Thursday, January 10, 2013

GUN CONTROL VS. GUN SAFETY: WHERE DO YOU STAND?

The mainstream media and the left are in the midst of a all out war mandating gun control.  All stemming from the tragedy of Sandy Hook.  The left rarely lets a 'crisis go to waste' as stated by former Obama Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel.  Media pundits claiming knowledge about gun use continue to confuse and misinform the public.  All of this smearing of the facts about guns is warping the entire national dialog to focus on the weapons and not the person pulling the trigger. 

America is engaged in a national debate between two distinct approaches to gun violence.  One is controlling gun rights and possession of guns .  And, the other is solution based approach to deterring gun violence through gun safety and societal support.  Let's explore the two sides:

Gun Control.  What the progressive left wants to do is place severe restrictions on gun possession in America.  This is the big government fix that infringes upon the 2nd Amendment.  U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has very specific measures ready to be submitted for vote on Capitol Hill.    In addition, there are many other proposed laws on the state level ready for consideration.  Here is a look at what is coming from gun control fanatics:
  • Gun permits mandatory.  Currently, in most states a gun permit is not necessary to own a weapon.  Only a background check at the time of purchase.  This law would require a person to have a permit to possess a weapon, whether conceal carry or not.
  • Gun registry.  Every weapon purchased will be registered under a individuals name in a national database available to law enforcement.
  • Background checks.  Individuals will continue to have background checks for each weapon purchased.  In addition, any private sale of a weapon must also involve a background check.
  • Restrictions on magazine capacity.  No civilian will be able to purchase a magazine with 10 or more bullet capacity.
  • Ammo limitations.  A person will only be able to purchase a certain amount of ammunition per retailer.  Certain types of self-defense ammo will be prohibited from sale to civilians.
  • Ammo license.  A proposal to force gun owners to have a 'Ammo Permit' in addition to a gun permit. Just to purchase ammo for their weapons.
  • Ammo reporting.  Should a civilian purchase higher caliber ammo, like 9mm or above, the individual's name will be reported to a central database.
  • Inspections.  BATF agents will be randomly dispatched to meet a gun owner at his residence and demonstrate possession of registered weapons.  By the way, this is embedded in the United Nations Arms Treaty as well.
  • Gun ban.  Certain 'assault style' rifles will be prohibited from sale or will require a special permit to purchase.  
  • Gun shows.  Private sales of weapons will not be lawful.  Restrictions will be placed on certain types of guns and ammo allowed for sale at gun shows.
The left is focused on gun control.  Yet, the heart of the matter is who possesses the weapon and their state of mind.  A common sense approach envelopes measures to protect students, shore up societal loopholes, and assure the Second Amendment is upheld.

School and Gun Safety.  This side of the debate works to protect citizen's rights under the Second Amendment and make specific societal changes.  In addition, most of these proposals are at the state and local level.  Which lends to a small government approach to address gun violence.  Here are some suggested safety measures:
  • School Safety.  State or local governments complete assessments of school property.  Citing improvements for controlled entry, video surveillance and school emergency planning.  New school construction will include secure entry and lock down features.
  • School Defense.  State or local governments work to implement a experienced, armed officer at each school.  Additional officers may be needed at larger schools.  One officer will be in charge of monitoring entry of visitors on school property throughout the school day.  Officers could be active or retired law enforcement.  Many states have successfully enacted this protection for many years.
  • Mental Health Improvements.  Federal or state government will finally realize the dire need to adequately provide sufficient funding and effective services for those in need.  This will be a hard decision as many state budgets are very restrained.  Targeted funding will be most effective to assure high risk and troubled cases are fully covered.
  • Joint Discussion on Mental Health Statutes.  A formal commission formed between state or federal agencies and mental health professionals.  The goals will be to:  (1) Assure new funding addresses high risk cases and (2) find common ground for mental health professionals to alert law enforcement without undue breech of patient confidentiality.
  • Background Check Enhancements.  Develop a highly confidential alert system where mental health professionals could communicate troubled cases to a law enforcement database for gun background checks.  
Do you see the clear difference between gun control and gun safety?

The reaction of the left is to attack the weapons.  Which loses sight of societal issues behind who is pulling the trigger and ignores the tenants of the Second Amendment.  

You see the hard reality of the problem is the person, not the means of death.  Case in point.  The precise same day of the Sandy Hook tragedy a man with epilepsy in China stabbed 22 children and one adult with a knife at a elementary school.  Shall we ban knives as well?

Check out these murder statistics from the FBI...


Bottom line. From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook, all shootings involved troubled mental health cases and the lack of school protection.  These shootings underscore the long standing negligence of many states who have underfunded mental health for decades.

The school and gun safety approach provides real solutions to address many of America's societal breakdowns resulting in gun violence.  How the dialog translates to effective change is up to our citizens.  The question is:  Will citizens voice their support for protecting their Constitutional rights while being good stewards to society?

Now, how do you stand on the issue of gun violence?

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