February 20, 2018

Some, All, or None of the Above

Pretend, for the sake of argument that this was the school shooting that is the one that changes everything. Columbine didn't, and Sandy Hook didn't. So pretend this is the one.

Pretend, for the sake of argument,  that we actually are inspired and want to make changes, across a wide spectrum, to try and make a difference.

Pretend, for the sake of argument, that your elected representatives at the school, local, state and national level are motivated to listen to you and do whatever it is you suggest to keep your children safe.

Pretend, for the sake of argument, that you are in control. I know, I know - that's a huge bit of pretending, I get it -- but just pretend.

Here's your list of options, based on what I've seen on various news and social media platforms. Know that none of these will work, because if a person really wants to commit mayhem, they'll find a way - that's what we're told, anyway, when some suggests changing gun laws. 

Know that  individually,  these might have no impact, but that collectively, they might make a difference --and choose as many as you think we should try.

1. Ban large-capacity magazines, clips, etc. so that a person would have to load their gun more often, making it take longer for them to commit mass mayhem and giving people more time to, hopefully, escape.

2. Ban new sales of the 'mass-shooting' rifle -- the AR-15 and similar weapons, and implement a buy-back program to get as many of them off the street as possible.

3. Ban sales of bump-stocks and similar items that make it easier to kill more people in a short period of time.

4. Ban sales of guns to anyone who is not old enough to purchase alcohol.

5. Ensure that the military is reporting all less-than-honorable discharges to the national background check system, and do not allow them to purchase any kind of gun, and that this reporting is timely - as in, immediately upon discharge. And fire anyone in the military hierarchy who failed to ensure this reporting occurred as required.

6. Close the 'boyfriend' loophole, which allows a person who commits violence against a partner to whom they are not married to purchase a gun, and treat these people the same as those who abuse their spouse.

7. Establish a ten-day waiting period on the purchase of all guns - handguns, medium guns, long guns, whatever - to bring consistency to the process, and to allow sufficient time for the background check process to occur.

8. Pay gun manufacturers not to make guns, just like we pay farmers not to grow crops.

9. Tax packages of ammunition the same way we tax packages of cigarettes. Add a user fee on the sale of every gun. Use this money as startup cash to pay for whatever needs to be paid for (see #11 and #12, for starters).

10. Close all background check loopholes. Private sales, gun shows - whatever the gaps, close them.

11. Secure our school buildings: locks on external doors, cameras, badge readers, metal detectors, security offices and security officers - real ones, not the kind you see at many offices - at entry doors, double door entries, limited number of doors with external handles, etc.

12. Secure the classrooms: bullet-proof glass in the windows and doors; panic buttons for teachers to warn the office and local police of a threat; doors that truly lock from inside and cannot be forced open.

13. Arm teachers, if they are willing, provided that the weapons they're assigned can be secured in their classrooms so that they don't fall into the wrong hands, and that they're carefully screen and can prove proficiency with their weapons (something that is not required for purchasing one, by the way).

14. Go back to saying the Pledge of Allegiance in schools every day.

15. Re-institute school prayer.

16. Ban violent video games, television shows, lyrics, movies, poetry, fiction and non-fiction writing, and any other art forms which can project violence.

17. Enter mental health records into the background check system, regardless of the patient age, and never allow anyone who has had any mental health issues to legally purchase guns or ammunition.

18. Stop prescribing medications that can have mental health related side effects (depressions, thoughts of suicide, hyperactivity, manic behaviors and so on).

19. Ban contributions to politicians from any gun rights groups.

20. Wring our hands, offer thoughts and prayers, and as Paul Ryan said, count our blessings, whatever that means.

Have at it -- some, all, or none of the above?

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