What do we do about guns?

February 18th, 2018 by Ken

There is an estimated 300 million guns in the United States with a population of 350 million.  We have a mental health crisis and a 24-hour media looking for something to report on.

What do we do about guns?

Tell me – – what do we do about guns?

Do we ban all private ownership of guns like some Northern European countries?  This is the way kings used to assure than no one was going to unseat him. Do we keep them locked up in “gun clubs” and for use only by members of the clubs?   It works in England to keep guns out of the hands of private citizens, but it doesn’t stop mass killings Do we have universal registration where every gun, everywhere in the United States must be accounted for?  I don’t think the bad guys will look to kindly on registering their guns.

What do we want to do about guns?

Let’s start at the beginning.   There are too many guns in the United States.  How do we reduce the number of guns?   We could ban certain types of guns – like assault rifles for example.  We only have 5 million of them in the United States and I’m sure that the owners would be willing to turn them in.

Do we ban semi-automatic rifle and pistols?  Most of the rifles and guns in the United States are semi-automatic.  We’ve already banned automatic weapons.   It’s illegal to buy or sell them.

Do we institute a universal registration system where anyone who has ever been convicted of a crime (including domestic violence) be forbidden from ever again owning a gun?  If we do a mandatory registration – who will comply – – not the bad guys?

Do we throw everyone who refuses to register sales or purchases of guns in jail?   We’d have lots of jail cells filled.

The United States has had a 250 year love affair with guns.  We are one of the few countries in the world whose constitution allows citizens the right to “keep and bear” arms.  We weren’t going to let any king or dictator take over without a fight.

There are a few things we can do.  We can make certain that semi-automatic weapons cannot be turned into automatic weapons.  We can update our registration system and make it more usable by all law enforcement agencies.  Other than that, our options are limited – without a severe push back from legal gun owners.

What’s the answer to mass shootings, where the purpose is to get attention by someone with mental problems who wants exposure for his problem.

Decades ago, this country instituted a program which gave the mentally ill the same rights as all other citizens.  It closed the mental institutions and turned the mentally ill out to be cared for by family and local communities.  No one wants to go back to the “old” days of mental institutions  – but we do need more help for those with mental health problems.

Then, we come to the old bugaboo – our national media.   Mass shootings are legitimate news stories.  The national media has a right, and should cover the shootings.  But – the problem is the depth, degree and time spent on the story.   Our recent shooting has been covered for five days, from every angle, from every perspective.  Time has been spent on the shooter, why he did what he did, who helped him or knew about his intended action and what happens to him now.

That’s just what he wanted.  He wanted his name out.  He wanted to draw attention to his mental health problems.  He wanted people to give him some attention.   There are other men out there – –  right now – -watching the newscast for hours upon hours – and scheming how to draw attention to their own problems.

The media is complicit in any future mass shootings.   My suggestion.   Report the shooting. Get the police report.  Talk about the impact the shooting have made on the community – – and give the shooter no attention outside of being caught and being charged and tried.

If necessary, laws should be passed to limit the amount of coverage given to any mass shootings.   Many of the recent mass shooters have been excited by previous mass shootings.   Five days of 24-hour coverage is too much attention on one mentally ill individual.

What about guns?

Common sense should prevail.   Pass laws restricting types of weapons if you must.   Require universal registration of all guns at your peril.

You could eventually remove 250 million guns from this country and you would still have 50 million guns available for anyone who wants one.

Posted in The Real News

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