If someone wants to kill a lot of people, a gun is almost always their best choice.
Yes, there are many other ways to kill people: a hammer, a knife, a car, a bomb, etc. But almost anyone can go out and buy a gun and bullets and start shooting people–in many states, on the same day. A bomb would have to be built—using parts that are highly monitored by various federal agencies; using a car would take certain, specific conditions; and a hammer? A knife? Seriously? Comparing a high caliber, semi-automatic rifle to a hammer, or a even a knife for that matter, in terms of deadliness, is pretty damned absurd. Last time I checked we don’t send our soldiers into battle with knives and hammers.
So after yet another mass murder/shooting, I don’t want to hear: if we’re going to restrict guns, why not knives, hammers, etc? That’s a dumb thing to say. We don’t have people killing or injuring twenty people at a time with hammers or knives. They’re doing it with guns.
And I don’t want to hear the old saying that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Wrong. When people kill people—especially in this country—it’s usually with a gun. In fact, unless we concoct some sort of contrived hypothetical situation, the level of violence that occurs in this country on a regular basis could not happen without guns.
Finally, I don’t want to hear, as Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio and other conservatives say repeatedly, that passing more gun laws won’t matter, because criminals won’t follow those laws anyway. That is the most idiotic thing anyone ever thought up. Of course criminals will break laws—that’s how we know they’re criminals. We have laws so we can penalize criminals when they break them. We have laws to prevent criminals from committing crimes. We have laws that make it more difficult to commit a crime. We have police officers and a court system to enforce the law. Laws are the basis for a civilized society. That someone running for President doesn’t understand this is horrifying, and anyone who repeats Rubio’s line is an imbecile, and he knows exactly what he’s doing, right Marco?
So what do we do about gun violence?
The best proposal I’ve heard is to treat guns like cars:
1) Every gun owner should be required to register their gun(s).
2) Every gun owner should go through a licensing process demonstrating that they know how to use their gun(s) safely.
3) Every gun owner should have to pass a background check, and undergo some sort of psychological exam proving they are sane before receiving their gun(s) and license.
4) Every gun owner should have to renew this license periodically, just like a driver’s license.
5) Every gun owner should be required to purchase insurance in case there is an accident or damages involving their gun(s).
Registration, licensing, renewal, and insurance. Treat guns like cars. And I’m fine with letting the states set it up and run it, just like every state runs a DMV. However, there would have to be a federal mandate requiring this action, so that all 50 states had to comply; otherwise, people could just cross state lines to skirt the regulations.
Would some people want to skip/avoid this process? Yes, but then they’re breaking the law and we can take their guns away and/or send them to jail. See how that works, Marco Rubio, you dumbass?
Now treating guns like cars won’t stop all gun deaths, and it won’t completely end these kinds of tragedies. But it’s a start, and there’s no doubt it would help decrease the number of gun deaths we see in this country.
Other ideas? Require gun owners to store their guns under lock and key, ban high powered assault rifles, place limits on clip sizes, use smart-gun technology, start gun buy-back programs, etc.
To be fair, there are also things we can do that don’t involve guns. Most of these crimes are committed by loners who express hate online—perhaps the FBI and/or other federal and state agencies should key in on this. Maybe we should require a course freshman year in every high school that teaches compassion for others, how to access mental health services, and what people should do when they hear someone expressing depressed and/or violent thoughts. Maybe we need to ban or restrict first-person shooter video games, or put stricter limits on who can see movies with mass gun violence. Hell, maybe we need armed guards all over the place: at schools, malls, movie theaters, etc.
Point is, there are a lot of things that can be done. But as we all know by now, nothing will happen.
I want to make something perfectly clear before I continue: I DO NOT have some huge ideological bent, or believe that problems have to be solved in a particular way. I have my opinions about how we can address our political problems, but at the end of the day, I want solutions—and frankly, I don’t give a damn if they’re conservative or liberal. As long as our elected representatives are working to address our problems in a purposeful way, that’s great—and I think most Americans are with me on that.
For this reason, I hate the Republican Party. And frankly, I think people who vote for Republicans are almost as bad.
Because the Republican Party doesn’t solve problems. They ignore them.
Gun violence is a perfect example. What do we hear from Republicans after these tragedies? We shouldn’t politicize the issue. Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. If we pass gun laws, criminals will just break them. If we’re going to restrict guns, why not knives and hammers and pencils. Or the usual spinning and twisting of statistics to make it look like gun laws don’t work or that gun violence isn’t an issue.
Now look, I get it. Republican politicians and the people who vote for them have no interest in restricting guns. Fine. How about doing something else—like taking action on any of the non-gun issues I suggested above? Right? I mean, if we can’t solve this by restricting firearms—as Republicans consistently argue—then how can we solve this problem? In other words, DO SOMETHING!
But no—all too predictably, OUR REPUBLICAN CONGRESS WILL DO NOTHING.
That’s why I hate the Republican Party. It’s not because I’m on the Democrats’ team and I just want them to win. And it’s not because I disagree with Republican solutions: it’s because they have no solutions.
Because REPUBLICANS DO NOTHING to solve our country’s problems. On guns. On income inequality or low wages. On student loan debt and the cost of college. On outsourcing jobs. On corporations who dodge taxes. On our nation’s inadequate and decaying roads, bridges, rail, and infrastructure. On climate change. NOTHING.
Again, I get it: Republican solutions to these problems will look different than the Democrats. Great. Awesome. To be honest, I’m don’t like or agree with everything the Democrats propose anyway. But let’s get on with it then and DO SOMETHING!
Republicans control Congress. DO SOMETHING! If Obama vetoes a reasonable bill aimed at stemming gun violence–even if it doesn’t do anything to restrict firearms–I’ll be pissed at him, and so too will millions of other Americans.
But you know what Republicans have done so far on this issue? This past July they continued the ban on the Centers of Disease Control researching gun violence. Before that they filibustered a law that would have required universal background checks. That was following Sandy Hook. In other words, let’s not even think about it.
Republicans control Congress. DO SOMETHING!
And here’s the kicker on the gun issue: more people are going to die as a result. People will die tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, five years from now, and so on, needlessly, as long as Congress refuses to act.
Republicans control Congress. DO SOMETHING!
It might be someone you know. A close friend or loved one. It might be you. It might be me.
But that’s the fact: people will die who could’ve been saved if action was taken on gun violence.
So for the Republicans in Congress who continue to do nothing—and for that matter, anyone who votes for them—blood is on their hands. Because they sit and do NOTHING to stop mass murder, time and time again.
Indeed, they do nothing to solve any of the problems we face in this country.
That’s why I hate the Republican Party.
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