One of the more contentious topics in U.S politics is gun control (or gun freedom, however you want to phrase it). Backed and lied to by the NRA (and the politicians they keep in their pockets) and certain media outlets, there is a contingent of American citizens who believe, to the core of their being, that Big Government and dirty libruls are scheming and plotting to take away all the guns. One of the more popular conspiracy theories for the entirety of the Obama Presidency was that he was going to take all the guns away, and that lie was repeated throughout Clinton’s campaign. Everybody knows that Big Government is for regulating vaginas and bathrooms, not guns.
I’m not going to rehash all of the arguments here (blah blah blah militia, blah blah blah) because we’ve all seen them countless times and it goes the same way every time. No, I’m simply going to tell you what my views on the subject are.
I like guns. Hell, I might even love them. I think they’re a fascinating evolution of the sling, and I enjoy shooting them (even though I couldn’t hit a barn I was standing next too). I do not own any guns, however, because I’m. . . lacking in the mindset to own one safely. If I owned a gun, there’s a good chance I would have already eaten a bullet (suicides would drop if we didn’t have guns; the more determined would still take themselves out, but many people wouldn’t be able to succumb to that snap decision to self-terminate).
But that’s just me. Luckily, I’ve got enough self-awareness to know that I shouldn’t own a firearm (plus, at the end of the day, I do prefer the melee weapon, probably because I can actually hit the target with those). And I do wish countless others had that same self-awareness.
I’m also a believer in “gun control” (a terrible phrase that has done more harm than good to the cause). I think if you buy a firearm from a Wal-Mart, a gun shop, good neighbor Joe, or that guy on the street corner, there should be a background check, and a waiting period (3 days or so, can be waived by LEA in circumstances such as a restraining order that has been repeatedly violated or the like, to be determined by the lawyers).
If the background check reveals one of the following, you should be subject to greater restrictions, as described below (note these are only rough ideas):
- One conviction for a violent crime committed with a gun: 60 day waiting period; Right to own a firearm is voided for 1 year from time of release or end of probation; any convictions for felony crimes in the next year results in a lifetime voiding of the right to own a firearm.
- Two or more convictions for violent crimes committed with a gun: 60 day waiting period; Right to own a firearm is voided for 5 years from time of release or end of probation; any additional convictions for felony crimes in that time period results in a lifetime voiding of the right to own a firearm.
- One conviction for a non-violent crime committed with a gun: 30 day waiting period; Right to own a firearm is voided for 1 year from time of release or end of probation; any convictions for felony crimes in that period voids the right to own a firearm for 1 year.
- Two or more convictions for non-violent crimes committed with a gun: 30 day waiting period; Right to own a firearm is voided for 2 years from time of release or end of probation; any additional convictions for felony crimes in that time period voids the right to own a firearm for 2 years.
- One conviction for a violent crime with no gun: 30 day waiting period; Right to own a firearm is voided for 6 months from times of release or end of probation.
- Two or more convictions for violent crimes with no gun: 30 day waiting period; Right to own a firearm is voided for 1 year from time of release or end of probation.
- Involuntary commitment for mental illness: 14 day waiting period; notarized letter from a mental health professional required.
- Voluntary commitment for mental illness: 14 day waiting period.
I also think every gun owner should be fingerprinted, and every purchased weapon should have a ballistics test run, with the data from both held in a Federal database, accessible freely by state, county, and city LEA.
None of this would stop bad people from acquiring and using illicit firearms. It would, however, help to track the firearm back to its source and aid in piecing together a timeline for the firearm. Many of the pro-2A supporters would balk at these. But I wouldn’t care, because in my anecdotal experience, most of them are painfully uninformed (how? Because they’ve bought the lie that 2A is under serious attack, when it’s other amendments that are under actual attack).
So, yes, I am in favor of some degree of gun and owner registration (go ahead, start screaming at me in the comments, I don’t read them, so have a blast).
However, I also support a citizen’s right to purchase just about any damn firearm they want to purchase. Derringer .22? Go right ahead. Barrett .50 AMR? Yep. Full auto AK-47? Sure. Browning .50 HMG? Hells yeah. Scary looking “assault weapon”? Okay. Minigun? Yep.
If I were to draw an arbitrary line, it would probably be right around 15mm ammo size. Bigger than that isn’t really a gun anymore.
“But why do you need a fully automatic rifle to go hunting?” You don’t. “Need” has nothing to do with any of this. “Want” is more than adequate.
Well why not flamethrowers and grenades and mortars and bombs then? Because those aren’t guns, don’t be disingenuous.
The simple fact is that 2A isn’t going away anytime soon, and case law largely supports gun ownership. After that, it’s just negotiating the details. No one is going to use the registry to take away your guns (that would require a smaller, more consolidated nation and a truly inconceivable gun tragedy). And there’s no compelling reason to prevent the government from knowing who owns the guns since they are stolen and used in criminal enterprises.
At the same time, there’s no compelling reason to stop average people from owning the firearms they want and can afford to own.
Anyway, now you know my thoughts, so your day is a little better.