Can we talk about gun control?
Sadly, not in America. The gun lobby delivers so many votes to the GOP that no national debate is possible, and has millions of Americans not only convinced that gun violence isn’t a problem, they are convinced that any and all attempts at gun control are part and parcel of liberal plots to confiscate American’s guns. Yes, Obama, who passed more pro-gun legislation than his predecessor, is secretly planning to use his second term to take away American’s guns. That’s right on up their with some progressive’s belief that in his second term Obama is going to show his true liberal stripes and actually fulfill the failed promises that got liberals to elect him in the first place. As an aside I think it’s fascinating that so many people are convinced that Obama isn’t really who he appears to be. I strongly suspect that the endless propaganda the past few years about how Obama isn’t a real American, wasn’t born in America, is a secret Muslim, etc. is driving these beliefs. I’m not sure there’s ever been a president who was so widely thought to be hiding a secret agenda. Kennedy maybe. However, even if gun control won’t be discussed in Congress, where they are too busy discussing vagina control, I can discuss it here. Here then are three modest proposals for reducing gun violence in the USA:
1. Buyback programs. This is where a government agency offers money to people who turn in guns for disposal. People voluntarily turning in guns for disposal, who could possibly object? Gun nuts of course, who insist that this is both a useless waste of money, and a step towards total gun confiscation. The argument being that criminals aren’t going to turn in their guns, so how can this help? It helps because it gets crappy guns out of the homes of people who don’t want them and don’t know how to store them, let alone use them. Think widows whose husbands have died who left a pistol. These are the sorts of guns that get stolen by burglars or found by children with tragic result. Or how about parents who confiscate a gun from one of their kids. Or any number of situations where a gun is removed from a home where it didn’t belong and was just an accident or a murder waiting to happen. There’s a problem with getting a gun out of circulation, especially if it was circulating in the wrong hands? Criminals may not turn in their guns, but that doesn’t mean their relatives, spouses, or partners won’t turn them in.
2. Education. I see no reasons why public school children shouldn’t be taught about the hazards associated with guns. The equivalent of the Red Asphalt movies about the hazards of driving would impact some kids. And there’s nothing wrong with kids being taught the basics of gun safety. Don’t point it at people even for fun, store them properly, don’t leave them loaded, etc. Yes, some progressives will claim this is teaching kids about guns, the same way that some people claim sex education will make kids want to go out and have sex. Both are full of it. Kids will have sex, and they will encounter guns, better they know the risks and how to avoid them than to pretend that ignorance is safe.
3. Magazine control. I’m sorry, but there is no legitimate sporting or self-defence need for a semi-automatic gun that can shoot a hundred rounds without reloading, give me a fucking break. What, a herd of rabid deer is going to attack a hunter? And as Mr Holmes just demonstrated, they most certainly can be misused. Sure criminals will be able to find them, but why make it easy? And if they aren’t legal, manufacturers will have no reason to make them! That will reduce the number in circulation dramatically, making it that much harder for criminals and the insane to get them.
That just scratches the surface, but it would prevent some shootings. The real problem is a culture of violence and a gun cult mentality that pervades a huge section of the population and is impervious to reason or facts. Just do a google image search for “gun control,” it’s scary. Cartoon after cartoon promoting absolute silly shit about gun control. If taking away guns caused crime, Canada and Europe would be plagued with crime. Instead, they have trivial levels of gun crime compared to the USA. It’s complicated though, and America’s problems with violence are deep rooted and not due to the availability of guns. And of course not only does rejecting gun control get votes, it also makes money for Hollywood. Damned if I know how to address that issue though, we’re kind of a sick culture when it comes right down to it.
On the plus side, a wonderful video just came out of Hollywood. The first step to solving a problem is to admit there is a problem, this video gives me hope, enjoy: The most honest three and a half minutes of television, EVER…
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. Since I’m promoting discussion of gun control, hopefully the copyright holders won’t mind me using it. Credit and copyright: Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence. Coming soon, something more upbeat, maybe a post on Syria.)