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Innocents Murdered and the Gun Control War

By Randy Leer
January 9, 2013

We are in the midst of a very heated conflict over gun control and the random mass murder of innocent souls. Ultimately, I don’t believe in gun control as an absolute. I have a complicated solution for a very complicated problem.

First off, nothing productive is going to come out of this. Why? The Pro-Gun Control group knows so little about guns that they cannot write any legislation that will be relevant. The Anti-Gun Control crowd has guns and knows that they can’t be eliminated.

The more guns a person has the more they stand to benefit from a ban, as well. Remember prohibition on alcohol? We created a whole new group of aristocrats that made their fortune from supplying something the government spent an awful lot to stop. So if you have many guns you could stand to make many high dollar sales. The gun industry is already making a killing by hiking prices every time someone claims that Obama is going to take our guns. Ammunition is selling out as fast as it gets to stores right now.

As far as what I said about not writing relevant legislation, California has some strict gun laws, but they are seemingly arbitrary and are unclear to the average citizen. I’ve read the laws and when I thought something was illegal I found it at a gun show here and there is law enforcement checking for illegal weapons. I asked and the dealer explained that what I thought was illegal is in fact allowed. Some of the laws are as silly as declaring a rifle a banned assault weapon if it has a butt-stock that has a thumb hole in it. That particular feature is something that I would like to have on any high powered rifle I may buy because I have handled weapons with that and I find it is a more natural feeling, or ergonomic, grip. That sort of grip would allow more accuracy, which adds to safety in recreational use. The problem is how do you classify what is an assault weapon?

Let me clarify a few things and put aside some stereotypical assumptions that you may be making about me.


  • I am a liberal gun enthusiast.

  • I don’t believe the Second Amendment even remotely says we should be able to have all these different types of guns. However, I do believe that they should not be prohibited.

  • I do not support the NRA in the slightest; I think they are a bunch of manipulators and opportunists without decency or common sense.

  • I believe that armor piercing rounds should be illegal.

  • I believe that a 15 or 10 round limit on magazines is completely fair.

  • I don’t believe that we need to have these guns to defend ourselves from an overreaching government. Frankly, if our government wants to come after us, we don’t stand a chance. The U.S. spends billions of dollars every year for insane amounts of weaponry and technology with the sole purpose of killing highly armed people. If you think your guns can defend you from that then you are delusional and should not be in possession of any kind of weapon. I mean seriously, look at Iraq and Afghanistan, they had tons of weaponry from us and from the Soviet Union and we still took them over handily. All they have left to defend themselves is terrorism.

That takes me to my ideas/suggestion/plan…whatever you want to call it. I believe we should limit the magazines to 15 rounds and have a key, of sorts, that is needed to release the magazine before you can load another. That will require more pauses in shooting sprees and take a few more seconds to reload. For the legal gun user, that is a bit of an irritating routine but not something that will significantly interfere with recreational use.

Next, I call for a comprehensive licensing and registration system. I like the model of driving licenses. Each of these has different requirements and privileges, such as is done for obtaining commercial class driving licenses. To obtain a weapon at any dealer or gun show you must show a valid license that covers that weapon and it must be verified. Guns must be registered and their ownership and transfer of ownership must be accompanied by a title and transferred through records administered by states, as vehicles are. This is my idea for the breakdown of the licenses:

A. Class License: You may purchase or possess any fire arm with the exception of fully automatic weapons.
Requirements: To obtain this license you must be at least 21 years of age and obtain a physical that evaluates you for habitual substance abuse or any physical or psychological disorder that may make you likely to harm yourself or another person, or use the weapon in a manner inconsistent with established laws. You must have no prior history of felony convictions, domestic violence convictions of any level. You also may not have any violence or drug related misdemeanors within the last ten years. You must complete training and pass subsequent testing for safe firearm handling and firearm laws and regulations.

B Class License: You may purchase or possess any weapon that does not fire projectiles that exceeds 200 yards in range capability; or you may purchase or possess any weapon that fires only a single shot between reloads.
Requirements: To obtain this license you must be at least 21 years of age and obtain a physical that evaluates you for habitual substance abuse or any physical or psychological disorder that may make you likely to harm yourself or another person, or use the weapon in a manner inconsistent with established laws. You must have no prior history of felony convictions, domestic violence convictions of any level. You also may not have any violence or drug related misdemeanors within the last five years. You must complete training and pass subsequent testing for safe firearm handling and firearm laws and regulations.

C Class License: You may purchase or possess any weapon that is not semi-automatic and does not fire projectiles that exceeds 200 yards in range capability; or you may purchase or possess any weapon that fires only a single shot between reloads. Shotguns and rifles apply handguns ARE NOT authorized to be possessed or purchased.
Requirements: To obtain this license you must be at least 18 years of age. You must have no prior history of felony convictions, domestic violence convictions of any level. You also may not have any violence or drug related misdemeanors within the last five years. You must complete training and pass subsequent testing for safe firearm handling and firearm laws and regulations.

D Class License: You may not purchase any firearm and may only be in possession of a firearm under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian, or adult appointed by parent or legal guardian. Any adult providing supervision to you must possess, at least, a valid C Class License. Given valid adult supervision, you may possess any weapon that is not semi-automatic and does not fire projectiles that exceeds 200 yards in range capability; or you may purchase or possess any weapon that fires only a single shot between reloads. Shotguns and rifles apply handguns ARE NOT authorized to be possessed or purchased.
Requirements: To obtain this license you must be 16 to 18 years of age. You must have no prior history of felony convictions, domestic violence convictions of any level. You also may not have any violence or drug related misdemeanors within the last five years. You must complete training and pass subsequent testing for safe firearm handling and firearm laws and regulations.

E Class License: You may purchase and possess a handgun; you may conceal the handgun from plain sight. The weapon, at all times, must be under your immediate possession and control.
Requirements: To obtain this license you must be at least 21 years of age and obtain a physical that evaluates you for habitual substance abuse or any physical or psychological disorder that may make you likely to harm yourself or another person, or use the weapon in a manner inconsistent with established laws. You must have no prior history of felony convictions, domestic violence convictions of any level. You also may not have any violence or drug related misdemeanors. You must complete training and pass subsequent testing for conflict resolution, safe firearm handling, and safe firearm handling in populated areas, and firearm laws and regulations.

In accordance with established statutes, any convictions prior to the age of 18 will not be considered in licensure after the age of 18, with the exception of those convictions for which you were tried and convicted as an adult. Expunged charges will be considered on a case by case basis by state law enforcement.

I also believe concealed weapons should be prohibited in designated places of worship (out of respect for a person’s sense of sanctuary), any establishment that may reasonably be considered to obtain more than 30% of its revenue from alcohol sales, within 200 yards of any school or medical care facility, and any location displaying a designated sign prohibiting the possession of weapons.

I don’t believe there should be any other bans or classifications of certain weapons as assault weapons. Many times two weapons can be identical in every sense except one has a traditional look with traditional wood stocks and the other has customized plastic stocks with ergonomically grips and gets considered an assault weapon.

A very important step that must be taken, that would have prevented many of these instances, is to hold the gun owner accountable. ALL our firearms must be locked up. Only the owner should be able to access them. Minors should not have any access to them. If someone gains possession of your firearm and commits one of these heinous acts and your weapon was not properly secured, then you should be charged, at the very least, with reckless endangerment or contributing to the delinquency of a minor, where it applies, and at most with accessory to murder. It's called responsibility, if you don't have it then you should not have a firearm. I call for individual gun locks on each firearm and for them to be placed in a locked storage cabinet or room. That's right, double lock and key.

The bigger problem we need to work on is making mental health a central part of healthcare and health discussion. We need to regard mental health ailments as on the same status as a torn ligament in a knee. We need to start looking at mental health as something that we should seek help for, just the same as anything else. If your knee hurts you will go to the doctor. If you are always depressed then you should feel no shame, stigma or hesitation to going to see a doctor. Healthcare needs to be accessible to everyone and that includes preventive medicine and, especially, mental healthcare. We need to have a change in our society so that teachers and other trusted leaders in our communities can approach individuals and talk to them, just as they would if they saw someone walking funny and holding their lower back.

[For a related article I have written about mental health issues, click on this link: http://www.everydaycitizen.com/2012/01/ignored_with_shame_the_epidemi.html ]

We cannot slap together some sloppy legislation or plan, implement it, forget about this in two or three months and expect the problem to be solved. These tragedies are not the problem, they are merely symptoms of larger problems that we refuse to look at, talk about, or work on.


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