Guns 

“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.”
-Thomas Jefferson-

   This country has more guns than it does citizens.  The right to own and carry guns is woven so deeply into America's history and culture that it's unquestionable.

   Even if someone has the "extreme" view that guns should be illegal or restricted from ownership by the general public, there's no way to actually do it given the sheer number of them in circulation.  Guns can even be 3D printed or in other ways manufactured at home. 

   The right to own and carry guns is also what allows us to lower our military spending and still protect ourselves from foreign threats.  It was always meant as a way of keeping our country from falling into the trap of a large standing army.

   With all this in mind and without going against these principles of our nation, there are a few things that we could be doing better.

We already have some reasonable restrictions on who can own a gun.

  • Persons under indictment for, or convicted of, any felony crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year
  • Fugitives from justice
  • Persons who are unlawful users of, or addicted to, any controlled substance
  • Persons who have been declared by a court as mental defectives or have been committed to a mental institution
  • Illegal aliens or aliens who were admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa
  • Persons who have been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces
  • Persons who have renounced their United States citizenship
  • Persons subject to certain types of restraining orders
  • Persons who have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence

I'm only looking for 2 changes. 

   The parts of the human brain associated with controlling our emotions and with decision making aren’t fully developed until our early twenties.

   We should consider hand guns, along with semiautomatic, and automatic weapons, on at least the same threat level as alcohol.  They should be restricted to people 21 years of age and older.

   This would also allow for a reasonable period of time to assess whether an adult would fall into one of the restricted categories.  Exceptions should be made for anyone manufacturing firearms or otherwise employed in an industry which requires them to own or carry them.

   We should also realize that many of the acts of gun violence in this country happen when a person is experiencing extremely emotional moments in their lives.  We should make the gap between these moments and the time a person can take a gun home longer. 

   All first time handgun, automatic and semiautomatic gun owners,  should have to follow the guidelines of the National Firearms Act of 1934 which requires deep FBI background checks and to register the weapon with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives' NFA registry.

   All this needs to be paired with the restructuring of our health care system.  It's imperative that we bring back pre-paid physicians groups to compete against the totally unnecessary health insurance industry and drive down costs to an affordable level.  With easy access to affordable mental healthcare we should see a reduction in gun related homicides and suicides.

   Finally, we need to implement modern technologies in our schools to protect our children.  Facial and object recognition systems have come far enough that they now outperform humans. We should start supplying our schools with them to quickly identify weapons, and people who do not belong and might be a threat to our children’s safety.  If our school security guards have proper training and are given the tools they need to more quickly identify and track threats we can keep our children safe.

   

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