Archive for March 14, 2013
Gun fanatics, who dominate the gun control debate, complain loudly about the Right to Bear Arms and their privileges under the 2nd amendment but there is a significant opposing viewpoint held by many Americans: Gun laws are not strong enough. Gun control statistics support the contention that guns are a major public health issue in America. Deaths caused by guns are nearly equal to those by car accident. In 2010, the last year for data, there were 33,687 traffic deaths and 31,672 gun deaths (CDC.) This is a serious problem. Some claim that the new laws (SAFE) passed in New York State are the nation’s toughest. SAFE is a weak effort to address it. Beyond banning evil military weapons and requiring background checks the legislature could have done much more. They should have spiked the tax on guns and ammunition. This tactic was successful reducing another public health issue, smoking. Gun taxes should equal forty or fifty per cent of the sale price. This money could then be used for a buyback program to remove guns from circulation. SAFE should have required that every gun and shell be “micro stamped.” This technology identifies individual weapons and stamps that gun’s ID onto every shell. Arnold Schwarzenegger made this the law in California in 2007! Additionally, every bullet and shell can also be made identifiable…with existing technology. Gun control statistics show that this is of enormous help to police. Gun control statistics suggest that SAFE should have broadened the exclusions of people who cannot own a gun. These would include people convicted of multiple DWIs, those who were charged with violent felonies but plea bargained down to a lesser misdemeanor. Gun control statistics support the idea that chronic lawbreakers, with any history of drug or alcohol abuse, should be barred from getting a gun. SAFE should have required mandatory safety inspections for any home with children and or more than one gun. These inspections could be carried out by local building inspectors and a nominal inspection fee paid by the gun owner. The purpose of such inspections would be to ensure that the weapons are properly locked up. Gun control statistics show that there are almost 20,000 gun inflicted suicides in America annually demands this regulation. We stand today where America stood the day after 9.11, we are vulnerable and confronted by a dangerous, well organized enemy: the NRA. They control the gun control debate. The overwhelming majority of Americans want an end to gun violence. To reach that goal we must act with intelligence and courage. We can defeat this scourge if we have the fortitude to act.