Thirty-two people die every day due to firearms. That’s equal to three 9/11 events every year. The tragedy of the past week has brought the discussion on this to the forefront. In the past, when tragedies happen, the gun lobby steps out, trots out some celebrity to state that, in the wake of such misfortune, it is not time to discuss gun regulations. But this time, they’ve run for cover and have lost allies in congress. The sheer scope of the tragedy has given them pause and it’s time for a real examination of gun regulations and for us to come up with some common sense solutions.
There are three very simple steps that could be taken in the new congress which can go a long way to addressing the issue, all of which have strong support among gun owners.
- Restore the Assault Weapons Ban – The Assault Weapons Ban was a regulation on gun manufacturers, not owners, which prevented the manufacture for consumer use a category of weapons classified as “Assault Weapons” in US Code. It was a sensible way to address the issue of weapons not designed for recreational use. Its prohibition on weapons able to mount a grenade launcher is simple, common sense.
- Banning High-capacity magazines – One of the reasons why the shooters in Colorado and Arizona were able to rack up the large body counts in such a short amount of time. With the Aurora shooter having 100 rounds of ammunition in a single clip, he was able to kill or injure 71 people in the 90 seconds it took for police officers to arrive on scene. A ban on the manufacture of these for civilian use would go a long way to addressing the issue. As gun manufacturer Ruger advertises, “When You Only Have One Shot, Make it Count.” A real hunter only needs one shot, these large capacity magazines are for people compensating for something.
While some may argue for a complete firearm prohibition, there is no need for such a widespread measure. A few simple, responsible steps would address the underlying problems far better than an immediate reactionary sweeping ban on something which, for good or ill, has been a symbol of pride for citizens of the United States for many centuries. In the 1800’s it was written that the Americas were a symbol for responsibility of citizenry to own guns. The way we are handling them now puts us to shame. If we do not take these steps now, then the pressure will continue to mount alongside the body count, which will result in an eventual, sweeping, and absolute ban. If you want to retain the right to bear arms as a Constitutional right in the United States, these are the measures you must endorse. Otherwise, you will live knowing that you are one shooting away from losing that right forever.
Whenever a gun advocate calls for de-regulating firearms, realize that they are in fact advocating for the complete elimination of firearm ownership in the United States, because that is what the end result of their efforts will be -eventually, things will be so bad, firearms will have to be banned entirely.” Their fighting against common sense gun regulations is tempting fate, and history demonstrates how such efforts result in unintended consequences and often times results in the absolute loss of everything fought for. In the fight against gun regulations, groups such as the Koch Brothers, the National Rifle Association and the American Legislative Exchange Council are instead fighting for the complete, absolute, and total elimination of gun ownership rights.