Guns in America are a problem. I am a gun owner in America. I would happily turn in my guns if it meant our legislature was making real progress on solving gun violence.
Things I like about guns
That being said, I do enjoy aspects of shooting that I would miss:
- 3-Gun competitions are fun to participate in and also just watch
- Shotgun sports like sport-clays are a lot of fun - especially when setup like a walking nature/golf course
- Going to the range is stress-relieving and challenging
- Gun handling, marksmanship, acumen, and safety are interesting to learn about
- Learning and trying long-range marksmanship and ballistics/forensics is fun
My opinion on a compromise
I'd like to see most semi-automatic rifles be classified under a newly created NFA Special Occupation Taxpayer (Class 4) that requires additional background checks, evaluations, storage, training, and mental-health screenings before purchasing.
This would let those with legitimate hobby or professional interest to obtain firearms for the same purposes they are using them for today. Of course, this requires the infrastructure to detect, process, and manage applications - which also need improved.
Like a TSA PreCheck® KTN (Known Traveler Number) for firearms?
Getting into the weeds
This is a list of things I think we should/could do as a country to help reduce gun violence in the USA.
Opinions are like assholes, right?
I believe the concept of defense in depth applies, and that most or all of these things should be done to see a real impact in the long-term.
- Decriminalize Marijuana and pardon non-violent convictions
- Remove Marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and the Gun Control Act
- Allow the marijuana industry to participate in the financial/banking systems to avoid all-cash business requirements.
- Reminder: Being a gun owner is not compatible with medical or recreational marijuana usage
- Pass comprehensive healthcare reform that provides exceptional healthcare for all US citizens (it should include medical, nutrition, dental, eye, therapy, and mental-health services.)
- Require firearms dealers to actually meet minimum security standards and enable ATF enforcement (change recommend to require in the linked ATF document)
- Limit high-capacity ammunition magazines (open to discussion on what that should be, 10 is being recommended here)
- I want a mass shooter to have to stop and reload. It introduces more potential opportunities for someone to fight-back, even if the shooter is well-trained to reload quickly on low-capacity magazines.
- If a magazine limit is problematic for you, then - as the toxic gamers say: "git gud noob."
- Background checks required for every gun-sale or legal transfer.
- Background checks should complete before a gun is released to a buyer.
- Remove the 3-day sell anyway allowance (default proceeds) on background checks
- Implement a mandatory 3-day waiting period for all gun sales (basically, 3 days minimum or however long the background check takes) unless you have a NFA Special Occupation Taxpayer status
- Add a new SOT class:
Class 4, Usage: sporting, hunting, or marksmanshipfor things like hobby shooting, regulated 3-gun, olympic shooting, and range/marksmanship leagues
Special Occupation Tax Class 4also provides opportunity for training/usage requirements for owning those weapons
- Require gun owners to be responsible for storage through Ethan's Law
- Require ownership of semi-automatic rifles/firearms (those classified under the proposed Assault Weapons Ban) to have
Class 4 SOTstatus.
- Require responsible gun owners to safely and securely store their firearms by making them criminally responsible if they don't.
- Let the CDC be the CDC and conduct gun-violence research
- Stop people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing weapons
- Provide a method for convicted persons to restore their rights after rehabilitation and probation (except for SOT class licenses, restricting them from owning assault rifles)
- While it may seem counter-intuitive to give felons back their rights to own a gun, I think limiting their ability to obtain SOC status and legally purchase semi-automatic rifles is a good middleground. (I also want to see voting right restored after rehabilitation across the board, but that's a whole new blog post.)
- An optional gun-buyback program so those gun owners who may want to shed some weight can do so and be fairly compensated.
Starting with the basics
We have to do the bare minimum as a society and provide support for our fellow citizens through basics social services like affordable healthcare (with mental health services.)
My concept also provides a means for those with legitimate use or interest to obtain an
SOC Class 4 that would implement higher standards of training, education, handling, background-checks, and/or experience, while also enabling the ATF to enforce (what are mostly seen as) sensible gun responsibility measures.
Maybe we could use a national/state marijuana tax as a starting point in financing some of these options?
Liberals don't own guns
In the event you don't believe I have credentials to have an opinion:
- I live in Ohio, USA.
- I first shot and handled (black-powder) rifles in Boy Scouts as a kid
- I am licensed for concealed-carry in Ohio and reciprocal states
- I took all available in-range gun/marksmanship classes from RangeUSA
- I took 1v1 private lessons on handling and shooting my shotgun from Blackwing Shooting Center
- I go to the range regularly and can disassemble, clean, and re-assemble all of my firearms proficiently.
- My shot isn't perfect, but I'm good enough in effective ranges.
My (all legally registered) firearms: