Friday, December 28, 2012

Guns in the USA

A typical sarcastic attitude on guns in the United States

We should take a multi-prong approach to our gun problem in the USA.
  • Limit the sale of guns to one per week. Places like Arizona where non-licensed dealers can buy as many as thirty at once are a grand problem. The guns are smuggled to Mexico or end up on the streets here. 
  • Clamp down and allow no guns sales without background checks. End the gun show and Internet sale loopholes. Have private sales administered by licensed sellers so that background checks and registration aren't circumvented. Apparently, California has something similar to this, and it has helped.
  • Make mental health and criminal background both part of the background checks. Coordinate mental health professionals with law enforcement. The mental health professional of the individual that shot up the movie theater in 2012 knew he was becoming dangerous but wasn't able to share her knowledge due to the law.
  • Create awareness of the warning signs that someone is going to do something heinous. In many mass shootings, there were warning signs people ignored.
  • Create criminal penalties for improper storage of one's guns. The recent shooter's mother didn't secure her guns against her unstable son. At least, that's what are some are saying. 
  • Have security at all schools. I'd rather have professionals rather than armed teachers who could have their guns stolen and are not security professionals.
  • Hold more gun buy-back programs to get guns off the street. Though the programs have critics, they're quite successful at getting unwanted (perhaps dangerous) guns out of households.
  • If it were practical, I'd say new guns must have finger-print scanning locks so that they won't fire unless held by the person they're registered to. We already have the technology. Arguments against its cost or reliability all point to manageable issues. 
  • I believe the biggest problem isn't the guns themselves but who has them and our attitudes toward them. Note that any legislation that bans a certain type of gun won't have much affect until many, many years down the road. There are many, many guns already out there. However, I agree that average American's don't need automatic weapons, bazookas, grenade launchers, etc. We're past the point where most Americans can afford weapons that can take on the government so that use of the 2nd Amendment is almost moot. Yes, the intent was good and true, but as the government has tanks and attack helicopters, your small arms are largely irrelevant. So yes, I'm OK with taking military grade weapons off the civilian market, such as assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. It won't make civilians fighting the military more useless than it already is.
  • We must recognize that guns are MODOKs (Mechanical Objects Designed Only For Killing). They are part of the problem. Those supporting a laissez-faire gun climate point to an incident in China where around 20 children were knifed as an example that gun laws won't stop violence. Yet, it's hard not to notice that the kids in China were only wounded. Meanwhile, 20 kids were murdered in an Amerian school. Guns were the difference.

Things I've Noticed in the National Dialogue

Arm the Teachers

Sure, if someone on the job is vetted by the job to carry a weapon on the job, I have no problem with it. However, proper screenings and background checks must be maintained. Proper evaluations of said employees must be conducted at regular intervals as if they were security personnel.

And yes, if the two teachers that lunged at the shooter during the Newtown, CT massacre had been armed, they might have lived or killed the shooter. However, all the victims of the shooter up until that point would still be dead. In this case, that would have been most of them.

Far better would be to have at lest two trained security personnel at vulnerable locations.

It's Easy to Get Guns in America, It's Difficult to Defend Yourself without a Concealed Carry Permit

Without a CCW (carrying a concealed weapon) license, the law is against the gun-owner in many cases. Laws vary state by state, but without one, you can't have a weapon on you or in your car (either loaded or with bullets anywhere in the car). This makes it awfully hard for it to be of any benefit. Because of this, we should make all that goes along with getting a CCW standard for gun ownership in the first place: training and safety classes.

Such-and-such had Security, Fort Hood was Full of Soldiers and a Shooting Still Happened, More Guns Won't Help!

What are these arguments trying to say? I don't think the people saying them know.

They seem to be saying we shouldn't have any security because it won't help - that we should just let shooters kill all the people they want. It's just proof that people on the left (politically) can say things just as dumb as people on the right.

Sure, more guns just laying around won't help. Sure, a bunch of soldiers in training who don't have their weapons at the ready can be gunned down like unarmed and unprepared people. There have also been times criminals have overcome security. However, security has also stopped criminals and mass shooters in some cases. A few failures doesn't make a legitimate case unless balanced against the successes and larger context.

All the "more guns won't help" argument does is provide whining without context. It seems to merely be a cry for banning all guns. For anyone with such a goal, they'll need to first solve the problem of illegal guns or the slogan "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" will certainly become true. Regardless, WE MUST ALL look to solving the problem of illegal guns if we care about the safety of ourselves, our neighbors, and our children. That is the goal of the multi-pronged approach outlined above.

What are Other Real Problems that Contribute to Crime in this Country?


Poverty contributes to crime. This is very well known.

Our Prison System

The USA has more people in prison than most other countries combined. The failed war on drugs has incarcerated many for small offenses and prison makes small time crooks into hardened criminals. For profit prisons, have lobbied for mandatory three-strike laws where a few misdemeanors means the person is treated as a felon and gets a mandatory long sentence. Meanwhile, prisons compete for both private and public work contracts against private businesses. Prisons don't have to pay their prisoner workers (slave labor) minimum wage, and they're competing against private businesses in America for jobs!

The Single Best Anti-Gun-Death Policy? Ending the Drug War

U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations

The Caging of America

The Business Ethics of Incarceration: The Moral Implications of Treating Prisons Like Businesses

Let's Tackle the Real Problems and not the Scapegoats.

Evidence Does Not Support Link Between Video Games and Violent Crime