As I understand it, the US has already outlawed, rightly or wrongly, the sale of fully automatic weapons.
The current debate centers on whether semi-automatic, “assault”-type weapons (is that even the proper description?) be banned for sale as well, in
the name of “gun control”.
Those in favor of such a ban point to the recent tragedy in Florida where a semi-automatic rifle was used to kill 17 people, mostly children.
Those opposed to any further impediments to legally own and use firearms point out their (often debated) right to own such weapons, the fact that
mentally disturbed individuals bent on violence will likely commit that violence with whatever weapon is at hand, and therefore, our focus should be
on preventing violent acts by identifying and curing mental illness.
I think that we can assume that no one wants more innocents to die, by gunfire or any other means. I hope that we can agree that no one is, also,
willing to surrender any of their rights without due consideration.
The issue of mental health in the US must be addressed, no argument there. We all live too close to one another to ignore the “contagious” impact
mental illness can have on our society.
But those who argue that we should focus on mental health instead of gun control may be attempting to deflect from the fact that our understanding of
mental health issues, especially those that Accurately Predict
future violent outbursts, is far from perfected. In fact, the human psyche is
such that it may well be impossible to determine whether a particular person person will, or won’t, become a “mass murderer” at some time in an
unspecified future with any certainty.
How far down the slippery slope of “Pre-Crime” are we willing to slide?
And then of course there is the question of who is to be the arbiter of “sanity”?
What if, as a result of advanced psychological evaluation techniques, developed in some future, it is determined that the very desire to own a firearm
is a “red flag” indicator of a potentially violent individual?
Far fetched? If you own firearms, are you willing to risk it? I wouldn’t be.
But until we can figure who will or won’t decide to mow down a classroom full of kids, some one will likely mow down a classroom full of kids.
And they will probably use a semi-automatic weapon to do it.
I don’t support “banning” anything. I certainly don’t support confiscation of guns.
But, in light of decisions by Dick’s and Wal-Mart to restrict firearm sales, maybe it’s time for the gun manufacturers themselves to step up and
cease the production and importation of semi-automatic weapons for “civilian” use only
; law enforcement and the military, due to the
situations they routinely encounter, would still have full access to all the weapons they currently employ.
Those weapons already in circulation remain in circulation; their legal use, sale, trade, and bequeathment unimpeded. If stolen, they must be
reported; if recovered they will be returned. If used in the commission of a crime, the weapon is destroyed after it use as evidence is discharged.
No legislation required. Strictly voluntary.
Because something has to be done, and it best that what is done comes from those most immediately affected by the action.
Because they want to, not because they are forced to.
edit on 1-3-2018 by Bhadhidar because: (no reason given)