There was another mass shooting this week at a community college in Oregon. 10 people were killed including the shooter. 10 families mourn the loss of a loved one. 10 mothers, 10 fathers, 10 sisters or brothers will all wake up tomorrow without something they can never have back, and it has been replaced by a feeling that will never go away.
This tragedy has brought gun violence back to the front of our minds, back into our dinner table discussions, and back to the front page of every newspaper in America. For some reason the 100’s of young men and women shot and killed every weekend doesn’t spark the same type of media frenzy and outrage, but that’s another topic for another day. The fact is, we need to find a way to stop gun violence in America. Period. I think we can all agree on that simple truth, right? If you can’t get on board with that statement, stop reading…you’re a lost cause.
Notice I didn’t say that we need to arm every citizen on the street. Nor did I say that we need to take away everyone’s gun. Nope, I said we need to stop gun violence in America.
I’m going to do my best to remove politics from this debate (sounds impossible right?). But that is what we need to do. We need to find some common ground here that enforces some gun safety and restriction laws and still protects our 2nd amendment rights. It’s the only way we’re going to clean this mess up. (I’m not talking about mass shootings, I’m talking about the epidemic of gun violence in America. If you don’t believe there is an epidemic of gun violence in America, step outside of your bubble and turn on a local Chicago News Broadcast.)
Gun control is an important issue and I don’t want to minimize it by minimizing it, but we have short attention spans so I’m going to minimize it.
- Everyone in America who is of sound mind and has no history of violence has the right to own a legal firearm.
- There should be strict and thorough background checks to determine if someone is of sound mind or has a history of violent behavior.
- Background checks take time, that means there is a waiting period to buy a gun in America. (If you need a gund today, you aren’t buying a gun for the right reason.)
- If you are caught with an illegal firearm the penalty should be so harsh that nobody will consider ever being caught with an illegal firearm (5 years in jail sounds good).
- If you are caught selling an illegal firearm you should go to jail for 20 years.
- Nobody needs rocket launchers or Ak-47’s. Nobody.
- Any crime committed with a legal (or illegal gun) should carry a 5 x sentence. For example if you steal a car that would normally carry a 4 year prison term, you should go to jail for 20 years If you steal that car while in possession of, or with the assistance of a legal firearm.
*4 and 5 seem harsh, but you if are serious about stopping the sale and possession of illegal firearms in America you can do so by making the penalties so harsh that the risk is not worth the reward.
The point to these 7 simple steps to gun control in America is to make it really hard for bad people to get guns while still allowing good people to have them. If a bad guy does get a gun, we should make it so unbelievable risky to use a legal gun or to possess an illegal gun that even the bad guys won’t risk it.
There is more nuance to this issue, I realize this. But if we peel back the onion a little bit and get the lobbyist and activists out of the discussion, it can actually be quite simple. And sometimes we tend to out-think ourselves when a simple solution is all we really need.
God bless the families of the victims and may we always remember the lives lost in Oregon this week. Senseless tragedy is senseless. Let’s find a way to stop it because it can happen to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. And that’s the scariest part of all of this.