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[icon] My gun control proposal - Patti
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Subject:My gun control proposal
Time:02:16 am
1. Handguns must be registered and licensed to an individual, just like motor vehicles. Transfers of registration must be recorded immediately.
2. Handguns must always be stored locked, and the unlocking mechanism must be stored separately.
3. The registered owner of a handgun is responsible for any deaths or injuries that are caused by that gun.
4. There will be some reasonable mechanism for reporting the theft or destruction of a registered handgun.
5. If a gun that is registered to you is ever found unlocked, or in someone else's possession, there will be hell to pay.
6. If you're ever caught with an unregistered gun, there will be hell to pay.

Justification: I want handgun owners to be responsible for what is done with their weapons, and for them to have a really strong motivation to keep them safe.

I'm sure there are holes in my proposal, as it's more conceptual than complete.
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filthy_habit
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Time:2012-07-23 05:24 am (UTC)
I tend to disagree with a lot of this, particularly number three, but I don't necessarily oppose these ideas (except for a "strongly oppose" on #3). This isn't because I'm some pro-gun nut, although I basically grew up with firearms and was an expert marksman in the Junior NRA when I was a kid and shot in competitions. I never owned a handgun, although walking across the parking lot at Casino San Pablo at 3AM with a few thousand dollars in my wallet made me think more than once that it wouldn't be a bad idea. But I still do have my trusty .22 pump Winchester rifle (a rare bird) and a .270 Ruger deer rifle that I never harmed an animal with, and I stand to inherit an impressive little collection from my dad one day that includes an authentic civil war era Kentucky long rifle that still shoots. I tend to believe that none of these firearms are registered with any authorities.

Some years ago when I watched the Michael Moore film Bowling for Columbine it left a real stink in my mouth because it was so thick with illogical hyperbole. I mean, trying to pin an accidental grade school shooting on Dick Clark because the child's mom wasn't home because she was at work at one of his restaurants was appallingly embarrassing to watch. "You horrible slave driver! How dare you require this woman to work at your restaurant! This could have been prevented!" And then, of course, there was the famous, cringe-worthy interview with the obviously clueless Charlton Heston.

But, through it all, the one good thing the movie did was that it put a perspective on the manic gun culture in this country. It is certainly a unique thing in the world, and the statistics show that. America has an obsession with guns, and the modern day NRA member has a romantic wild-west idea of gun ownership that is, frankly, pretty embarrassing to see and not very enlightened.

The fact is, when the 2nd Amendment was drafted, it was, without a doubt, the most ambiguously worded amendment in the Bill of Rights. As I like to point out, I think the ambiguity in the Constitution was often intentional on the part of the founders as a means of letting future generations decide what it means when weighed against the prevailing sensibilities of their times.

Ultimately, I don't think stringent controls are the answer. I think a paradigm shift in the zeitgeist is more what we need, and putting strict, nearly unenforceable and needless regulations on gun ownership does nothing more than embolden and enrage those constitutional literalists who cling desperately to their romanticized notions of gun ownership. Most gun owners I know are responsible, take care of their firearms and are diligent in safety precautions. Others, of course, are not. I've lived in states where driving around loaded and unlocked rifles in a gun rack was commonplace and almost expected behavior among the natives. I never felt threatened by that. And really, I'm not sure that will ever really change.

Cultural attitudes can be changed over time. We're seeing it now with the growing acceptance of individuals' sexual orientation and atheism. We have changed the cultural paradigm countless times in this country, and I think that if we promote positive change, then it might become culturally accepted one day. I think, for example, that there's way too much gun violence in mainstream action movies, particularly in the vigilante genre. I'm not suggesting that we regulate or censor movies to reduce the bloodshed, nor do I suggest that violence in movies leads to violence in real life, but people can vote with their feet and send Hollywood a message to quit making love to firearms and stop making it look so darn romantic. Some of the best thrillers I've seen never involved firing a weapon. Let's get that message out.

In the end, I don't think it's the laws that will fix the problem. It's the shifting attitudes of the people that will fix the problem. It's not an overnight type of process, but those kinds of changes usually have a more lasting effect. Why incite hostility among extremists?
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[icon] My gun control proposal - Patti
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