An Open Letter to Gun Owners

Look, I know there are some “progressives” out there who want to take all your guns. However, as is the case with “free college” and “free healthcare” for everyone, they should not be listened to. They represent themselves and only themselves. They are most white and make up maybe 5-8 percent of all liberals in the country. Now, how would you like it if we tarred every gun owner in the country with the same brush we use on what I call “gunloons”?

When I refer to “gunloons,” I am talking about the cultists. I’m talking about the idiots who believe the Second Amendment lacks limits and that just having a gun in their possession means they will ultimately be safer. These are the morons who believe everyone should just accept their gun looniness and live with it. They believe they are bigger “men” when they have a bigger gun and they consider any restrictions to gun ownership is an absolute violation of their rights. They believe the Constitution gives them the right to own the same types of weapons as the military because “you just never know when the government will try to kill us all.” Most of all, they believe any restriction the government puts on guns will lead to confiscation of all guns, something that is not only impossible to pass legislatively, but is impossible to do logistically. Confiscate more than 300 million guns? How does that work, exactly?

Now, would it be fair to suggest that every gun owner in the country believes the way “gunloons” do?

Alright then…

Most of us believe the Second Amendment is as valid as the First Amendment. It doesn’t mean what gunloons think it means, of course, that would be ridiculous. For one thing, the Constitution gives Congress (and by extension, as of the 14th Amendment, state and local governments) the power to regulate firearms. It doesn’t just say they can if they want to, it says they “shall,” which means they are mandated to do so. Early in the country’s history (in other words, when the people who wrote the Constitution were still alive), most cities and states had a series of armories, where they kept all the guns and the ammunition. Most cities had restrictions on what people inside he city could carry and when. Again, this is when they had JUST WRITTEN the Second Amendment, so one can assume they knew better what the Second Amendment meant in action. And keeping all the military weapons in the armory seemed to make sense then. They could obviously keep guns for hunting, but they couldn’t own everything.

Even in the “Wild West,” most cities had restrictions on carrying weapons. Most of the time, they had to leave their guns at the sheriff’s office and they were not allowed to carry them where people drank. In other words, the contemporaries of the Second Amendment seem to disagree with the “strict originalists” of the modern gunloon set. In a world in which it’s possible for a gun to shoot multiple rounds per second and to get bullets that practically guarantee death, the gunloon mentality seems to want fewer restrictions on these killing machines. At a time when more than 30,000 people die from gunshot wounds every year and another 100,000 are shot and survive (and there are more than 13,000 intentional gun homicides every year), it would seem to me that we should be doing something to mitigate that problem.

This is where we need you gun owners. We need you to step up and help us pass common sense gun legislation, in order to do whatever we can to make those numbers go down. I am not talking about any specific massacre or mass shooting. Is there one specific thing that would have prevented Las Vegas? Maybe not. However, I’m talking about ; I’m talking about cutting the carnage as much as possible. I’m talking about making the law so that someone who is either mentally ill or really pissed off can’t just go out and get an arsenal of weapons much like the rest of us can get a pizza or a toaster, and then go shoot people at will. I’m talking about taking some guns and gun accessories off the market for a while and keeping track of people who have too many of them. At the very least, local law enforcement should be aware of people in its jurisdiction who have a couple dozen guns and thousands of armor-piercing rounds. The Las Vegas shooter was able to accumulate several dozen guns and thousands of rounds, plus explosives, without anyone anyone being notified. How are police supposed to keep us safe when those they should worry about are working in stealth.

See, gun owners, you know the problem. We have had a mass shooting about every day for the last several years. It is getting scarier and scarier to go to public venues because you don’t know who has what armaments anywhere in the area. We have bozos carrying AR-15s through the local big box store and scaring the shit out of people, then bragging about the fact that some people are put off by their nonsense. Fewer and fewer people feel safe in their own communities, which means it is just a matter of time before there’s a backlash. And we all know, the backlash will go way overboard. If you want even the specter of gun confiscation, waiting too long to address the problem is the best way to do that.

This is what we need to keep people as safe as possible.

First of all, the current regulations regarding gun dealers and background checks should stay in place, with the following added to the law.

  1. Everyone who sells a gun should have to conduct a background check on the buyer. If the buyer refuses a background check, the seller should be required to report it to local police. There should also be a waiting period of at least 2-3 days, to prevent pissed-off people from acting too quickly. The background check should include mental health information and information on domestic violence. Spousal abuse should be grounds for denial.
  2. Everyone should be allowed a shotgun and/or a basic six-shot handgun for protection from whatever they imagine they’re protecting them selves from, unless they are currently under arrest or restraining order. However, ALL guns should be registered. In the law can be a provision that prevents the government from taking their gun unless they are accused of a felony. We can also include a provision for returning it upon acquittal. However, every gun in this country should have a registration/title of sorts, making it the responsibility of the person who owns the gun. If the gun is stolen, they have 24 hours to report it.
  3. Every gun owner should be licensed before they are allowed to buy or own a gun other than a standard shotgun. Like driver’s licenses, the owner should have to show a minimal level of competence with a gun, which means passing a basic test on gun operation and gun safety. They should also be able to show that they are physically capable of firing a gun safely. Also, no licenses under the age of 16, with parents being responsible for minor gun owners until age 18. By exempting shotguns, fathers can still take their children hunting and gun ranges can decide whether they want to allow unlicensed users to shoot or train. However, the gun range will be responsible for anything that happens with their gun. They will also be responsible of a gun is stolen and used against someone else and they don’t report it.
  4. Every gun, including a standard shotgun, should have a basic level of insurance attached, much like cars. The person who owns the gun should have to demonstrate financial responsibility in case that gun is used in a crime and to pay for damages caused, including hospitalization. Shotgun insurance, of course, can be a nominal amount, based on what the insurance companies decides is fair, while insurance on other guns can be priced much higher, based on the amount of liability those guns create. For example, a standard AR-15 might run a few dollars per month, whereas an AR-15 semi-automatic with a 10-round clip should be higher.
  5. If we have registration, and law enforcement knows who has what, it will be far less likely to enact gun bans. However, while gun bans are largely stupid and don’t work, a lot of accessories should be severely restricted. The 10-round clip should be the largest clip or magazine available to a civilian; no one needs more than that to protect home and family. In fact, if you are properly trained, more than one gun should be unnecessary. There is no reason for any civilian to own a weapon that a soldier in the Army carries on the battlefield. The reason for that is simple; if you are able to get one easily, so are the bad guys. And the day we do need more than one is the day our country has failed. There should also be limits on the types of ammunition available to civilians and on the number of rounds they are allowed to get before law enforcement pays a call and asks them what they are doing. It makes no sense that we can’t buy more than two boxes of Sudafed per day, but a gunloon can buy 100 boxes of any type of ammunition they wish. Gun clubs and ranges can carry all sorts of weapons and ammo, so those who get off on shooting such weapons can have a great time with them without the rest of us worrying about what will happen when a neighbor gets pissed off.

There you have it. Everyone gets to protect themselves. No one’s gun is taken away. And the rest of us can rest easy knowing that the police are on the case, should anyone build an arsenal and consider wiping out his neighbors. Everyone gets to have “fun” shooting when they want and the rest of us can relax, knowing that no one on the next block is stockpiling weapons to start an apocalyptic event.

And don’t say such a thing will lead to confiscation. We already do all this with cars and trucks, and there is no evidence of government confiscating those. On the other hand, the fact that some “carloon” can drive on the freeway in a tank at rush hour keeps people safe and the knowledge that virtually everyone on the road has demonstrated a working knowledge of the rules of the road keeps our peace of mind intact. Also, knowing that virtually everyone on the road will be able to pay for any mistakes they make, through their insurance means we know we’ll be able to collect after an accident. Registration, licensing and insurance are things we do every day of our lives. And before some of you go off and claim there are more traffic deaths then gun deaths, remember; there are a lot more drivers on the road than there are gun owners in society.

And no one is expecting the number of gun deaths to ever hit zero. We would just like to see them more proportional. Help us do this, gun owners. You’ll be saving lives and preventing a strong anti-gun backlash, which you know is coming.

Also published on Medium.

About Milt Shook

A writer with more than 45 years in the political game (and let's face it, it is a game). I am a liberal because facts have a liberal bias, and I really like facts. If you like facts, you'll like this blog. If not, you'll have a hard time.

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