There has been a flurry of discussion about gun control and potential bans on semi-automatic weapons since the incident that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Gun owners are infuriated by the mere suggestion that their guns should be outlawed while some non-gun owners feel strongly that they should be. I am in favor of banning rapid load magazines and semi-automatic assault/military style firearms but it also got me to thinking.
Instead of banning the ownership of these firearms, make it mandatory that everyone with a registered said-style firearm undergo a psychiatric evaluation and everyone within the household would be required to do the same. If a registered owner would fail that evaluation, their firearms would need to be confiscated; however if someone in the household were to fail perhaps rather than confiscating the firearm it could be required that the firearm be relocated or 'special security parameters be taken. Furthermore, the biggest part of this compromise would be that instead of a ban on ownership institute a ban on production of these types of firearms. Allow those who already legally own such firearms to keep them but stop the production and as a result the number of said firearms available would be 'frozen'.
By no means is this a suggestion that doesn't come with a 'hitch' and it still leaves the insinuation out there that firearms are the problem, which I strongly believes they are not. The issue, however, at hand in many of these discussions is the infringement of the 2nd Amendment. I do not believe in my heart that it can be justified to punish legal firearm owners by reduced the 'allowance' of the 2nd Amendment but I also do not believe there is any reason for ownership of semi-automatic assault style and military style rifles. What I'm offering and respectfully opening to debate is whether or not there is a fair compromise to be made.
I am not an owner of a firearm; I, however, support the 2nd Amendment and all legal firearm owners 100 percent. The biggest problem when it comes to gun violence is mental health and illegal drugs. On Jan. 10, there was yet another school shooting this time in California, the perpetrator was yet again a 'disturbed child'. Is it truly fair to blame all legal owners of firearms for individuals with mental health issues taking a firearm into school and injuring or killing someone?
If you had control and could do whatever you thought was necessary, what would that be? What actions would you take to improve the safety of the nation? I understand that people scoffed at a suggestion some time ago about making it mandatory to put metal detectors and armed security in schools, but after the most recent shooting I'm wondering if people still feel as though that is a bad idea.
Wesley W Hickok
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom