Thursday, June 05, 2014
The Gun Problems
A number of views exist
You can look at the problem of gun rights and gun control
from quite a number of viewpoints, and from several highly emotional aspects as
Among these are:
The need to reduce the number and frequency of deaths by
gunfire in the nation.
The need to address the root causes of gun incidents,
whether for suicide, or personal fights, or police actions, or rampages by
mentally ill people, or any other kind of incident.
The many suggested actions that would achieve these
objectives, such as registration, banning of all or some types of weapons,
confiscation of weapons, training of gun owners, and so forth.
The problem of mentally unstable citizens acquiring and
using guns, sometimes for mass murders. What provisions could be made to limit
their possession of guns, without going beyond individual rights?
The number of gun owners in the nation, which is on the
order of 80 to 100 million, and the number of weapons of all types that they
own, which is over 200 to 300 million, and their beliefs and opinions about
The organizations that promote gun ownership and use, led
by the NRA, but including many politically active local organizations in
practically every state, and the range owners, hunting groups, and owners of hunting
areas, and their activities in support of gun owners.
The gun manufacturers influence in preventing certain gun
control legislation, but also their
promotion of gun safely and gun training, and the impact on their businesses of
gun control laws.
The current state of laws in the federal government, the
Supreme Court, state governments, and local governments governing the ownership
and use of guns, their legislation activities in Congress and state and local
legislative bodies to solve the problems, their effectiveness, their
enforcement, and the actions of opposition to these laws and legislative plans
by national and grass-root organizations.
The number of concerned citizens that support gun control
and support at least some of the various means to that end, including many gun
The measures of effectiveness of gun control variations,
including worldwide means and ends, such as those in the UK, Germany, France,
Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and Australia, and those in Switzerland too.
The truth about how gun ownership has or has not reduced
crime in the nation, and validating the reporting of incidents involving guns
throughout the nation and their outcomes. This is an extremely underreported
set, and it needs objective data gathering and analysis. This should extend to
the validated reporting in other nations as well.
It is apparent that many individuals want to protect
their families and property from criminal actions, and from misguided law
enforcement actions--- which is another underreported set. These individuals
have an obligation to store and use their guns in a safe manner and to receive
training for that purpose. Just how many
gun owners meet these obligations is not known.
Having a citizenry that is trained and equipped to handle
and use guns has historically been an important asset to the nation. We have
fought many wars, and have had to train millions of citizen soldiers how to
shoot in a very short time. What is the advantage of having citizens already
quite familiar with marksmanship, safety, and the care and use of guns in
advance of need? The Swiss solution to this is a case in point.
Law enforcement people are largely in favor of gun
controls, as matter of defending their own officers, and from their perspective
of seeing deadly force used daily in their districts, but they are also quite
aware that criminals have and will continue to have guns to their disposal in
spite of any legislation to the contrary. Disarming the citizenry does give the
criminal a clear advantage in their efforts to rob, steal, assault, and injure
or kill other citizens at home, in their autos, or on the streets.
There is a clear need to prevent massacres in schools and
gathering places such as malls and theaters. The training of assigned protection
people in the safety and use of guns in these environments is a key factor in
prevention of such madness. These people may well be drawn from the staffs of
the schools or gathering places, if not from trained professionals.
This issue is worthy of an empowered Presidential Commission
to study these many aspects of gun problems, to gather accurate information
throughout the nation on all relevant factors (especially those aspects that
are currently underreported), and to recommend objectively to the Congress, the
President, and to the nation what we must do, and what we should not do, and
with supporting reports openly published on all factors.
Meanwhile, there are some specific steps the we should
consider immediately. These include:
1. Force all commercial gun sellers to maintain a record of
their sales. (Already in effect in most states)
2. Force medical professionals to report significant adverse
conditions of patients to the police, and empower the police, with a warrant, to
search and find any weapons held by such persons. (Fiercely resisted by the medical
3. Require police departments to maintain records of adverse
medical reports on individuals, and to update them as new information is received.
Ensure that both positive and negative reports are properly included in a timely
4. Force gun sellers to make an inquiry to the police of any
adverse medical reports on individuals before selling to anyone. This would be in
addition to the police criminal inquiry already in effect in most states.
5. Ensure that by law of the land no government body can order
and execute the order to confiscate any or all weapons held by lawful citizens.
The sole exception being item 2 above.
A number of views exist
You can look at the problem of gun rights and gun control from quite a number of viewpoints, and from several highly emotional aspects as well.