Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Demand A Plan To End Gun Violence

Ban private ownership of military weapons and ammunition; screen every single gun purchaser for a history of violent crime or relevant mental disturbance and require a waiting period of at least three days for any gun purchase, without loopholes or exceptions; register every gun, every gun purchase, every gun owner in a national database; require demonstration of competence and knowledge of gun safety as a condition for obtaining and renewing any gun license; implement an unprecedented, vastly funded buy-back program to destroy hundreds of millions of dangerous weapons purchased before the passage of these new gun safety measures.

How's that for a Plan? I suspect the "demonstration of competence and knowledge of gun safety as a condition for obtaining and renewing any gun license" is the least likely part of my version of a Plan to pass muster. It is the least likely to be acceptable, that is to say, if anything can actually pass at all given the inevitable Republican obstructionism to come -- some pious vapid noises to the contrary notwithstanding at the moment -- and also given the ongoing power inside the Beltway (as nowhere else) of the gun manufacturers various lobbies. I say this, even though this recommendation, like the others, seems to me quite obviously useful and scarcely onerous at all, especially when one considers the safety and licensing regulations all citizens are perfectly used to navigating in other areas of our organized everyday experience without feeling ourselves the least but unfree. Indeed, many of us grasp that freedom is a positive condition enabled and substantiated in part precisely by such public regulations and investments. I will leave to another post the philosophy 101 considerations of rights versus privileges that some gun-nuts seem to fancy render all such practical considerations moot when it comes to guns as no other artifacts in our lives.

I will add that my own personal Plan to End Gun Violence would ideally also require collectors of antique and rare guns to render them inoperable as a condition of their display and would require hobbyists who like to fire guns on ranges and the like to actually store and secure their weapons permanently in lockers at the site of the range itself or make use of guns available only there. I doubt these proposals would get even the minimal hearing the recommendations in the first paragraph might stand a chance of getting. Nonetheless, all of this seems to me altogether commonsensical and non-onerous, but then I am not a gun-nut.


jollyspaniard said...

A mate of mine back in Canada owns a lot WW2 weaponry, all inoperable. It doesn't seem to detract from the enjoyment he gets from owning them.

Khannea Suntzu said...

Your proposals on gun constraint have been all but implemented here in the Netherlands, Dale. And we are a happy and joyous people.