I’m not going to start out by repeating, “Guns don’t kill people, people pull the trigger.”
What I am going to discuss is how difficult it is going to be to control gun violence within the framework of our freedom and the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.
The current cacophony for expanding background checks and making them more meaningful is accompanied by proposals to identify people who should not have guns or access to them. This could prevent people with a history of anger, violence, drug abuse, alcoholism and who knows what else from purchasing a firearm.
In principle, I agree with the goal; in my natural skepticism of government I wonder how ineffective it will turn out to be.
The devil is, as always, in the details.
Who is going to decide someone cannot own/purchase firearms? What type of investigation is going to be done to evaluate someone else’s claim that you or I should not have a gun? How are we going to weed out the disgruntled person, difficult neighbor, either party in a divisive divorce, or anyone else with a grudge against another person from filing whatever is required to have someone scrutinized?
In thinking about what has happened in many cases of claims of sexual harassment, isn’t the popular thinking that we must take these claims, charges and memories all seriously? So seriously, in fact, that people are guilty until proven innocent? More than a few innocent people have had their careers ruined by accusations that after weeks, months or years of investigation could not be substantiated.
“Oh ... but that doesn’t mean they weren’t true!” is the standard mantra of far too many “progressives” in our society. Collusion anyone?
Everyone has mass shootings on their mind (thanks in part to media reporting, which encourages copycat behavior by those in search of fame), but the highest number of shooting deaths in the U.S. is suicides, followed by homicides. Accidental deaths and injuries are next.
When you get into who shot whom and why, you can slice it and dice it and come to any number of conclusions - many misleading. Blacks are disproportionately victims of gun violence, which can be misleading unless the race of the shooter is part of the equation.
In my humble opinion, the intangibles in American society have shaped a culture that doesn’t shun anger, the right to get even with your enemy, and the head nod if one resorts to deadly violence.
Don’t believe me? Compare Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy to the TV and movie content of today; including video games that inure the players to the gore and body count.
All guns have the potential to be “assault” weapons, so that term is really meaningless except to stir emotions. Emotions won’t win this fight. Only the Congress, lawyers and courts can fashion something that is constitutional, reasonable and acceptable to a majority of citizens.
But it’s not going to totally ban guns as much as many people would love to see just that. And in the U.S. it’s a practical impossibility.
That’s the way I see it.