Tuesday, May 17, 2022

A Solution to the Gun Violence Epidemic

Ok, here's another tough one.  Before you get mad, hear me out.  These are just my observations and ideas.  Maybe they have merit, perhaps they don't, but I feel like we should discuss this.

Today, the leading cause of death for men under the age of twenty-one is gun violence.  It's been gun violence before, but only during times of war.  Only recently did gun violence surpass automobile accidents as a cause of death in peacetime.

Let's define gun violence as any time the projectile from any gun enters human flesh, causing injury or death.  In ascending order, the types of gun violence are accident, suicide, murder, and assault.  Let's focus on the last two as they cause the most problems.  I do believe my proposal would decrease all four, though.

Our constitution provides us with the right to keep and bear arms.  I believe in this.  I take advantage of it personally as a gun owner.  However, the constitution does not address the issue of how we make people responsible gun owners.  There is no policy or law designed to make novice gun users into responsible gun users.  I believe this is why we have the problem with guns now.  People who posess guns, but don't have the necessary skills to use them properly are incredibly dangerous and a threat to the safety of all. 

Let me present this: when was the last time you heard of a person who committed assault or murder with a gun who was a regular hunter?  It almost never happens.  Hunters know guns are only tools.  Powerful tools that demand respect or disaster results.  You sometimes hear of hunters having gun accidents, but it's pretty rare, and I've never heard of a case where the hunter didn't know exactly what he did wrong and regretted it and knew or learned how to prevent it the next time.

Automobiles are tools too.  To make it safe for young people to use automobiles, we make them take tests and get licenses, and where possible, we have them take driving education classes.  We're tested on automobive laws and safe operation before we're liscensed to operate them.  That model works pretty well with automobiles. What if we tried it with guns?

Every state and municipality in this country has gun problems, and every state and city in this country has an education system.  Maybe we can use the schools to improve or resolve the situation of gun violence.  We make kids learn algebra in school, why not gun safety?  

I propose we include gun education as part of our national educational objectives, just like math or language.  We could do this at three levels, elementary, middle, and high school.  Curricula objectives would be gun safety, gun function, gun storage, gun maintenance, and finally (for the older kids) gun use.

We'd have to find funding for it but let the schools manage the program.  As the second amendment is the law of the land, I feel like we have the political will to seek and find funding for a gun education program.  

Keep the NRA out of it, though.  When Oliver North, who used to work for the NRA, says it's corrupt, there's a problem.  It's Oliver North, for god's sake.   We can do this without the NRA trying to take the reins.  (Which they would,)

Think of gun teachers like you would driving teachers.  Their purposes are the same.  Automobiles are dangerous machines if misused, and so are guns.  We should address gun use the same way we do automobile use.

Young car owners must procure a learner's permit and a license to operate an automobile.  Through this, the state helps decrease injury and death by automobiles.  It would do the same for guns.  We also rely heavily on automobile insurance to help us cope with whatever injuries the misuse of cars may cause. Gun-owners insurance to help cover the cost of accidental discharges and lapses in judgment.

We have to do something.  Getting tough and building more prisons won't solve the issue.  Our society cannot function with so many in prison.  I believe gun education is a better solution than gun control.  We don't have a lot of luck with prohibiting things.  I see no reason to believe gun prohibition would work any better than marijuana or alcohol prohibition did.

A responsible, educated gun owner, no matter what type of gun they have, is far less likely to commit gun violence. In a nation where everyone has the constitutionally granted right to a gun, it's our responsibility to make sure they know how to use them safely.  I believe gun education would decrease people using the threat of a gun to commit robbery too.

Let's at least try this before we start talking about outlawing guns.  Those of you who profess the "good guy with a gun" philosophy, imagine how much stronger your argument would be if all these good guys were equipped with the best available gun education.


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