I know people who own guns. They’re OK, I suppose; some hunt, others target-shoot, others still are persuaded they need firearms to protect their property and family though none, to the best of my knowledge, have ever been threatened in places other than their minds. I don’t have a lot to do with gun owners because our politics vary widely, and I think having firearms in the home is asking for problems.
Me, I don’t like killing things. In my home, I pick up moth, spiders, stinkbugs, daddy-long legs, centipedes and grasshoppers and put them outside. I’ve been known to chase deer out of my back yard with a straw broom and free raccoons trapped in my trash cans. And yes, I am a hypocrite of sorts since I eat meat, chicken and fish and have a predilection for pork products, even though I do not personally slaughter and butcher the animals I eat, or tan their hides
There is not a doubt in my mind that what Teddy Roosevelt called “the lunatic fringe” is alive and well and promoting the sale of assault rifles and other weapons designed solely to kill others. I do not believe that a good guy with a gun is a match for a bad guy with a gun, and research appears to back me.
So here are 10 suggestions to perhaps start getting a handle on the gun madness.
- Treat guns like automobiles. That is to say register and license them, and make sure gun owners know how to handle their toys.
- License gun buyers. Create a system similar to that used to license drivers, truck drivers over a certain tonnage, and other operators of rolling machinery.
- Tax guns, just like the state taxes cars—at point of sale, then every year on a diminishing value basis. The more cars you have, the more taxes you pay, and if you choose to have an expensive weapon, say an AR-15 assault rifle—a Rolls Royce of killing, so to speak—you will be taxed accordingly.
- Insure guns, again, just as cars are insured. This will make funds available to help cover damages—notably physical and emotional—caused by guns. Offer a break on premiums if the owner keeps his weapons in a secure gun locker.
- Tax ammo, like gasoline is taxed, varying tariffs for ‘low octane’ and ‘high octane’ ammunition.
- Triple or quadruple the sentences for crimes committed with fire-arms. Five years if you hold-up the local gas station; 20 years if you do it with a gun.
- Make owners responsible for their weapons. If a gun is stolen from a home, and the weapon was not secured, the owner should be held accountable for any damages incurred by the illegal use of the weapon.
- Impose heavy import duties on weapons manufactured cheaply overseas and exported to the US.
- Destroy all weapons held in police custody as evidence once the crime involving said weapon has been tried.
- Maintain a permanent national and local weapon buy-back system and immediately destroy all weapons turned in.
These measures won’t solve everything, but they’ll provide a start to dealing with the country’s obsessive and addictive ownership of gun.
Got ideas of your own? Send them in.