Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins. – Ayn Rand
That quote makes me think a lot about a lot of things. Considering the person who said it makes me think even more.
Guns! Is there another topic in American culture that instantly lights a fire under so many people? And is there another topic that has been at the center of so many horrific events in the past few years. Sandy Hook Elementary, the Washington Navy Yard, the Aurora movie theater, and most recently my alma mater, Purdue University.
I’ve vacillated in my opinion about guns throughout my life. I believe in the rights of all Americans. But at the same time I believe all Americans also have the right to be safe in their communities.
So where am I today on this issue? Well, I was very saddened following Sandy Hook that absolutely nothing changed. Proposed federal legislation that did NOT take away guns, and in effect only heightened background checks, failed to pass. Since that time, 2/3 of the new laws passed on state and federal levels have loosened gun regulations. And all this is going on while numerous polls show a majority of Americans favor stricter overall gun laws. I just don’t get it.
So here is where I stand. I think Americans should be allowed to own guns. But every gun owner should have a license to own, yes OWN, a firearm. Additionally, a separate license should be required to purchase ammunition. Both guns and ammunition should be taxed over and above the regular tax rate. Money from those taxes should be used to enforce existing gun legislation.
Now before you start hurling accusations at me, let me explain. I didn’t say any of these licenses need to be expensive. But think about this; we require people to have licenses to drive automobiles. Those licenses are acquired by passing tests which prove the applicant knows enough to be driving an automobile. Why shouldn’t a similar situation be in place for guns?
Here are the results. If you want a gun, get one. But first prove you know enough to have one. Licenses could be obtained at any gun shop. And I’m sorry, but sales of guns should be prohibited by anyone who does not require the buyer to show their license.
You want to collect guns? Great! Get a license. If you don’t want to shoot them, fine. That will save you the cost of obtaining a license to buy ammunition. Ammunition licenses, like gun ownership licenses, would require applicants to further prove their knowledge. All the fees could help fund the enforcement of gun legislation. Police agencies, like other government agencies today, are in woeful need of funds to conduct their business. Here’s a way to help them!
Nobody has to give their guns back under my proposal. And my proposal already has backing. Look here for some more information.
Following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Australia, that country began sweeping gun reforms following years of very lenient gun laws. While the results have been mixed, I think the positives have outweighed the negatives. Don’t believe me? Go see what our own Library of Congress says about it. Something needs to happen in this country!
I’m sure there are ways to make my proposal more effective. I’m also sure that my proposals wont stop numerous cases of gun violence. But it’s a start. And of course there are people out there with ideas just as good as mine – probably better. But the bottom of all bottom lines is this. Guns should NOT be as easy to obtain as they are today!
Now someone please tell me why my proposals make me unAmerican! Please tell me why I am an extremist, liberal, socialist, etc! I am an American! I vote, pay taxes, and am involved in day-to-day society like other Americans! I’m just so so SO sick of nothing ever changing in this country when it comes to guns!
And for those blatant Second Amendment people out there, consider this. The Second Amendment was NOT in the original Constitution. That’s why it’s called an amendment. And there are – and will continue to be – more amendments. Think about it.