The second amendment was written and meant for a different time.  However, I do believe in the right to pull a trigger to protect my family, my home and myself.  But I do not believe in the right to pull the trigger for the sake of pulling the trigger.  I do understand and appreciate shooting for sport and think that any outside activity is good.  And I think that hunting is better than shopping at the grocery store.  I do not hunt, but many of my friends do and I am the first to beg for venison backstrap.  What I believe would be beneficial to our country is much stricter laws and punishments regarding guns.  I propose that we strengthen the channels to get a gun (open for suggestions) and make it necessary to attend a safety class in order to use it.  That is the only parameter after purchase.  The entire cost of the course would benefit police officers in some way, be it extra cops, better wages, etc.  First time offenders of having a gun without being certified to use it would be subject to a hefty fine.  Second time offenders and persons with a criminal history would be subject to 30 days in jail and a fine.  And violent offenders would be subject to one year in jail, minimum just for possessing a gun without the proper training and documentation.  The goal would be to allow citizens who are serious about this basic right and hobbyists who are serious about their sport enjoy it just as much as before while making it more difficult for criminals to get access to guns.  The penalty of possessing a gun would be fine, 30 days or one year in jail for first time offenders, depending on criminal history.  Gun involved crime would be dealt with much more severely (10 years, 20 years, life, etc. depending on severity of crime).  All proceeds from these certification classes (handgun, rifle, shotgun) will benefit police officers and their families only. 

Something must be done about violent crime.  I know people will always have access to guns and a small portion of the population will be extreme, unpredictable and violent.  And I know that many Republicans will argue that more guns by law-abiding citizens will deter potential shooters.  This, of course, is nonsense.  It would just make guns more accessible to criminals. 

Please comment on my post and offer suggestions to this horrible problem.  We need to grow and mature as a society if we want to continue and thrive.  There are so many problems facing this country and citizens killing one another should not be one of those problems.  We must channel our collective energy and focus it somewhere else.  Thank you all.

 

-Hiram

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I agree completely with your assessment of the 2nd amendment.  My position is one of compromise.  This is just a starting point to see where we can move forward. 

As for your question, "What is the difference between a violent crime committed with a gun and a violent crime committed with a knife?  Both are arms, knives are not as controlled as guns.  I do agree that violent crime offenders, no matter choice of weapon, should be imposed heavy penalties", I must say that, yes, both are weapons.  But if we classify all weapons together, we risk even more litigation just defining these terms.  What about a butter knife, steak knife, hunting knife, garden shovel, hedge trimmers, scissors?  That argument can be made another day.  Right know guns need to be addressed.  Also, it seems that it would take much more gumption to attack with a knife than pull a trigger from afar.

Personally, if guns were outlawed entirely, it would not hurt my feelings.  But compromise is necessary considering the conservative view of the amendment.

Thanks for responding.

-Hiram

 "If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people speed, and forks make people fat. Hold the person accountable for their actions, not the means they chose to utilize"         Outstanding.  I could not agree more. Although I believe requiring a license, badge, seal, stamp, or whatever will do nothing to prevent gun violence in the least. The only "control"  coming from that will be the amount of money coming out of people's pockets with the endless increase of fees associated with the safety training and registration process. Then there would be "the firearm safety training and registration" bureau formed which would require more money from civilians in the tax increases imposed. This new bureau would then "conduct research trials" and use the manipulated results to push for new laws and ordinances to justify their existence draining yet more money from the tax payer. In the end, this system will be as effective as the lottery is for improving education. 

There actually are laws that are designed to prevent (or at least limit) wholesaling of guns by private individuals. The biggest of these is a limitation on the number of guns you can buy at once, and a waiting period between gun purchases. However both of these have been attacked extensively by the NRA, and don't apply to gatherings like gun shows in any case. I don't care how much of a need to protect yourself you have, there is no reason to purchase 30 handguns except for resale. And if a private individual is the one doing the reselling, there's probably a reason the person being sold to isn't going to a licensed vendor.

I'm not aware of any, but the two circumstances are very similar. Only licensed dealers are required to perform background checks and register guns. That's why sales should be limited to licensed dealers, who could have some form of buyback program for individuals interested in getting rid of one they have. We don't allow private citizens to sell controlled substances (prescription medication), so why should guns be any different?

I can think of one, though a lot of people wouldn't like it. If a gun registered to you is used in a crime, you are held liable as an accomplice. That would encourage private sellers to do at least cursory background checks. It's an easy method of enforcement, if a bit harsh.

Well, if they reported it stolen that would be investigated to make sure that they weren't just reporting a theft to cover up the sale, but yeah, it gets tricky. 

The constitution seems to give the right to bear arms to the citizens and if it is confusing I am sure a member of the NRA can help define it.  In a reasonable world I would like to see licensing for weapons just like there is licensing for cars.  However, the "NRA/Right Wing" crowd is afraid of government one day recalling all the weapons.  Maybe I can accept their fear because governments change and we have to be aware of the ebb and flow of popular opinion and how we support the foundation of our governing documents.  If we push the issue too hard we can actually damage the sanctity of the Bill of Rights but opening other issues up for heavy interpretation.  My point is to say that we may not want to focus on linchpin issues that play to one political parties base.  Our base is independent so they will most likely not want to see changes in gun control.  We can go back and forth on this for days in regards to the arguments for and against gun control and they are rational and reasonable on both sides.  This is one of those issues that we can get lost in because it is used by the "Right" to communicate with a core faction of their base.  For Democrats, there are people on both sides of this issue and that is why we see almost nothing come out of the mouth of Democratic candidates in regards to gun control.  I think that a political party that wants to be successful should acknowledge the right to bear arms but say we believe it is an issue for states and local governments to dictate what is and is not acceptable in their zones of influence.  If we take sides on this less than a drop of importance issue then we will be easily painted as left or right which is, from my impression of you all, not where we want to be.  On issues that are not necessarily morally or ethically based imperatives and are subject to interpretation I suggest we take a more flexible, neutral and candidate specific approach.  The same goes for other issues in this category.  We have to shift the debate back to relevant issues such as economics, foreign policy and social services.  However, I acknowledge that I am saying this in the discussion entitled Gun Control.

As I have no intention of committing  a crime, gun related or not I don't have an issue with gun control.  However, I would like to keep mine.  I disagree with the assertion that the timing of that the Second Amendment doesn't apply because it was wrtitten for a different time.  Dictators still exist, the world is still crazy, dangerous animals still roam the land, and self defense is still an issue.  I do agree with the need for safety training.  We were required to complete a hunter and gun safety course in high school and I see no issue with continuing this education for people who wish to own guns.

"many Republicans will argue that more guns by law-abiding citizens will deter potential shooters.  This, of course, is nonsense.  It would just make guns more accessible to criminals."

Statistically, you're quite wrong. In the south, where guns are more liberally given to citizens, crime rates are incredibly low. They're generally highest in places with lots of gun control. Why? Because the guy who's armed and robbing your house will be certain you don't have a gun. He'll be more bold, because he's armed and you're not.

Whereas if *EVERYONE* has a gun, only the truly desperate and psychopathic will think of attacking someone, knowing they'd likely get shot.

I am an avid shooter, hunter, gun collector. I do not think more gun laws will help the situation. I do believe that anyone who owns firearms should take a firearms safety course at the least. I have a Concealed Carry Permit, and even though I have been around firearms my entire life, the legal aspect of the Conceal Carry course was worth the price. I do support enforcing current laws, improved background checks, a mandatory 3 day waiting period and instructional and safety courses for all gun owners, especially new purchases for first time buyers.

I agree with you on the gun control issue.  While I am not a hunter, I do have a collection of firearms, most of which were passed to me from my grandparents who "liberated" them in WW2; all of my firearms are registered.  I do not think that law abiding citizens should have any problem with having a class before they are allowed to acquire their first firearm.  I also do not see the issue with registering firearms allowing the police to look up a known suspect before moving to apprehend them.

No guns are not the problem. There are too many millions of law abiding gun owners that would be penalized if they were removed.

 History says the Japanese were poised to invade the US during World II.  They did not because of the volume of gun owners in the US.  Who knows we may need these gun owners somewhere in the future.   

Instead of looking at guns as the problem, look at the improper use of them by individuals that use them to impose their will over others. (ie: a bank robber)

Now let that person enter our court system and plea down to something much less than the crime committed. A few months or few years in jail is not the detourant needed to do away with violent crimes.

Magically take away all the guns in the world and you will fear the person with a knife or baseball bat. Let's not forget 9/11/01, a few terrorists used carton cutters to control the hundreds of people.  The question is; how many lives would have been spared if one person had sneaked a gun on board?

I am not proposing any little old lady shove a handgun in her bag.  But what if there were armed, well trained citizens, allowed to move freely in our country.  Lets go back a couple of months to the killings in a movie theater. Could an armed/trained movie goer have helped the situation?

No not the wild west again, not a vigilante, not some gun happy person looking to get their name in the paper and we all do not need to carry a gun.  Instead a trained citizen force that assists where the police are not.  The emphasis would be on training.  

Our society can live with guns.  First we have to pass laws that put away violent criminals not plea them through the system.  Until then arm a qualified few to help protect the many. 

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