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Rethink Gun Laws in America — Now. Before the Next Shooting

Apr 21, 2021
Jerry Nelson
Culture

“No classes will be held for the next two days at a school in Knoxville after a student was killed and a police officer injured during an encounter at the high school,” said the opening line on CNN.com in a story reporting the most recent shooting at a high school in Tennessee.

With each shooting in a school, theater, church,shopping mall or other public space, a predictable lament goes up and usually includes ratty statements such as: “our thoughts and prayers,” and even “…this more likely reflects a short-term contagion effect in which angry dispirited youngsters are inspired by others whose violent outbursts serve as fodder for national attention. That should subside once we stop obsessing over the risk.”

Despite a majority of Americans wanting stricter, more reasonable gun control laws, the country keeps falling like a toddler trying to ride a bicycle.

What is the 1968 Gun Control Act and why was it passed?

House Resolution 17735, known as the Gun Control Act, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 22, 1968 banning mail order sales of rifles and shotguns and prohibiting most felons, drug users and people found mentally incompetent from buying guns.

Why do we need gun control?

We need more gun control nationwide. Having more gun control means having stricter laws and more security with gun transactions to prevent potentially dangerous individuals from purchasing weapons. As of November 2020, if you were to sell a gun in a private sale, federal law does not require any background checks whatsoever.

Why is there so much opposition to gun control in the United States?

In a recent (Skype) interview with students, Noam Chomsky spoke about American’s paranoia which leads to their corporate love of guns.

Chomsky said, “I’ve never seen a real study, but my guess is that it’s a reflection of fear and desperation. It’s a very frightened country. The United States is an unusually frightened country. And in such circumstances, people concoct either for escape or maybe out of relief, fears that terrible things happen.”

Chomsky continued, “”That’s a lot of what lies behind the extremely unusual gun culture in the United States. It’s quite unique. Homicides, deaths by guns in the United States are way outside — there’s a kind of hysteria about having guns. A large part of the population believes they just have to have them to protect themselves. From who? From the United Nations. Or from the federal government. From aliens. Maybe from zombies. Whoever it is. We just have to have guns to protect ourselves. That’s not known elsewhere in the world. Maybe in, say, Syria, a country that’s warring you might find something like that. But in a country that’s not only at peace but has an unusual security and a great degree of freedom, that’s quite remarkable.”

What’s the difference between gun control and gun rights?

Broadly speaking:

Gun rights are rights that ensure the most unobstructed possible access to firearms.

Gun control is the restricted application of those rights for the sake of safety.

However, each of these has a wide range of stances. Most people believe all Americans should have the right to bear arms on the stipulation that they take a competency course and can pass a background check.

Is there a long term solution?

In Gun Control for Bad Guys, Gun Solutions for Good Guys, writer and author Sal Mistretta advocates for significant modifications to current gun laws. Mistretta suggests:

1) A ban on all firearms (handguns, rifles and shotguns) or a ban on any of the above three types of firearms is impossible.

2) Any crime committed with illegal firearms should be considered a federal crime anywhere in the USA. This translates to much longer minimum sentences. This means less criminals with firearms on the streets, resulting in less crime with firearms in the USA.

3) There should be one federal license for handguns and longarms (rifles and shotguns) that replaces the numerous individual state pistol licenses and the few longarm licenses that now exist across the USA.

4) This new Federal H/L (handgun/ longarm) license will be linked to the person’s driver license or non driver ID, issued by their local DMV, which is linked to the nationwide DMV database.

5) Law enforcement nationwide will now have easy access to this nationwide database, and can quickly determine if a person’s Federal H/L license from any state is valid, and the firearms owned by that person.

6) This new Federal H/L license should be recognized in all 50 states.

7) All 50 states should be be mandated by the federal government to report mental health information of individuals to NICS, the federal database, to ensure people that are barred from purchasing a firearm can’t purchase a firearm.

The Takeaway

“The Knoxville Fire Department has trained for these kinds of incidents.

“Fire Department Captain Corcoran told CNN in an email that the department co-trained with the KPD’s SWAT team for incidents like this, “entering into a potential hot zone where it’s unknown if there is still an active shooter on the loose”, the story concluded.

Maybe American can wise up and just make it harder to buy guns. Its up to everyone to do their own research and figure out where they stand, but try not to lean to hard either way without considering the merits of the other side.

Do you support gun control? Why or why not?

By Contributor:

Jerry Nelson

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jerry Nelson is an American writer living the expat life in Argentina. You can find him at any of their hundreds of sidewalk cafes and hire him through Fiverr. Join the quarter-million who follow him on Twitter.

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