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message 1: by Terry (new)

Terry Amrhein | 24 comments Will We Stop Gun Violence in America?

By Terry Amrhein, Author of Democracy on the Edge

Mass murders are occurring in the United States with such regularity that the public is almost callous to them. Shooting of marines in Chattenooga, Tennessee then shooting of church goers in Charleston South Carolina, followed by a shooting of a news broadcaster and her camera man near Roanoke, Virginia, followed by Colorado Spring Planned Parent Hood murders, then in San Bernardino, California. All mass murders and the American public says and does absolutely nothing. Just another mass murder in America! It almost as if Americans are smug about gun violence, that it won’t happen to us; but it could by the mere round of the dice.
Invariability, conservative’s solution to reduce gun violence is for the law abiding citizens to carry more weapons. Apparently, conservatives envision an America where everyone carries side arms and AR-15s at all times in order to defend themself against attack. In San Bernardino, this would mean people would come to a Holiday Party armed to the teeth. In reality, those favoring an armed America have not thought about it much. Would they really support a society where the law is enforced by an armed mob, a vigilante society like the days of Wyatt Earp? I think not. Most Americans want a country that provides them peace and security, not having to worry about being shot. If everyone carries arms, who’s training these people? Can they shot accurately? What qualifications do they have to identify the shooter from the victim? Preservation of peace is why we have an armed and trained police force. Everyone being armed does not promote peace and security, it aggravate them.
But there are thing that we can do to reduce gun violence. Requiring background checks before anyone purchases of weapon is a good idea. Those who are convicted felons or have a history of mental illness, angry behavior or spousal abuse should be ineligible to purchase firearms. Would this solution eliminate all murders? No, but it would help. The Virginia Tech shooter had been diagnoses with anxiety disorder before he killed 32 students and injured another 17. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the Columbine High School shooters, had signs of anti-social behavior and were sentenced to a juvenile diversion program after being caught for stealing tools from a parked automobile. We have a “no fly list” that prevents suspected terrorists from flying on commerce airlines, yet we allow these same people to purchase weapons. (In fact, Republican members of Congress turned back a proposal last week to forbid those on the no fly list from buying weapons.) That makes no sense! Why can’t we have a no gun purchase list for terrorists, but we do not such a list? Performing a background check requires only a few minutes. Isn’t it worth it to help assure the purchaser is not going to shoot you someday?
Other ideas like banning high capacity magazines are also sensible. The Supreme Court has repeatedly decided that a person has a right to bear firearms to defend their property and to protect the lives of themselves and their family. A high capacity magazine is not required for either of these. Firing 10, 12, 15 times without reloading is not required for protection but it is required if you want to commit a crime without reloading.
Another sensible idea is to close loop holes on gun purchases. An example is making “straw purchase” of guns (when someone purchases a weapon which is then given to another person) illegal. This is one of the most common means for criminals to get weapons and it should be stopped. How can anyone object to stopping the sell of firearms to criminals? But I know some of us will object.
My favorite idea is to require a gun education course before you can purchase a gun. Most states already require a gun safety course before you can obtain a hunting license. Why shouldn’t we require a gun safety course before purchasing a firearm? If fact the gun course for firearm purchase could also suffice for the hunting course. Everyone would be required to get a safety course. Guns can be dangerous to you and to others, if you don’t know to treat them safety. We require a driver license before driving. Why not a gun safety course be buying a gun?
None of these methods will stop all guns homicides in America but they will help and they are far superior to arming every American, which is what the firearm manufacturers would love to see.


message 2: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy I started fighting this battle in 1963 when I was a young boy and JFK was assassinated. Not only have I lost the battle, the NRA has doubled down. They have absolutely crushed the opposition.


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