Everyone knows “guns don’t kill people – people kill people.” This axiomatic perspective on “gun violence” from the pithy wordsmiths of the National Rifle Association (NRA), in the United States, has been the clarion call for all those supporting “gun rights.” Whenever a significant shooting incident occurs, or for that matter almost any shooting – this asinine statement is issued by some supporter of the unbridled ownership of firearms – as though the knowledge that the “tool” doesn’t craft the result was lost on the population. In the face of these “significant shooting incidents” it seems a hollow rationale though as any tool has an appropriate and practical use. And, let’s face it, the US has had a lot of “significant incidents” and shootings over the past few years. The United States is the authority on mass shootings. This makes one wonder what “are” guns for, and why is it so many “incidents” occur?
In the ’70s there were 13 mass shootings, by the ‘80s: 32. The numbers have continued to climb, although the 2000’s were a light decade – only 28. However, the casualty rates have climbed over the years; the numbers of dead and wounded are ever increasing – almost exponentially. So, what’s the problem. Well according to the NRA, it isn’t guns.
If this is true, what is it? What can the problem be?
There is much debate about that. The problem is, regardless of the debate, the ability to curtail gun sales to people likely to use them – against their purpose – to sometimes kill people is difficult to achieve. Politicians have tried and failed over the years and seem unable to advance the cause of gun control.
It seems people who want to kill other people have access – due to the 2nd Amendment of the United States to “guns” – the tool of choice, in the US at least, when it comes to killing lots of people in one “visitation.” According to the NRA – no one, who is responsible, wants to kill anyone – unless (and there are a few caveats here) – they are trying to harm this “responsible” person, this responsible person’s family, or are trespassing on a responsible person’s property, or are making the responsible person “feel threatened”. Now – here it gets murky. There are a number of “Gun” laws and they vary from State to State. Florida has “stand your ground” and many States have “open carry” laws and so on. But, at the root of this is the 2nd amendment, which reads, and I quote:
“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.”
The point the NRA focuses on is the third clause of this rather oddly arranged sentence. “The right of the of people to keep and bear arms,” which is why – according to the NRA, that any type of gun controls are an anathema to the constitution. But, can this be so? The 2nd Amendment says nothing about controls – only that the right to “keep” and “bear” arms shall not be “infringed”. So, any laws which do not prevent the right to keep or bear arms should therefore be constitutionally acceptable. In fact, about 90% of US citizens and 70% of NRA members agree with that notion insofar as background checks are concerned. This suggests therefore a ‘basic level of competence to bear arms; yet, the constitution does not set a condition on competence – so, the NRA rightly opposes competence being a condition of gun ownership. Where these checks do exist, they are not implemented universally and are likely not going to be – due in large part to NRA lobbying rightly attempting to keep competence – a condition not found in the second amendment, out of the laws of the land – at least insofar as gun ownership or the prevention of it is concerned.
I have a solution to this sticky problem. This solution will resolve both the NRA’s problem with gun control and the desires of all those people out there who think (clearly mistakenly), this mass shooting thing is a “gun problem”.
In keeping with the 2nd amendment, I suggest that the US Federal Government issues “arms” to each and every citizen of the United States – regardless of age. Furthermore, the Federal government must collect and destroy all but the “issued weapon” – as there is no requirement for a particular type of “arms” in the amendment. As well, all States laws restricting open carry are to be summarily dismissed by the Supreme Court. Now, everyone, regardless of their position on gun control will be armed or have access to these arms. As well, I suggest the Federal Government of the US anoint each citizen as a member of their “State’s Militia” to address the oft forgot, but no less important first clause of the 2nd Amendment. Finally, the Federal government should promptly, and immediately upon collection of all non-approved weapons deliver the authorized and approved civilian “arms” so the citizenry of the United States may remain constitutionally adherent and civilly responsible carrying their “.54 calibre Hawken muzzle loading percussion cap/black-powder rifle.”
With everyone so armed there will be no debate about gun control. The Hawken gun is the solution, it has an effective range of about 400 yards; and, the calibre of the Hawken (able to blow a foot-wide hole in a bear), will no doubt satisfy the power and penetrating capabilities of even the most ardent enthusiast. Lastly, the peace-loving anti-gun lobby will be able to curtail their whinging ways as the Hawken comes with a designed-in “low rate of fire” – so anyone attempting a “mass shooting” will need either a locked room filled with people or very slow victims to have any impact. This likely limits the locale of any future “mass shootings” to insane asylums and old age homes. This is absolutely constitutionally compliant. Everyone is armed, the 2nd amendment says nothing whatever about the type or provider of the “arms” everyone has the right to bear – and lastly, it harkens back to the era of discovery which “made America great,” which should satisfy the Trumpesque Republicans who are so keen to protect themselves with “guns.” Everyone will still be able to kill anyone who needs shooting – so long as they are willing to take the time to do it. I strongly recommend the US Federal government adopt my plan – black powder is safe. Black powder is practical. And, after all, guns don’t kill people – and if it turns out in the future they do, with my plan, guns will kill far fewer and less often.