It’s NaNoWriMo, and I should be working on my novel project, but the mass shooting in Texas and the resulting responses to it have been occupying too much of my brain power.
So, let’s talk about guns.
No, not mental health. Fucking Guns.
Let’s get started with the Constitutional restrictions:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Mostly, I agree with this nominal restriction on gun ownership.
BUT, I think people are too damn lax with it. Too many, especially in government use it to deflect any serious thought about the issue.
Now, before the foam starts accumulating at the corners of anyone’s mouth, let me state my suggestion briefly:
If you want to own a gun, you should have to be part of a local militia.
There’s a bit to unpack there. So, let’s open some boxes.
Being part of a local militia should entail:
– consistent and reoccurring training
– psychological screening re: fitness for duty
– periodic screening for ability to report for duty when called upon
– background screenings for disqualifying criminal history
– a constantly updating registry (on the local level) of what firearms any given member owns
– a requirement that any and all members report for duty when called upon
Being a part of a well regulated, local militia would confer these rights:
– the right of ownership of firearms up to:
1 shotgun, 2 pistols, 1 rifle (this should be amended to include 1 extra firearm of rifle or shotgun type allowed for the training of non-militia family members. Gun safety starts at home.)
– the right to hunt with a firearm, in the appropriate season
(Don’t want to join the militia, but still want to hunt? Learn to use a bow.)
This a basic start. There will need to be refinements, such as:
limiting the types of government officials who can call upon the local militia.
legislation pertaining to gun dealers and collectors. (my suggestion is not allowing people to be both).
the buy back/ return program for the non-militia gun owners.
regulations for citizens who live in out of the way places where gun ownership might be necessary.
(extremely rural areas, or areas unserved by the local militia/ police force. There are still a few wild-ish places left, and they require special consideration.)
My last suggestion: who can be in the local militia:
Anyone, male or female, who has reached voting age, and meets the other requirements for service.
You’ll have noticed that I didn’t mention anything about gun manufacturers, the NRA, bump stocks, extended clips, or the stupid phrase “Assault Weapons”. That was intentional. I’m not interested in those things. I’m interested in what would likely best help the citizens of this nation. I’m not interested in who makes money off the gun trade. I’m interested in how we, as a citizenry, take these weapons – based on our own American ideals – and make them safer for the populace at large.
And please don’t come at me with the “Law breakers will always break the law” arguments. They are fallacious and stupid, and frankly, beneath you.
You’ll also notice that the only restrictions I have placed on who can be a member of any local militia are age and fitness for duty requirements. That will, generally I think, keep the weapons away from the people that we – as a society – believe shouldn’t have them.
And before you get into that “who gets to be the judge?” slippery slope argument, WE, the democratic society, get to be the judge, just as we do with who gets to drive, who gets to adopt children, et cetera.
It’s perfectly acceptable for a society to have standards, so long as the society decides what those standards are, and so long as anyone held to those standards has the opportunity to vote/ decide on those standards. That’s how societies work. Time we made it work in our favor.
Maybe, it might also be time we stopped trying to engineer things to be foolproof and not require judgment. Judgment comes from experience. Most situations in life require a body to exercise judgment. Best that we incorporate that need into out process. (But the subject of Judgment is a rant for another time).
So, there you go: A quick and dirty fix.
It needs refinement. It needs consideration. It needs people to look at it and think and discuss.
Hit me up with your ideas. Simpler is usually better.
Maybe we can actually come up with something that solves the problem.
I don’t know, but it’s better than dodging the fucking question any longer.