Sunday, January 9, 2011

Honest Talk about Guns

In the wake of the shooting in Tuscon which left 6 people, including one 9-year old girl, dead and another 12 in serious to critical condition, can we now have an honest discussion about guns? Not calling it a senseless act (it made sense to him) or the act of a deranged, angry young man. We can't keep dismissing violence with guns like that and it's time we face the reality about guns.

This young man had legal access to guns and more than enough rounds to express his anger. We can't keep saying it's those who are the problem. It's that guns are so easy to get and so easy to use. The violence along the US-Mexican border more than proves this, when almost all the guns and other weapons the Mexican drug cartel have and use come from us, the US. That's more than documented and proven.

And we know the ATF is hamstrung by Congress not to do their job as they easy could had the legal right and funds. That's the fault of Congress bowing to the NRA which threatens the lives of all of us, as we saw in Tuscon where innocent people were gunned down on a quiet Saturday morning. They deserve the right to prevent undesrving people, and not just from violent people but from anyone getting and using guns, because they can.

And we know the rhetoric of the 2010 election campaigns only incited violence with guns, such as when Sharron Angle said, "...maybe people should exercise Second Amendment rememdies", against people who they disagree with. Not words, but violence and more so violence with guns.

It's time to bring the issue of guns into the 21st century for the people and the nation, and not sit on the Second Amendment as an absolute answer to it. We need reason, and we need realistic answers and laws. We don't need mor rhetoric we commonly here from the NRA and most members of Congress. We don't need intransigience.

We need to consider the larger view that regulating guns is good for the safety and security of all of us. It's not an individual right anymore. We've seen how far that will go too often. It's about the rights of all to live in a free society without the fear of someone openly carrying a gun has a different agenda and goals.

We can do this by ensuring guns are registered with local law enforcement and that information is corrdinated through the ATF. We can do this by freeing the ATF to get the newest information and technology tools to monitor guns manufacturers, wholesalers, resellers and individuals. We can do this be properly enforced background checks.

We can do this by allowing state and local governments to enact laws controlling the public display of guns. We're not living in the wild west anymore and any citizen openly carrying a gun is unnecessary in the daily lives of citizens. We can do this by allowing state and local governments controlling and registering the sale of guns and ammunition. The police need this information to know who has or is getting guns.

We can do this by ensuring everyone has the right to own a reasonable number of guns to protect their home and property from criminals. We can do this by ensuring gun collectors store their guns in a safe and secure manner to prevent anyone, especially children, from easily accessing them. We can do this, as we do know, by allowing people to carry concealed guns for their own protection or in their line of work with a permit.

We need to hold gun sellers accountable for all their sales to both local law enforcement and federal agencies. We need to ensure gun sellers are properly licensed and operating legally. We need to routinely review their sales and operation to ensure they're not selling guns illegally. And we need to shut down those who do sell guns illegally.

Those are good, fair and right answers to the sheer numbers of guns being produced and sold in this country. Those are good common sense answers to ensuring all Americans live safely in this country and not fear being in public because someone has and will use a gun to vent their anger or rage. We've seen what that does this last weekend in Tuscon.

A nine-year old girl died senselessly and needlessly not just because one angry young man expressed his Second Amendment rights, but because our society allowed it to happen. We fostered his anger and rage. We allowed him to get a gun. And we allowed him to carry it to the event and use it.

The answer to this event is not having people there with more guns, but ensuring this young man didn't get one in the first place, and if he did, then ensure we act to remove them and act to ensure he faces consequences should have try to buy one or actually gets one illegally.

We can protect the rights of individual to own and use guns properly and safely and we can protect the rest of us when those people decide a different course of action to their problems and their hate and rage against others. It's time the NRA and gun-rights folks acknowledge responsibility, with the rest of us, for this tragic event. Just saying no anymore isn't helpful or useful.

We as a society allowed this to happen. It's time we as a society grew up, stood up and took action to ensure we're all protected in public without sacrificing our rights in private. That's fair and reasonable, and life-saving.

No comments:

Post a Comment