Taking Aim

By Tony Moorby March 12, 2018

So when will Congress and the States finally come to their senses? How many more innocent lives have to be lost to the privilege of owning a gun?

I know, I know, I hear all the arguments about the right to bear arms – I have a gun myself, easily accessible only by me. I went to school, got certified by the State and have a concealed-carry permit. It will only ever be used on a practice range or, God forbid, in the direst of home protection circumstances. A .357 Magnum with hollow point shells that won’t go through walls and endanger other occupants should be more than sufficient.

I don’t hunt, so I don’t need rifles or shotguns, but keenly acknowledge that there are millions who do – all part of a sporting heritage that goes back to the foundations of this country.

No one but the armed forces and SWAT teams needs AR-15s – no one. I can’t think of a single reason why any normal person in the street should be even allowed access to such weapons.  OK, so you want to be a collector. I believe that collectors should go through exhaustive and expensive procedures, overseen by vigilant authorities, paid for by license fees.

A sportsman or collector in England is required to register not only the machinery, but also how and where it is to be safely stored. Random audits are carried out to ensure that everything is in order. And stiff fees pay for the policing. Even stiffer fines and possible incarceration are dished out to those who don’t comply.

Maybe the NRA should become a vigilant authority. They could certainly afford it – they slather money around all over D.C., buying support from lawmakers who become mouthpieces for the flimsiest arguments in favor of owning anything from a catapult to a cannon. Did you know the NRA actually rates lawmakers on a scale that measures their support for all the association stands for? Ironically Rick Scott, Governor of Florida, gets an “A” rating from the NRA. Who could possibly need a fully automatic weapon or anything made to be so with bump stocks, if it’s not meant for mischief and mayhem?

Perhaps we should parade members of Congress in front of the family of victims and see if their consciences will overcome their addiction to donations from parties interested in promoting wider and wider gun ownership.

The New York Times published an article recently comparing other countries to the U.S. showing the relationship of the amount of gun ownership to the number of gun-related deaths. The ratios were, as you would expect, about two hundred times greater than European countries.

When I grew up in England in the fifties and sixties, murder, by any means, was a once-in-five-years occurrence and death from a gunshot was unheard of. Policemen didn’t carry guns. A truncheon or baton was their only means of offence or defense. There were always plenty of them around – on foot mostly or perhaps a bicycle – eyeing their beat and being able to catch the scents of the neighborhood, innately knowing when something was amiss. While I realize that societies are differently made up these days, there is no vigilance or awareness, everyone is too remote. No one meets and chats in the street anymore.

Heck, even when the FBI is patently made aware of someone “going off the rails” by a concerned citizen, their hands are tied by concerns over privacy issues, so they do nothing while a young, felonious villain builds an arsenal capable of wiping out dozens of people in seconds.

Less access to guns means less gun crime. No brain surgery here. I’m sure this will become a major consideration in the upcoming elections.

 

Last modified on Monday, 12 March 2018 19:01