it, its a pretty important topic for our country right now and in my opinion both sides of the aisle are idiots and the ones in the middle who actually kind of grasp both sides of the argument don’t have enough of a voice to influence the more powerful voices of R’s and D’s.

You see, nothing is black and white. The Republican’s are all, “DON”T TAKE MY GUNS!!!’ The Dem’s are all “WE AREN’T TAKING YOUR GUNS!!! and both sides seem to miss the point in my humble opinion. The fact that the right conveniently forgets the humanity side of this, and the fact that the left seem to over look the Constitution part of this, well – we have a merry-go-round and while they are spinning round and round, people are dying because the underlying issue isn’t guns. Little pieces of metal with no emotion or control over who uses them or for what purpose is not the issue. Responsibility, accountability, safety, training, mental health access and treatment, common sense, and regulation are the issues that we should be focusing on.

I happen to agree with most of President Obama’s plan on firearms regulation: Background checks, limiting assault rifles, and limiting clips and magazines to reasonable sizes for those outside of law enforcement; I don’t want the cop to have to reload 17 times  in a firefight, but the kid shooting children in a school- well if he had to reload more often we would have less dead children right now. That is a fact.

Personally, I LOVE shooting stuff. It’s fun. I have had the chance to shoot all kinds of weapons, and the faster they shoot the more fun they are. I would love to have an AR-15 to take up to the mountains or a range and just shoot till my ears bleed (not really, safety first! Ear plugs!). If I had the money, I would probably be one of those people who goes and buys one before we can’t have them anymore. Rather though than worry about my personal hobby interests, I understand the necessity for our country to regulate these weapons. I know that if I had one of these assault weapons, first of all, that wouldn’t be the gun I pick up in case of an intruder in my home. That guy is going to get one very well placed and efficient shot gun blast. I do not recommend anyone trying to rob my house – between the dogs and the guns well, lets just say it wouldn’t be a wise decision. The dogs act as the deterrent, and the guns act as a final consequence. Listen to the dogs.

People are concerned for their right to bear arms. Here is the thing – no one is trying to take that right from you. If we could possibly look at guns the way we look at say, drivers licenses – it just makes sense to me. In order to drive a car in the U.S. we have to do all sorts of things before we are given the privilege of driving a vehicle. We have to take a class and learn how vehicles work. We have to drive for a time with experienced drivers in real life situations, and then we go to the DMV and take a written test to make sure we understand the importance of laws and vehicle safety. We even have regulations on what kinds of vehicles we can drive, and what prerequisites we need to meet in order to say – drive a semi instead of a mini van. Then, we get our drivers licenses and we can drive any car we want – but then we add insurance so if we manage to text while driving and kill someone, well that family can be compensated for their loss, and you lose the right to drive (or you should anyway). You know why we have all these rules for cars? They are dangerous. They can kill people. We train and learn how not to kill people by following laws and restrictions and those who don’t follow those laws and restrictions lose their right to drive.

So why can’t we come up with reasonable laws and regulations for purchasing and using weapons? Make people take a class, get safety training, spend time with an experienced shooter to learn how they really work, and take a test. If you want an assault rifle, you take a harder test and have to purchase more expensive insurance. People will think twice about straw purchases when their name is tied to that gun and an insurance policy don’t you think?

The next argument is obviously, “I am a law abiding citizen and me taking a test won’t stop criminals!” Yes yes. Calm down. Sometimes people choose not to follow laws that doesn’t mean that having them isn’t a good idea. Let’s decriminalize murder and see how much the murder rate rises. Laws are a deterrent -kind of like my dogs. They are meant as a warning, and they have consequences should you choose to ignore them. For most people, laws and the consequences of breaking them are enough of a deterrent to keep everyone from murdering people. Same for guns. If we have laws and stuff, maybe kids won’t take guns as some sort of joke. If we train safety like we do with vehicles, people will usually have a healthy respect for that. Yes, some people are just ignorant or they have already done so much time in prison they kind of like it there – but in order to prevent getting people to that point – education and enforcement is the key.

Car dealers make sure you have a drivers license before they sell you a car. Gun sellers should do the same. Have you had your mandatory 20 hours of instruction? Did you take the written test? Has your instructor signed off on your ‘live fire’ exercise? Yes? Here’s your gun! Have fun! It would actually eliminate the need for background checks that everyone is so riled up about. Waiting periods would be eliminated because the training time would take care of that. It would take the responsibility off the seller and put in on the customer where it belongs. If you need a gun RIGHT NOW, well – you don’t need a gun.

Personally, I don’t mind subjecting myself to a background check to purchase a weapon, but I don’t think that is the entire answer. I think it should be done just to see if you have a criminal or mental health background and certain standards should be set to determine just what is considered unsafe. Also, background checks do nothing for the guy who has been a law abiding citizen with no prior record from snapping and killing someone in a rage. There is always a first time and background checks will do nothing to prevent that – however, you don’t see people running down people in the shopping mall with their vehicles do you? I mean some people do, but it’s a pretty small number of licensed drivers who run people over just because they are pissed off.

So obviously, I have over simplified the argument. However, I feel that an over simplified approach is better than nothing at this point and what we have in our government right now is an over complicated approach that is wasting time, money, and lives, and has the possibility of infringing on our rights if left ignored for too long. Responsible gun owners and hobbyists, need to be a part of the solution (not the crazy ass NRA, they have lost their damn minds and I would be embarrassed to associate with them at this point). Come up with some good ideas. We have warnings and regulations on hair dryers for crying out loud. Instead of screaming about your rights, come up with some solutions that don’t infringe on them and be your own lobbyist. Write your congressperson, shoot an email to the White House, have real conversations with your family and friends about gun safety/control, and make sure you aren’t one of the idiots posting videos of you shooting yourself or a friend on YouTube.

So where do you stand on the issue? As always, be respectful of one another. Let’s try to come up with solutions that could benefit all of us without infringing on our rights but will make our country a safer place.

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Let’s talk about firearms regulations

  1. I see your point. I’m Canadian, and it’s illegal to have guns here- so what do people do? They smuggle them in from the U.S or something- we do still get shootings (not as many as in the U.S, but still). Just making it illegal isn’t enough to stop violence, we need to educate and do background checks- possibly even a psychiatric test- if the shooter has a mental illness and they go shooting stuff- they can’t be put in jail because they were not of sound mind- let’s stop these people from having access to guns if they can’t be given consequences. I agree with the gun license being the same as a driver’s license, but we do need to understand that violence won’t stop completely- it will just be less common. Personally, I like the way that Canada has banned firearms-or if they have them they have to register them and follow rules. but for the U.S to do the same- I’m just wondering what would happen to the guns that people already have- would they conceal them? It’s concerning because to make something forbidden makes it more exciting… like swearing- we’re not supposed to swear in society, so when we do, it’s actually a sort of liberating feeling. With guns, being able to have access to one when they’re not allowed, it would be seen as a symbol or something- “Look how cool I am, I’m flouting the rules of society.”

    I’m glad they’re talking about it though, I hope that whatever conclusion they come to will be the best for the American citizens and put some of their fears to rest.

    • Thank you for your comments and thought Jenn. The problem with outlawing guns completely in America is our Constitution. It is the cornerstone of our country and in it is the right for citizens to bear arms. Obviously there is more to it, but that’s the gist. So banning them completely is not a realistic goal for our country like it has been in other countries.
      As for people who break laws, well we are always going to have those people. That is why I think enforcement is a huge issue that our government is overlooking. We have some pretty good gun laws in our country right now – the problem is they aren’t enforced properly or consistently. Under out current system it is almost impossible to do so because we don’t know who is buying guns, or how they are using them until they kill someone (gun show purchases etc.).
      Regulations, training, insurance… I don’t know, I think that just makes sense. We can’t stop anyone from abusing or ignoring any law, but we can make it harder to ignore those laws through education and enforcement.

  2. I will reply to this later today, I am out on my way to work. I know you and I have already discussed this previously but I will post my thoughts so your other blog followers/readers can read them as well. By the way we aren’t as far off on what we think about this as what I initially thought from our prior discussion.

    • Ohh Cy! Glad you are here for this!!! I look forward to your response! The day we had our discussion was the day of the Newtown shooting wasn’t it? I think we are actually closer than we think also – I wanted to disarm America after I watched all the news, my guns included. Kind of like a “this is why we can’t have nice things” argument. A cooler head is now looking for better solutions and you articulate your points well!

  3. I’m in Connecticut, and we just passed what are to be considered the “toughest gun laws” in the country yesterday…I am very anti-gun, but this just doesn’t make any sense to me. Ok, so you can’t buy what you want in CT anymore…its an hr drive to 4 different states where you can buy what you want.

    • Yeah Shawn, that’s part of the problem. That is why we have the need for federal regulation that is actually enforced by the States. Otherwise none of it does any real good.

  4. I am also in Canada. The gun registry for non-restricted firearms has actually been dissolved in Canada. We are not required to register our non-restricted firearms. We do however have to have a Possession and Acquisition Licence to purchase any firearm and restricted firearms have to be registered and require a different class of licence. I agree that people should have the right to have guns and bear arms, what I do not see the need for is to be able to walk down to the local store and buy an automatic weapon. What do you need a weapon like that for anyway? I agree with putting restricitons and a waiting period on buying what we would call restricted firearms, in my opinion just making that one small change would make a pretty big difference.

    • Shero, I agree! There are many small things that we could do that would make a difference. Unfortunately, in our country right now money is the only influence and anti-legislation lobbyists have more of that than sensible people do so they are winning the fight. Common sense is dead. It makes me sad really.

  5. Problems like this are so frustrating. The answers are simple, the problems just need to be broken down and looked at from every angle so all the causes can be addressed.
    Part of our Governments problem is that they don’t do that; they like to group stuff together to further complicate problems. By doing that (which they successfully do), it is over whelming to the American public and becomes much more difficult to resolve. And yes I do believe that they do this intentionally to ensure that nothing actually gets done and nothing actually changes. I also believe that they do it to hide all of the financial influence that goes on in our Government.
    You hear people say it’s not fair, wah, wah, wah! The definition of fair is what is needed. Because we have to be fair to everyone and because a few bad apples have spoiled the bunch it is now necessary, needed and fair that we have to put new rules and policies into place.
    I have no idea what the big deal is with doing background checks on every person who wants to purchase and own a weapon. There is no reason at all that anyone should be able to walk into a store and buy any gun without anyone knowing anything about them. People bring up the problem of gun shows and private sales. Well, the same laws should be applied to all sales, no matter the state, no matter the circumstances of the purchase. It seems like common sense to me. I’m not sure what the deal is with the waiting period. The background checks should happen in the same matter that applying for a license to carry is handled. You fill out some questionnaire and they run your information and supply you with a license to buy. That license needs to be confirmed at every purchase.
    The Possession and Acquisition license is the right idea. I also really like what Shero8 said above about having to have a specific license for different firearms. I personally feel that automatic weapons should have stayed in the hands of the Military, what they were meant for and where they belong. No regular citizen needs an automatic weapon of any kind, there is just no need for it. If for some reason a person feels that they need one let them fill out the necessary paperwork to receive a specific license to purchase and own those weapons.
    In regards to registering weapons, again seems like common sense to me. Every weapon should be registered. We have to register our vehicles, we have to register our animals; why in the name of God wouldn’t we register things as dangerous as guns. I own guns and I would have no problem registering them with the government. If you aren’t doing anything wrong then you shouldn’t have a problem with it.
    I also agree that there should be some kind of mandatory training and safety classes, possibly as part of the background/ carrying process. Something that the government offers and that results in certification.
    In regards to the people who like to bring up the argument that the only person you are hurting/punishing is the law biding citizens. Well first off it isn’t hurting or punishing anyone. It’s like complaining about the TSA regulations. Because terrorists are using our Air transportation to attack doesn’t mean we have to be punished. Again, not punishment, simply what is now necessary and fair (needed). Since it’s only “terrorists” who are the people causing this harm then we shouldn’t have policies and regulations, that is just silly. Even if all those policies and regulations keep even one person from causing another 9-11 than it is all worth it. And even if these new gun policies keeps even one person from killing innocent people than it is all worth it.
    So does that mean that no “terrorist” will ever stage an attack, of course not because where there is will there is a way; but why make it easy for them. Why would we do NOTHING, that’s just silly. And the same holds true for the criminals who are purchasing and using guns for violence. No these policies will probably not effect the criminals but maybe just maybe it will keep just one guy from getting his hands on a weapon, maybe it will make it a little easier for the police to punish these criminals when they are caught with unregistered weapons and no license to carry.
    No there is no easy way to go about change. And there is not only one aspect to this problem. Putting these policies and regulations is just a beginning, it simply sets the stage for the rest of the change to happen.
    There is the justice system that needs to do it’s part and the local government and law enforcement who need to get involved. There are the parents who need to be held accountable and do their part. And I think the biggest problem is getting to the root of what causes the violence to begin with.
    Poverty, mental illness, lack of resources, lack of available help, lack of understanding and compassion, lack of options and most of all lack of standards. The change has to start somewhere and I think that these policies will make some difference. And maybe just maybe start some change in other aspects of our society’s problems.
    We can hope, I know I do.

    • Stephanie as always, I can’t argue with what you have said here and I love how you said it. I just will never understand our stubbornness, especially when it comes to ending violence – or at least stemming the tide in favor of law abiding citizens rather than caving to those who break the laws. Thank you always for your words and perspective (sometimes it is just really nice to have someone feel the same way I do).

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