RSoak wrote:The first one is to outlaw alcohol. No drinking means no drinking & driving. The number of alcohol related deaths should be cut by well over 50% at least. At 5,000 lives per year saved how can we not take that step? The problem here is that this was tried somewhat recently and it failed miserably. People still made, obtained and drank alcohol.
So better still is the other half of our problem - driving. If we simply outlawed driving, the number of drinking and driving deaths would approach zero. On top of that would be the other 30,000+ deaths that would be prevented from non-alcohol related accidents. And unlike drinking, it's readily apparent when someone is driving.
As we can see, the problem is really that those aren't needless deaths. Those deaths enable us to have a great amount of freedom. Those deaths provide for the massive pulse that drives a thriving economy and makes the nation prosper. What this demonstrates is that we are willing to tolerate a certain number of innocent human deaths for the comfort and functionality of the nation as a whole. This is a fact.
Sorry, but your arguments don't hold water. The purpose of an automobile is not to kill people. The purpose of alcohol is not to get you drunk. Guns have only purpose: To cause damage or death. They have no other useful purpose, unlike, say, a knife which is generally designed for other things, like food preparation or opening packages. So to equate something whose purpose is to kill or damage and brings no economic or societal benefits to anyone who owns them (except for bank robbers and muggers) with another object (such as a car) whose purpose is primarily to provide economic and social advantages is sophistry.
And, contrary what the gun nuts say, the Bill or Rights does not guarantee unlimited freedom of any kind in U.S.. If your religion promotes the slaughter of others, its members will be arrested. If your newspaper advocates terrorism or the violent overthrow of the country, it will likely be raided and closed down. If you go searching around online for recipes for building bombs and become a member of the I love Al Queda web group, you may find FBI agents at your door. If you yell "fire" in a crowded theater you're likely to get arrested for disturbing the peace.
So why shouldn't gun ownership have limits as well? There is no reason on Earth why anyone other than the police or the army need automatic or semi-automatic weapons. For 99% of the population who believe they need a gun for protection (and this is a legitimate reason) a handgun or a shotgun will serve as a very effective deterrent. No one's rights would be trampled upon if these kinds of weapons--whose only purpose is to kill and damage the largest number of living things in the shortest amount of time--were either outlawed or made extremely difficult to obtain.
But even put this issue, there are things that can do done right now to keep a higher percentage of guns out of the hands of the insane. If I were in charge, I would institute federal rules, applicable to every state in the union, that would require anyone who wanted to purchase a gun would have to:
1) have to apply for a permit at their local police station or a state office specifically devoted to gun-related oversight;
2) be subjected to a background check that includes disclosure of any mental illness--yes, this will have to disclosed;
3) require the applicant to pay a significant amount of money to take a standardized firearms training and safety course; 4) make it the legal responsibility of whoever administers the course to fail the applicant if they perceive that this person's behavior makes them a risk (and allow victims of gun violence to sue the trainer if the person who passes the test ends up killing people within a certain period after obtaining the permit);
5) require that every single gun purchased be registered (serial number) with a local police authority;
6) Require every licensed gun owner to renew their permit every 2 years, and a new background check would be part of this process. Those who failed would have to surrender their guns
5) Require all private gun sales to be registered with local police departments demonstrating that both seller and purchased have the required permits (and make it a crime if this doesn't occur)
6) Require every single gun seller, whether in a store or gun show, not sell a single weapon to anyone who doesn't already have a current gun permit and to register the purchaser's permit information and send it somewhere (a state gun registry?) , and make the sellers liable on a criminal and civil basis if they fail to follow these procedures.
For anyone who thinks these sound draconian, essentially these are the same procedures people need to follow to drive and buy an automobile in the U.S. Why should it be easier for someone to buy and use a weapon whose sole purpose is to kill than to buy and use a vehicle? In any case, they wouldn't infringe on anyone's right to own firearms; they would simply add steps to make sure buying something designed to kill isn't as easy as buying a pack of gum.
Now, unfortunately, this wouldn't have worked for the Newtownn killer, since he selected his weapons from his mother's formidable arsenal. However, he only did this when he failed to pass Connecticut's extremely tough gun control laws. Had his mother not had this arsenal, it's quite likely this would not have occurred, since he did not seem like the type of person would have the kinds of connections to purchase semi-automatic weapons on the black marker. It will never be possible to stop all of these kinds of events, but given that most gun deaths occur when the shooter kills someone he knows, anything that can be done to put some 'waiting time' into the process that requires the would-be owner to be subjected to multiple checkpoints can only be of benefit to society as a whole.