Dec. 17th, 2012

lhskarka: (Wonder Woman)
My short list of the changes I think we need to make in this country to help prevent these tragic mass-murders from happening. Easy? No. Necessary? Yes.

1) Dear Media - Stop reporting the names of the killers. Call them gunmen, or murderers, or shooters, or killers, but do not give them the immortality of being a name in the news. It is enough that their names are part of the public record in police and other reports. Unless we are directly affected by one of these tragedies, we do not need to know. Let us remember the names of their victims, instead.

2) As a society, as a government, via a national healthcare system, we need to provide compassionate mental health care for people, within their own communities, so that more people can receive the care they need before they are driven to harm themselves and others. Giant government institutions might not have been the answer, but shutting those down and turning the entire burden of care onto families and individuals certainly isn't working.

3) We need better gun control. I have known sane, safe, reasonable people who own and operate guns all my life. I have no problem with sane, safe, reasonable people having reasonable guns. What I DO want is for both guns and gun owners to be "well-regulated", as stated by the 2nd Amendment. The best idea that I have seen on how to go about this is simple. Regulate ownership & operation of guns exactly the way we regulate ownership & operation of cars:
a) Title and tag at each point of sale.
b) Training in proper use & handling.
c) Both written and practical tests required for use.
d) Health requirements for operation.
e) Liability insurance for each gun.
f) Renewals and inspections required at intervals for both the owner & the machine.
I do not see anything in that list that a safe, sane & reasonable gun owner could argue against.

4) I would add two regulations to the above list that people probably would argue about, but they're necessary.
a) Mandatory psychiatric evaluations for first-time gun purchasers. No system can be foolproof, but having an additional filter between unstable people and guns would still help to cut down on mass-murder.
b) Federal penalties for the illegal/unregistered ownership of a gun, with a mandatory additional sentence of, say, ten years, for use of a weapon in the commission of any crime. This one has nothing to do with mental stability, and everything to do with the simple fact that taking a gun (or hell, let's be silly, a bow & arrows, or a sword) to commit a crime is pre-meditation for the potential harm of another. and that should not be tolerated.

I really don't think that any of this is too much to ask of a civilized society.

Addendum: I am seriously tired of the "if only someone/a teacher at Sandy Hook had been armed". Exactly how did that help anyone who was killed by the Fort Hood gunman?

*Steps off soapbox*


lhskarka: (Default)

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