Following Wednesday afternoon’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, which left at least 14 people dead, numerous lawmakers tweeted their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims of the gruesome tragedy. But many of the same congresspeople who were quick to publicly register their feelings about the 352nd mass shooting this year, received thousands of dollars from the National Rifle Association and voted against sensible gun reforms like expanding background checks to more gun purchases.
Senate Republicans voted against barring suspected terrorists, felons and the mentally ill from getting guns on Thursday afternoon, parroting National Rifle Association arguments that doing so would strip some innocent people of their constitutional rights to gun access just a day after yet another massacre on U.S. soil.
A pair of Democratic measures - one to close background check loopholes to make it harder for felons and the mentally ill from buying guns, another to ban those on the terror watch list from buying guns - both went down in flames against near-unanimous GOP opposition.
Here’s some common sense for you. I want gun ownership to be as boring and annoying as car ownership. I want you to go to some Department of Weapons and sit for hours. I want folks who own guns to prove their skill, their mental and physical health, and to be licensed and reviewed over the years just as happens with our driver’s licenses. You earn the right to own and drive a vehicle; earn the right to own and use a gun.
Quibble with me over semantics if you want to; what is a “right” vs. what is a “privilege.” I’ll be busy with my friends trying to prevent more unnecessary deaths.
Gun ownership isn’t some inalienable right granted by God.
Remember, the Constitution was written by men coming out of a long and bloody war near the end of the 18th century. It was written for their time.
It also included the “right” to own a human being.
Things change. Folks evolve.
I want a voluntary federal buyback program for firearms, with hunting weapons and vintage/historic weapons exempt. I want the sale of weapons to be even more tightly controlled than the sale of Xanax and other controlled substances. I want advertising for firearms to be as regulated as DTC (direct to consumer) advertising for pharmaceuticals (“May cause shortness of breath, long-lasting boners, etc.”) We can do all of this. It’ll create jobs, believe it or not: regulators, educators, enforcers.
It will not end murder. It won’t end rape or robbery either. It WILL make it harder to commit those crimes. There will be a black market for guns as there is for any coveted item in a capitalist society. (And I’m not anti-capitalism, btw. I’m a big fan! Sorry, hippies. I do love you guys, by the way, you’re very nice people with good instincts.) Continuing education credits for gun owners should be required, just as they are with medical professionals.
When you have a greater ability to take a human life you have a greater responsibility to prove your fitness to wield the tools that may create that end.
And that’s how the fuck you well-regulate a goddamn American militia..