The Obsolescence of the 2nd Amendment and Guns
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
More than 1.15 Million Americans have been killed by guns since John Lennon’s death in 1980. That’s an awful lot of funerals and families missing loved ones. It’s also more than the sum total of American casualties in all our wars combined. If you were to tell this to one of the Founders of the nation who wrote the 2nd Amendment they would literally think you were insane and ask why, oh why do you allow this slaughter? To what end? The price of freedom? Why is freedom so much less costly in other countries? Why do we get to pay the premium blood price? I sure don’t feel safer than an Australian. Let’s examine this with open eyes and open minds to find the path out of this madness.
Please keep in mind for every person killed, there are 2 injured, many gravely with permanent disabilities and/or pain. Operations and recovery are costly in more ways than financial. In addition, there is the hidden toll of family and friends’ pain that creates depression, sadness and general misery for the survivors of victims, often lasting years. This in itself creates an endless cycle of anger which can manifest as domestic violence and loss of productivity, the costs of which have never been calculated.
On top of this, there is the general psychological trauma we are burdening a whole generation with who have to endure “Active Shooter” drills in school fostering anxiety disorders and gun-shy, trigger reactions to loud sounds. This is now leading to stampedes and hyper-overreactions to things like water bottles popping (Global Citizen concert NYC) or a motorcycle backfire (Times Square NYC). This also creates a culture of distrust and hyper-vigilance which itself is a form of tyranny and NOT a hallmark of Freedom.
The Toll for the feeling of Protection that a relatively small minority derives from guns is high indeed.
Partial List of U.S. Mass Shootings (see full list Here)
El Paso 22/24
Aurora, IL 6/6
Thousand Oaks 13/12
Tree of Life Synagogue 11/7
Florida High School 17/10
Las Vegas Strip 59/500+
San Francisco UPS shooting 3/2
Florida awning manufacturer shooting 5/0
Rural Ohio nursing home shooting 3/0
Fort Lauderdale airport shooting 5/6
Cascade Mall shooting 5/0
Baton Rouge police shooting 3/3
Dallas police shooting 5/11
Orlando nightclub massacre 49/53
Excel Industries mass shooting 3/14
Kalamazoo shooting spree 6/2
San Bernardino mass shooting 14/21
Planned Parenthood clinic 3/9
Colorado Springs shooting rampage 3/0
Umpqua Community College shooting 9/9
Chattanooga military recruitment center 5/2
Charleston Church Shooting 9/1
Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting 5/1
Isla Vista mass murder 6/13
Fort Hood shooting #2 3/12
Alturas tribal shooting 4/2
Washington Navy Yard shooting 12/8
Hialeah apartment shooting 7/0
Santa Monica rampage 6/3
Pinewood Village Apartment shooting 5/0
Mohawk Valley shootings 5/2
Newtown school shooting 28/2
Accent Signage Systems shooting 7/1
Sikh temple shooting 7/3
Aurora theater shooting 12/70
Seattle cafe shooting 6/1
Oikos University killings 7/3
Su Jung Health Sauna shooting 5/0
Seal Beach shooting 8/1
IHOP shooting 5/7
Tucson shooting 6/13
Hartford Beer Distributor shooting 9/2
Coffee shop police killings 4/1
Fort Hood massacre 13/30
Binghamton shootings 14/4
Carthage nursing home shooting 8/3
Atlantis Plastics shooting 6/1
Northern Illinois University shooting 5/21
Kirkwood City Council shooting 6/2
Westroads Mall shooting 9/4
Crandon shooting 6/1
Virginia Tech massacre 32/23
Trolley Square shooting 6/4
Amish school shooting 6/5
Capitol Hill massacre 7/2
Goleta postal shootings 8/0
Red Lake massacre 10/5
Living Church of God shooting 7/4
Damageplan show shooting 5/7
Lockheed Martin shooting 7/8
Navistar shooting 5/4
Wakefield massacre 7/0
Hotel shooting 5/3
Xerox killings 7/0
Wedgwood Baptist Church shooting 8/7
Atlanta day trading spree killings 9/13
Columbine High School massacre 13/24
Of course one 9–11 far eclipses the sum total of any mass shooting but that was a an act of unspeakable mass murder in an existential ideological war that is ongoing. The fact is we experience over ten 9–11’s every year in gun deaths. Yes, more than 30,000 per year vs. the one time 3,000 yet we have done much less to make our streets safe than we have our airports. Mass murders are only a symptom of a broken society but the day-to-day personal murders that happen are the disease that fuels our fears and the desire to arm ourselves even more.
The rights of the society at large to be safe supersedes the rights of the individual to feel safe.
Any law, if it not for the betterment of society, to improve the quality of life, to protect citizens and or the republic, has NO valid purpose. No human law is sacred to the point of being permanently infallible or immutable.
It is apparent that whatever the original intent of the 2nd Amendment was, which appears to be centered around the concept of a well regulated militia, since that is the first thing mentioned, has been lost to modern technological society. It serves neither the purpose of protecting states nor that of protecting individuals. If anything, it’s become a paradoxical, self-fulfilling prophecy of doom: We need our guns to protect us from our guns.
America has a major gun problem — devastatingly major. In a population of 330 million we own 300 million guns. You’d think that’s about a 91% gun ownership rate but in fact only 30%-40% of us own guns. Dive a little further and you’d learn that 3% of the population own 50% of the guns. That leaves about 27% that own the other 50% so about 90 Million people own the other 150 Million guns or around 1.68 guns each. The 3%, well that 10 Million people have around 15 guns each. So 60-70%, zero guns each and 3%, 15 guns each on average.
Each group, gun supporters and gun detractors like to tout particular statistics that bolster their view. In fact, statistics are very complicated to understand due to all of the extenuating factors, such as demographics, culture, history, inaccurate disclosure and many other things. So comparing Louisiana which has lax gun laws and the highest state murder rate in the nation to DC that has strict gun laws and also a very high urban murder rate on the surface seems to prove strict gun laws make no difference. You hear this argument all the time. All it really shows is that guns used in DC are probably not bought legally in DC but those in Louisiana probably are. So one would need to factor in gun access, not just gun laws. Gun access cuts across state lines, especially when your “state” is a city like DC. All you need to do is jump on the I-95 corridor and within a couple hours you’ll find a state where you can easily purchase a gun or even a whole trunk load you can then drive back to DC and sell. Gun running is a common trick used to get around local gun laws. It’s illegal but it’s also easy. Illegal meets easy always gives you illegal because criminals just love easy and we apparently love making access to guns and ammo easy for criminals.
Sixty percent of all gun deaths in the US are a result of suicide. Our 2nd Amendment pretty much guarantees your right to off yourself, no matter how many other people you may hurt in the process — those that clean up your mess, are left behind or otherwise negatively impacted. Many such attempts are unsuccessful leaving the person in a decrepit state requiring a lifetime of special care, much costlier to society, much harder on the survivors. That rarely shows up in the statistics and that includes the millions of other non-suicide victims shot in the face or neck, are paralyzed, disfigured or otherwise severely handicapped, live in perpetual pain and pass this pain on to those around them. Guns bring much more than death, they bring misery.
The remaining 40% (60% suicides) are homicides, most criminally unjustified (mostly domestic) and a much smaller amount carried out in self-defense, many of which are also unjustified overreactions. We don’t have a death penalty for breaking and entering but we turn a blind eye when the perpetrator receives the instant death penalty with no due process from the property owner or someone “standing their ground.” It’s not always easy to see it, but many criminals are also people who have had terrible lives, broken homes and are just plain hungry and get caught up in crime not so much by choice as by circumstance or peer pressure. Demonizing criminals with a broad brush is a failure of Judeo-Christian-Muslim principles that allows us to justify even the act of murder at times when it’s really just killing someone who was not actually that dangerous in reality. Yes, there are truly psychopathic degenerates out there and we need to make sure they are not out on the streets first and foremost. But giving them easy access to guns sounds like a terrible idea too and that’s exactly what we’ve done.
Another fact is that the legal, permit carrying gun owner who plays by all the rules rarely commits a violent crime — a simple case of law abiding vs. criminal mentality. Kudos to those people but they could be just as law abiding and safe without the guns so the gun is not the key to that fact. Good morals, upbringing, mental health and such are the keys.
In any case, the large list of mass shootings above were not prevented or stopped whether they took place in gun loving Nevada or gun restricting California. Guns are actually terrible at preventing gun crimes but they are great for committing them. And the more guns the public has out there, the more often they will be used, period.
Ambiguous 2nd Amendment
There are essentially two interpretations of the the 2nd Amendment and each one has lost its lustre and reasoning over the ensuing 245 years:
- The State has a Necessary Militia, so people need guns to protect against possible abuse or illegal coup of that said militia and thus the State can not at any point forbid gun ownership of the people.
- Each State needs a well regulated militia to protect against invaders and every able-bodied man is welcome to join with his gun, the ownership of which shall not be infringed.
In either case, due to technological, social and military advances, the idea of gun ownership as a form of last-ditch protection against insurrection is on the one hand silly and on the other hand dangerous:
- It’s silly because there is no way we can give citizens weapons that are remotely as powerful as what the modern military calls “arms” and thus there is a ridiculous imbalance of force. In other words, no contest.
- It’s dangerous because by arming large swaths of the population with ever more powerful firearms, the odds of those being used against fellow Americans far exceed them being used against the Army (see above table). In fact, all it does is enables a Civil War or worse, a Reverse Insurrection where a terrible leader convinces misguided or ignorant gun owners to foist a coup over the non gun owners so they won’t try to take their guns — a self-fulfilling doomsday created BY the guns and Gun Manufacturers.
- If the Democratically elected Legislature by overwhelming majority opts to ban a particular weapon or alter the language of the 2nd Amendment and it is upheld by the Supreme Court, the stronger that banned weapon is and the more have been sold to the public, the nastier it is to enforce the ban on zealots of the original law which had now been overturned BY THE REVISED CONSTITUTION.
- If the idea is these rag tag, homegrown soldiers can be our stand in Army, then the Founders missed the memo: We now have five branches of military spanning the globe, trained and armed to the maximum level. The pros have it covered, thanks.
The fact that such an important Amendment that governs this very deadly matter of arms in the public is subject to so many interpretations, and there are many more, means that it is not a well written Law. The whole point of a law is to very clearly and unambiguously set forth a rule for society to follow. The 2nd Amendment fails this basic test.
The Fallacy of Protection
If you own a gun or many guns, what are you protected from? Are you protected from a bomb? Are you protected from a sniper? Are you protected from a sneak attack or ambush? Are you protected while you are sleeping or walking your dog? Are you protected from a drone, a grenade or a jet? Are you protected from smart bullets? From a van driving onto a sidewalk? No, you are only protected in certain ideal situations where the assailant is not particularly clever, there are not too many of them and you have plenty of time to locate and otherwise prepare your weapon for use.
In fact, your right to protection is by Nature second class compared to an offender’s right to attack you first and in a way and at a time that is difficult to defend against should they see a need to do so with their legally obtained weapon. They actually have MORE natural rights than you because Nature always favors the predator who stealthily plans its attack and strikes at the moment of THEIR choosing, not yours.
Also, by making guns so easy to obtain for you and your neighbors you have now created an artificial need to protect yourself from something that you didn’t actually need to earlier, before you both had deadly weapons. That’s right, if neither of you had guns, you’d both be safer.
Suicides and gun accidents are some of the most common sources of gun deaths. Having a gun in your house may make it too tempting for a troubled teen or forlorn adult to opt for the permanent solution to a temporary problem or for kids to pick up and playfully point at a friend. You might not be as safe from tragedy as you think when a gun is around. You might even kill someone who didn’t need killing and live with that empty murder feeling the rest of your life, probably conveniently tucked away in the corner of your mind as justified and within your rights. Adam Lanza, the psychopathic killer of children at Newtown, obtained his assault weapon from his mother’s house where he then killed his mother. She should not have been allowed to own ANY guns due to the known mental state of her child who would have access to the same gun. I’m sure she would agree if she were alive to do it differently now but it’s far too late.
Guns Don’t Kill People, People Do
Imagine a large peaceful room with a hundred people in it and no guns or weapons and they had plenty of food and all the comforts needed and everything was attended to. The murder rate would tend to be pretty low. Now, turn on some TVs and noise, take away some of the comforts for half of the people, make the room smaller and put 100 loaded guns in the room. The murder rate will likely rise. That’s modern America and we see the results. We live in more of a pressure cooker than ever and with steady population growth, the pressure will rise.
It’s a Mental Health Issue
No doubt about it, if we lived in a world of perfectly sane, honest and satisfied people with the kindness of saints, we would not have any murders, no matter how many guns were around. Nobody would steal or be angry over petty things and we’d be in paradise.
Physical Reality vs. Touchy Feely Psychological Solutions
Psychology at best is an imperfect science and social engineering is a long-term project that takes generations or at least one generation to produce the “Enlightened Citizen.” Imposing physical limits on guns on the other hand is immediate and tangible because it deals with objects in the real world, not the ephemeral objects of inner thoughts and feelings. Therefore it is more practical.
Only Criminals Will Have Guns?
We don’t decide not to have laws because criminals will break them. We have them to determine what defines a criminal and to discourage criminal behavior for the benefit of society. After all, at one point or another we are all criminals. Didn’t come to a complete stop at the stop sign? You’re a criminal but we still have stop signs. The fact is if certain guns were not legally available, the supply would dry up and the manufacturers would be limited to supplying the military and police. As it is, we make it super easy for criminals to get guns by sheer supply.
Only a Good Guy with a Gun Can Stop a Bad Guy with a Gun?
As I said before, protection is very difficult because the assailant always has the jump and is obviously prepared to use his weapon(s). On the other hand, a good guy never seems to be in quite the right place whenever we have a mass shooting. In fact on numerous occasions one or many armed good guys have been in proximity of shooters to no avail whatsoever and for various reasons from being ambushed themselves to being cowardly or inept or unable to engage the shooter. Ronald Reagan was surrounded by Secret Service and he was still shot. The Las Vegas shooter was 30 stories up in the air shooting rapidly into a concert with cops and guards everywhere. Parkland High School had at least one armed guard present, yet the shooter was never even shot at nor a single bullet fired by “good guys.” No, a much better idea is to make it really, really hard for a bad guy or a good guy to get certain types of war weapons.
Rogue Army Fear
One of the most common points made by gun supporters is the scenario of the US Army going rogue and turning on its own citizens. Of course, nowadays we’d need to add in Marines, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard all going rogue too. For this to happen, so many things would have to break down over so many years in society that the society this happened to would loosely resemble current society. We’d have to erode every level of checks and balances, erode all training protocols, oaths of honor and upholding the Constitution and then promote officers who supported the new eroded protocols over a period of time. Or, more likely we might privatize the Military as a for profit business and have too few democratic or public controls over it and then be at the corporate mercy.
In any case, we would FULLY deserve whatever the consequences were because WE were the ones who voted for the Legislators and Executives in sufficient numbers that supported this transition away from the spirit of our Constitution. In that case, we already let the rogue army win by allowing them to exist in the first place. Our guns won’t save us at that point. That is a country not worth saving anyway and better to let another stable and normal nation deal with it instead and come to our rescue.
One remote possibility is that we are invaded by a foreign army, something we’ve been fortunate to avoid so far on a mass scale. In this case, we could store military-style arms at a local armory which could be opened up by government decree in dire cases of invasion. But in all reality, we have the best military in History to protect us from that and they might not appreciate the amateur, disjointed help. Too many braves and not enough chiefs. Better just join the Army or National Guard at that point and fight under an organized plan with state-of-the-art tools or volunteer to help make ammo like they did in WW2.
Gasoline on Fire
You often hear the arguments, “Well you don’t need a gun to kill someone so why not ban cars too?” and, “Why are you picking on guns?” and, “Guns don’t kill people, bad people kill people.”
First, just because other things can kill people, doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to add another one on the pile for good measure. In fact common sense would say take one away to reduce the pile and reduce the pile of bodies that grows every year. Addition of guns equals subtraction of safety.
Second, none of the other means like bombs, cars, knives, etc. can touch the compact convenience of a tool that has been specifically engineered to kill people and animals. I can drive my kid to soccer in a car, clean a fish with a knife but try doing something useful with a gun other than shooting it at something. It’s a one trick pony. In fact the modern assault-style rifle has become an easy-kill tool. There is a reason the frequency of bombing, car murder and mass knife murders are orders of magnitude less than those of gun murders — they just aren’t so neat and easy and convenient. They don’t happen even close to as often. I’ll take my chances over a knife or ax attacker any day over one with an AR-15. While it’s true knives (humankind’s oldest modern weapons after stones) kill a lot of people in the US and elsewhere, it’s only 25% of the damage guns do. We have a lot of work to do on our violent culture no matter what.
So while it is true you don’t need a gun to kill and bad people with guns kill, why do we insist on letting so many people have them to the point where there are nearly as many guns in the U.S. as there are people? One danger unforeseen by our Founders was the rise of social media and hyper-divisiveness of politics. Throwing a large stockpile of arms and ammo into a house that’s burning with vitriol is like throwing gasoline on a fire. You shouldn’t do that.
“I use my guns for target practice and I enjoy it.” Guess what? By the miracle of technology we have many ways to create the same sensation of aiming at a target, shooting it and seeing the result without the need for live, deadly ammo. So if you like the act of aiming and shooting targets or beer cans, no one wants to take that away. What you really like is the fact that your target practice could be used to kill someone if the need arose and that’s actually a very dark thought that is way too commonplace. Admit it, you like the power over life and death that guns give you. The great equalizer. Target practice might even bore you if you knew it was not a real gun, might as well play a video game, right? Take up archery.
We could certainly create a special exception for licensed target ranges and clubs where all manner of guns could be used under careful supervision and would remain on premises.
Much gun talk is macho talk. It’s no surprise that many gun zealots are cammo wearing, bearded good ole boys who did some military time or also like motorcycles and may even drive a pickup truck with trucknuts for that little extra bit of manliness. It’s the old “my gun is bigger than your gun or shoots more bullets per minute.” But at the heart of gun talk is really, “I could kill someone any time I want very easily and I sure as heck will if they cross me the wrong way.” What target shooter hasn’t pretended it’s a person on the other end and we even have human shaped targets to help with that. Of course, nowadays we have plenty of video games that simulate mass murder so the target shooting is sort of quaint. Is it really mentally healthy to project into your mind a casual thought of murder? Have we decayed so far, where this is socially acceptable to regularly imagine breaking one of the Ten Commandments: Thou Shalt Not Kill? I tell you these very thoughts are poisoning humanity and turning us into insensitive beings more obsessed with our rights to fire bullets at people than our own rights to healthcare when your heart starts failing. It’s truly pathetic when obsession is misguided against our own best interests. I say we best leave these thoughts of dispatching enemies to professionals who are highly trained for the purpose of killing to protect us, the US military. There was a time when even the police had no need for weapons, but we have made them into paramilitary forces just so they can deal with the armed masses — with deadly results.
Society badly needs to take a turn for the light, with lighter thoughts and more positive and constructive uses of our limited time on Earth. I dare say, maybe it’s time to embrace a little more of the feminine and nurturing side of humanity. Even better, men, up your game and redefine yourself in a cooler way. The current male side has made a mess. Guns are downright boring compared to so many things and they truly don’t enrich our lives as much as anyone may say. They make it worse for more people and “better” for very few.
Rural vs. Urban
No one wants to deny farmers and ranchers the tools they need to protect their lands or hunt in the tradition of their fathers. I know ranchers that regularly run into rattlers and other nasty predators that may require a rifle or sidearm. To these folks, a gun is a tool, not a weapon. I know of no such need in an urban or suburban environment where most people these days reside. The needs of rural folks separated by large chunks of land and wilderness are much different than the needs of city dwellers where the land has been so tamed it’s often hundreds of feet down beneath the city infrastructure.
Guns in the city don’t make sense except for the fact that there are now lots of guns in the city so you may think you need a gun to protect yourself. Even in the Old West, some towns would put up a sign “Leave Your Guns Outside of Town.” They seemed to figure out a long time ago that lots of guns, booze, etc. all add up to a loss of public safety, not a gain. We have lost that simple, obvious wisdom. Guns and cities don’t go together.
We can easily create a different set of laws for rural residents and those that live within city limits or a certain range of a city. We make all sorts of laws already that are restricted to zones.
The Great Manipulation, Follow the Money
Gun manufacturers, ammo makers, gun clubs, gun store, gun shows, shooting ranges, the NRA all add up to a gigantic very powerful and extremely wealthy industry. They mass produce parts here and abroad for pennies on the dollar, assemble them here or elsewhere very quickly and then charge a gigantic markup. No business ever wants to do anything that decreases sales, profits or the value of their business. That’s exactly why the NRA operates a veritable army of lobbyists and campaigners for gun rights and advocacy, strongly opposing any form of regulation whatsoever with huge sums of money. They wrap it all up in a neat package of patriotism and 2nd Amendment God-given Rights and they pound this message home 365 days a year, targeting gun control primary candidates with massive campaigns to paint a mamby pamby weenie coming to take your guns away. Eventually, some people have come to buy into it and equate gun ownership with patriotism and they in turn pass that value to their children. But they rarely stop to see how much they are being manipulated by powerful, wealthy and well-organized groups who only have the objective of selling more guns and more ammo and getting a greater return on the investment for their shareholders. This profit is blood money and it has the blood of millions of innocent people on it, relatively few of those criminals or deserving the ultimate penalty.
The Future Flaw
The writers of the Constitution were not soothsayers. They could not possibly have foreseen the technological advances of the 20th Century, let alone the 21st Century, nor did they even think to mention the future of “Arms.” In fact the definition of what arms are has changed and continues to change whenever a new weapon is invented. If they had written “…the right to keep and bear arms, no matter how advanced or deadly they become, shall not be infringed,” then we could point to that and say it was covered. However they only knew of one type of arm and therefore it is what they meant by the word — a simple one-bullet musket gun that took awhile to load and wasn’t that accurate. Anything else is putting words and meanings they could not possibly have had into their mouths.
So then what do we get later this century, lasers and other beam weapons that can slice through a crowd at the speed of light? Smart bullets that can shoot around corners? Where does it stop? At some point we will be forced to make the same restrictions we make on many other “arms” that are simply too powerful or dangerous for individuals. There is nothing in the 2nd Amendment that says “shall not be infringed….except in these cases…” so why is that allowed? We already have seen limits arise and I say to you those are already far behind what they should actually be already, let alone what they will need to be in the future. The future is here.
The Evolution of Guns to Overkill
As I’ve mentioned above, modern guns are not your great great grandpappy’s gun. They are far deadlier. They are lighter, load quickly, hold many more bullets, higher tech precision manufactured bullets with better propellants, better sights and are so much more accurate than they used to be. Hunting is an age old tradition and it carries with it a code of honor. Fellow hunters are impressed with those that use the fewest shots to bring down game. No one is impressed with a hunter who shoots a deer 50 or 100 times with a semi-automatic, ruining the meat and showing a total lack of shooting skill. For hunting to remain honorable, it requires a balance between hunter and hunted. If the hunter becomes over armed then the sport is lost along with the honor. It becomes unfair at its core. Like a guy that shows up at a fishing hole with a stick of dynamite, the over armed hunter is derided as a loser and terrible sportsman.
So if semi-automatics are not right for hunting then what are they good for? I can tell you what they were designed for — killing people. There was a time when our military required more firepower as we came upon enemies who outgunned us so we met the challenge with ingenuity to protect our Nation. We made guns that would fire faster, need less reloading and save lives to the point where many guns used by the military are not even legal for citizens to possess (except for special cases). For some reason, we decided to let some of these lesser military weapons become legal to possess outside the military and the results have been awful. By doing this we then justified upping the armaments required for policing to match the citizenry. Essentially, we have militarized society by distributing war-proven and evolved weapons to our streets and now we have consequently broken our Constitution from the inside out which forbids the military to be used for policing US citizens by turning our police into what is essentially a paramilitary force. That makes no sense and it has to be de-escalated.
Unfortunately, as guns have evolved, we have not.
The Future of Protection
Gun makers aren’t the only ones who can profit from guns. Others who make equipment and technology to protect against guns can also profit. Technology will undoubtedly improve in the areas of gun detection, shooter location, bulletproof clothing and anti-bullet technology, force fields, etc..
However the best protections are those that come from our minds in the form of sensible laws and also from the makers of guns. For example, every single gun sold in the United States could (and should) be required to have several RFID chips embedded within and on the outside. These could then be easily read by much cheaper supermarket-level detectors that could be placed on the street, hotels, schools, government buildings, airports, bus terminals, cop cars, etc. It could also be very useful in law enforcement to clean illegal guns from the street. The RFID would have to match the registered owner to be legal.
There have been efforts to create smart guns that can only be fired by a registered user and this will also improve as chips become more powerful but there are always ways to defeat these precautions or procure from the ample supply of existing old-fashioned guns.
Other forms of scanners and interceptors will also do much to get illegal guns or guns that are places they don’t belong. Gun owners will soon need to evoke other Constitutional Rights regarding Search and Seizure because we are near the point where cops can drive down the street or cities can place sensors on posts that will detect the presence of hidden guns, even without embedded chips using safe millimeter scanning coupled with AI computer systems that can detect gun shapes. In this scenario, there will be no such thing as concealed weapons so you better make sure it’s legal before you carry. This could also be used against unlawful knives of a certain size and shape.
Guns Are Just Plain Primitive
When you really look at it, guns basically are the same as when they we first invented by the Chinese centuries ago as “hand cannons.” An explosive charge forces a projectile down a barrel at high velocity, punching a hole in its target, intended or not. Sure, technology makes them more accurate, more deadly and far easier to use but it’s not that complicated. There will be a time in the future when people will look back at this period as one of primitive ignorance much like we look at barbers who used to bleed patients to “cure” them. The sooner we can get over our infatuation with these bang sticks, the sooner we can move on to the next level of civilization. Imagine Captain James Kirk with a gun and you get the picture (there was an episode on that and he and Spock looked so silly). They are truly just quaint antiques.
When we see how police use deadly force with a common policy to fully kill rather than to simply stop the perpetrator, often when no weapon is actually showing or when the person is either deranged or hasn’t actually shot a gun at anyone, it makes me wonder why not shoot them in the leg or why haven’t we developed more non-lethal methods to disable a person for our police? It seems like we could have created electromagnetic or other weapons that could temporarily stun or disable people like tasers do. The gun solution seems like primitive overkill. This might require more courage than blasting away but we’d all be a safer if police didn’t need to be impromptu executioners when encountering a problematic situation.
Common Sense Laws
We know that a HUGE majority of Americans, including most NRA members are for enhanced background checks. Here is a list of simple laws that could greatly reduce gun violence while still allowing for lawful possession of firearms:
- Raise the minimum age to 21, same as for drinking alcohol.
- Universal Gun Score attached to every inhabitant.
- Background checks on ALL purchases, no loopholes
- Background check includes mental stability, not just of the individual but for those living with access to said firearm
- Background check includes no close family member is on FBI wanted list or no fly list
- No military-style assault weapons or semi-automatic allowed for non military persons (BAN, with caveat to store at local armory)
- No magazine that holds more than 10 bullets (BAN)
- No purchase of more than 100 bullets per year, unless bought and used AT a licensed firing range. They can be stored there.
- No possession of more than 200 rounds of ammo.
- Place a tax upon ammo that would be used to educate and pay for gun safety and make ammo less attractive to hord.
- No possession of more than 5 guns without special permit
- No equipment that can modify existing guns to be semi-auto or auto
- No undetectable guns, better to require RFID for legal possession
- Annual or bi-annual registration and licensing of weapons like automobiles. Licence requires police approval.
- Insurance required (small premium) to cover law enforcement costs and casualties
- Stiff penalties for those that thwart any of the above laws
- Unlimited rights for city governments to scan for the presence of guns in public places and the right to deem probable cause upon detection. With RFID, the gun could be verified easily as legally owned and carried.
Ban Enforcement Not Possible?
Generally in America, prohibition doesn’t work as smoothly as it might in other countries such as Australia which successfully enacted a ban on assault rifles. But guns are not liquor or weeds that grow in the forest, they are technological devices requiring serious ingenuity and manufacturing supply chains and they are highly detectable. Gun zealots are constantly talking about how they will react if the government “comes for their guns.” They even have bumper stickers like, “You will have to pry my gun out of my cold, dead fingers.” I envision a ban be first implemented in a soft, voluntary manner, even affording those who surrender guns a tax credit for their purchase losses. First there would be notices posted, letters sent and time to comply. Then a phase of Fines for those not in compliance. Then a phase of tax liens to collect unpaid fines and increases in fines over time. Fines would not be refundable through tax credits. In a final phase, non-compliance would require law enforcement, possible even using robotic agents as to not endanger police from unruly or violent gun standers.
Second Amendment 2.0
It’s pretty unlikely that we will see the 2nd Amendment altered because of the irrational powers that be that I went into above. But if we did revisit the wording, there have been numerous suggestions. One of my favorites adds 5 simple words to the existing one and was suggested by Associate Justice Stevens:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.
I would rather see the Amendment turned completely around to protect my Right to NOT be shot rather than my right to shoot or at least such a clause added:
The right of the citizenry to live peaceably with minimal fear of armed violence against them supersedes any and all rights for the citizenry to arm themselves for the purpose of personal protection.
This would allow towns and cities to craft specific laws deemed in the citizens’ best interests regarding guns. It also says life is more important than guns or that non gun owners also have their own rights to enjoy a gun-free life.
Universal Gun Score
We must develop a gun score for each and every identifiable inhabitant of the United States. The idea is similar to a credit score but in reverse like points on a driver’s license and I propose it has three basic levels:
- Gun ownership allowed (no red flags)
- Gun ownership suspended, 5 yrs (any new red flags)
- Gun ownership forbidden (too many or one level 3 red flag)
Red flag conditions would be a combination of psychological, school records, social media, community reporting and of course criminal records. To learn more on my thinking on how to implement this system read here.
De-emphasize Gun Importance and Desirability
As a culture we need to seriously lower the attraction and glory given to guns. We make them way too important. They aren’t. We mistake or hold them up as instruments of security. They aren’t. We need to in fact emphasize the negative aspect of guns which are overwhelming next to the positives. They are marketed as necessary. They aren’t. We may need a ban on gun marketing altogether. Make people have to find your guns at a gun store. We may need to make gun violence Rated R. Why is a woman’s breast or F-bomb enough but not killing? Strange mental priorities to give a young person, no? We need to generally stigmatize guns as dangerous, primitive and harmful. Guns aren’t cool. They are not sexy. They aren’t empowering. They aren’t at all necessary. Gun owners are not strong because of the gun. They can’t defend themselves as well as they think when they need to. Even fully armed and trained police can’t always save the day so how can we expect a school teacher? Or why?
Importantly, we must reduce hopes and expectations of rightfully owning a gun. The bar needs to be high for ownership, if not onerous. Guns need to be much less common, much less expected.
We need to reduce the quantity of guns in society while at the same time increasing the quality of gun owners.
We should never mourn a person who is banned from gun ownership or even give a slight damn. Why, because they will be fine without a gun. It’s not even a bad fate, speaking as one who has been delighted to never own a gun or have one in my house or around my children. It’s improved my quality of life to not own a gun. I wish this fate on anyone.
Frankly, if you woke up one day and there were magically no more guns or bullets on Earth or the USA, you could still eat breakfast, hug your kids, go to work, go bowling, sailing, drive your car, go target shooting do anything normal, fun and necessary for a happy life. Many, many people live very happily never touching a gun their entire lives. And on average, we live 76 years with or without guns. I’d bet life expectancy would go up significantly if all guns disappeared. It would no longer be a top killer of people. Off the list. Insurance would be cheaper because we wouldn’t have 33,000 killed and many more gravely wounded for a lifetime of care where we had to pay for all those surgeries and physical therapy, etc. Nope, you’d just have a normal life like they have in most civilized countries where guns are not easy to come by.
So guns are truly not necessary for a normal, safe and enjoyable life. Of course we still need guns to protect our Nation from invaders and in times of battle and for hunting purposes, though crossbows work fine too.
Don’t be a sucker who thinks guns are the key to safety, happiness or any other such wonderful thing. Guns are meant for killing and killing is NEVER good. It’s right in the Ten Commandments, for God’s sake. What if you enjoyed a life where guns were not a big deal, they were a relic of past, troubled times. It could be a great life. Only our minds can make us truly safe. Mind truly rules over matter when we let it. And with our minds we craft laws and create the sort of peaceful society we have sought for centuries. This we can, and should do.