To The Editor:
We need to talk about guns.
What I will say will make some people very angry, but I ask you to hear me out. We need to talk about guns. We all have every right to own guns. No one wants to take away your guns. It is paranoid delusion to think that our government could take away your guns.
Banning ordinary guns is not only unconstitutional but stupid. I know that laws won’t make a big difference in mass shootings like the Las Vegas massacre because they were bought legally. But, in the U.S. every day there is an average of 93 gun deaths, seven child/teen gun deaths. The U.S. has 25 times the gun deaths of other developed countries.
Eighty percent of gun shootings involve stolen guns. Sixty-two percent are suicides. But, Congress has forbidden any government agency from conducting research into how to reduce gun-related deaths (Dickey Amendment).
Research has made cars safer, swimming pools safer, electrical wiring safer. So why not guns?
So here are some ideas worth talking about.
1. Anyone caught with a stolen weapon goes to jail. Period. You’re a bad person.
2. A serial number on every new firearm and if you own a weapon, it is registered to you and anything that happens with that weapon is your responsibility, unless you report it stolen or legally transfer ownership. If you are a law-abiding citizen, what is the harm in registering every weapon in your possession?
3. Require that every gun purchased requires a license and a safety class. Get more instructors. Train them to look for signs of mental instability, teach safe storage and safe handling of guns.
4. Allow and fund agencies such as the CDC to conduct gun violence research to look for ways to own, store and handle guns more safely.
5. Make sure that all purchasers get their weapons from licensed dealers with thorough background checks on every purchaser. Stop sales from gun shows.
These things would make owning a gun much safer. Until you have experienced the tragedy and heartbreak in streets and emergency departments all across this country every day, you don’t know what it is like to witness so many senseless deaths, accidental and otherwise.
Please, let’s talk about what we can do to reduce gun deaths. This is a great country. We deserve better. Let’s talk about guns.