Wednesday, May 13, 2009

JMO - Guns

With all the recent news of violence, it's time this country addressed the issue and problem of guns, and find a solution that reduces the violence, provides the safety and security of people, and reduces the risks to our law enforcement officer who protect and serve the American people. We need to come to grips with the sheer number and ease of getting firearms, from handguns to assault rifles. Too many news stories describe gangs or criminals with more firepower than the police and describe the ease where young or wrong people can get firearms.

We need not just a discussion, but new laws. And while those that advocate the Constitution and the right to bear arms, I don't read it that way and I don't think the framers of the Constitution intended it to be this way. They, in my view, would be appalled at the level of violence with guns and the lack of progress for this nation to address the issue and problem. I don't see they saw owning a gun as a basic right, but a privilege along with the responsibility ownership entails.

And before all you fanatics say I'm advocating gun control, I'm not. Don't put words in my mouth or own my pages, and don't assume the extreme in my views. That's why we can't get some agreement to stem the problem. We don't need extremism and obstinance to a fixed view. We need open dialog and understanding. And we need to face and adress the facts.

First, the US is the world's largest producer of firearms. We're also the world number one arms marketer to foreign countries. There are over 100,000 US made guns given to the Iraqi military which are unaccounted for in the audits. And millions of rounds of ammuntion along with millions of dollars to buy more guns and ammuntion.

Second, we're the world's number one country in gun ownership. There are more guns than people, estimates range from one and half to two guns per person. That's frightening, since most people don't own guns, meaning those that do likely own at least three guns.

Those are enough reasons to consider some laws focused on this problem and clearly indicating it's time to consider guns the same way we consider other public safety issues, like cars. Guns need to be better regulated and monitored. Notice I'm not saying controlled, but I do think gun shows should be strictly regulated and monitor by law enforcement since they've more the proven they're the source of many of the easy access to guns by criminals and people who want to use them for hate or anger.

We need to look at better gun dealer regulation and oversight by the federal agencies currently in charge of this effort. It's not adding any laws, merely enforcing what's there. The agencies need more people and system to monitor dealers, such as the one who in Texas who is selling caches of firearms to Mexican gangs. We're supplying the arms in the Mexican drug wars.

We need to look at gun registration for owners of more than a few guns. It would help the police when and where the situation occurs of people with large collections or caches of guns. This need arose when a fugative broke into the home of a gun collector in Seattle and held police at bay for hours. They couldn't rush the house to save the hostage because they didn't know the extent of the man's collection, which turned out to be more than the on-scene police.

We need to look at gun purchases. The law exists for background checks, and we know good and law-adiding citizens don't have an issue or problem with that. It's the reality the checks aren't being done and dealers violators prosecuted and losing their gun dealer license. The snipers who terrorized the Washington D.C. area bought their gun without a check by the dealer who couldn't document many other gun sales.

Congress needs to step up to the plate and pass meaningful laws about guns, and not cave to the extremist lobbyist and especially the NRA. It's time Congress spoke for the American people. It's the simply truth and reality, guns are the problem as are the people continuing to protect the problem than help Americans.

1 comment:

  1. A comment and the response to the comment have been deleted. This post was just what it's labelled as, just my opinion, and while open discussion is good at times, it wasn't intended here. I just get tired of hearing about guns adversely effecting innocent people because a small segment of our society demands a right to have and use guns. Let's grow up folks and deal with the issue and problem of guns and the gun lobby honestly for everyone.

    And if you want to argue your point, use your own soapbox, not mine.