It’s been a little over a month since the Sandy Hook shooting. 27 dead in one day – the majority of them were six-year old children.
And since Sandy Hook, we’ve seen more than 1200 other shooting deaths around the country.
The details of Sandy Hook still seem somewhat sketchy, which is leading a lot of people to claim it’s a conspiracy and others to drive a solid line in the sand on one side or the other in the gun control debate.
Since the shooting, President Obama has issued his plan, based on Vice President Biden’s advice but they never asked me for my advice. I’m sure you’re all super surprised.
Oh well – I’ll share it with you and anyone who will listen.
First off as a disclaimer: I want to see all guns banned.
- Require all US gun owners to obtain a federal (and/or state) license. We already require a licence for things like fishing, hunting, driving a car, working with food, etc. etc. Let’s require all gun owners to obtain a license to own a gun. No guns or ammunition may be purchased without the license. I’d prefer to see this license renewed yearly, but would accept a 3-year renewal process if needed. I understand the UK has a 5-year renewal requirement and they also have one of the lowest rates for gun deaths in the world. Licensing fees will be dedicated to education I’ll mention in a bit. If you want the right to own a gun, prove you’re responsible enough to do so.
- In addition to background checks as part of the licensing process, card applicants must take a 10 hour course from a certified instructor before their license is approved. The course will cover things similar to a CHL license in Texas: use of force, non violent dispute resolution, gun use, marksmanship and safe and proper storage of guns and ammunition. Additional classroom hours will be required before licenses may be renewed. This might be a good chance for the NRA to re-focus on their original mission of gun education instead of a political action committee.
- All existing guns must be registered to a licensed gun owner. Any gun found not registered, regardless of the circumstance will be confiscated immediately.
- Increase funding for the study of antidepressants and other SSRIs and psychiatric drugs and their effect on violent behavior. Numerous reports have linked these drugs to countless murders and suicides around the country – not just mass shootings. While serotonin can be a bad thing if our bodies aren’t producing enough, the effects can be just as harmful if we’re getting too much.
- Place an immediate ban on media reporting the names and photos of suspects in mass shootings. Yes, this tramples on 1st Amendment rights and yes, I would hate to have my voice censored when I was a reporter but we restrict the media in other ways and I think we should restrict the media in this way as well. Twenty years from now we should be remembering the names of Caroline Previdi, James Mattioli, Daniel Barden and their classmates as well as their teachers, Rachel D’Avino, Anne Marie Murphy and Victoria Soto — not the names of a cowardly gunman.
- Use the funds from the licensing fees to increase non-violent conflict resolution training in our schools – from Kindergarten to college. I would like to see the funds raised from each state stay within their state. If more people own guns in a state, there should be more conflict resolution training in the schools. Simple as that.
- Rather than arm teachers or pay for armed guards at every school in America, I would rather see school campuses (especially Kindergarten through High School) invest in better unmanned security around their campus. There is no reason schools can’t lock-down their buildings with minimal entrances that require ID cards or office verification before anyone can even enter the school. There’s also no reason campuses can’t have better security cameras to alert faculty and staff in the chance someone does get by the initial security clearance. If an intruder is spotted, use fire-safety technology to automatically close and lock all doors across the campus.
That’s my plan… It’s far from perfect, but it’s what I have to offer to the conversation today.
What do you think?
Could you live with these “restrictions.”
Could these changes pass Congress with or without the NRA’s involvement?
What would you add?