mary_j_59: (Varen)
[personal profile] mary_j_59
I wanted to say just a bit more on Orlando. I think our love affair with guns in this country is obscene. I really do. Yet I got a couple of petitions for gun control that I could not in good conscience sign. Among other things, they are insisting that anyone who is "suspected of terrorism" should be forbidden to buy a gun. And here's the thing:

A Republican lawmaker -- I forget who -- explained why he could not support this law. He said he couldn't agree that people on some secret list should be penalized. I thought about that, and I actually agree with him. We have no idea what could cause you to get on that list. Advocating for equal rights for Palestinians? Supporting BDS? Dr. Sami Al Arian did those things, and there are those who called him a terrorist. He was actually jailed. So far as I know, he never did, nor threatened, any violence to anyone.

So this Republican is right. I don't agree with barring people from exercising their second amendment rights because they somehow got on some secret list. Editing to add that neither doctor Al Arian, nor any of the activists I know, would ever try to buy an assault rifle. Here is what I would like to see.
1. A total, absolute ban on the sale of asasult rifles to civilians.
2. A total ban on all military weapons.
3. No one actually convicted of a violent crime should ever be allowed to have a gun.
4. All gun owners should have to pass an exam, pay a licensing fee, and carry insurance. As others have said, to own a gun should be at least as difficult as owning a car. And-
5. In the case of accidental shootings, I'd actually support making the owner of the gun pay civil damages.  That's a bit controversial, and would probably never pass in this country. But it's worth trying. There have been way too many accidental deaths, as well as far too many mass murders.

And I have relatives who hunt and fish, and I have no problem with that. People have a right to hunt and fish. No one needs a machine gun or assault rifle to kill deer.

Date: 2016-06-14 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ask just about any person in my country and they'll ask the same thing: Why oh why can't you Americans so much as regulate the *categories* of guns? (And then I'd be bombarded by pro-guns people telling me "it's because the citizens also need to protect themselves from the government" whilst at the same time telling me that "The United States armed forces would sooner cut their balls off than point their guns at the people they'd sworn to defend".) Slippery Slope? How 'bout "possessing the proverbial cattle-slaughtering weaponry when you needn't do anything further than killing a hen" escalation slippery slope?!

Date: 2016-06-14 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, exactly! When I was a child, civilians didn't have machine guns (unless they were criminals like Al Capone, and not often even then). The country was safer then. I just don't remember any mass shootings in the U.S. from my childhood.

So why can't we simply ban machine guns and assault rifles? Australia did, and that's a country with many similarities to the U.S. I really don't get it.

Date: 2016-06-14 04:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Correction - I just did some research. There was one mass shooting in the 1960s, at the University of Texas in Austin. All the others date from the mid-80's or later. They seem to be getting more frequent.

And I agree with those who say that our failure to act after Newtown was truly reprehensible.

Date: 2016-06-14 10:45 pm (UTC)
ext_45936: (13 ravens)
From: [identity profile]
Absolutely with you on point 1. Why on earth do civilians need automatic weapons? Is there a zombie apocalypse coming the rest of the world doesn't know about?

The UK banned them after the Cullen enquiry, after the Dunblane massacre in 1996. Of course there's still gun violence, but it's usually gang hits on others, drug related, or organised terror cells. The lone, angry young men we have had in recent years have gone running around with knives or swords rather than automatic rifles. It's still scary, yes, but people generally have quite a bit more of a chance against a disturbed knifeman than a gunman.

Point no.3 unfortunately would not have prevented several recent mass killings - I'm thinking of the batman killer, who had no previous history of violence or criminal activity. It won't stop the risk from young, disturbed or mentally ill people who decide to hit out at society, unless of course there is an outright ban on automatic weapons, plus all the restrictions in buying them.

If there ever is a change in gun law in the future of the US...imagine the tonnage of weaponry at the amnesty...


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