>
The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
A place for intelligent readers
 by Jon Burras
2016 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
C
surfyogi@verizon.net
Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Jon at
How to Eliminate Guns in America

Mass gun violence has become the new norm. We hardly skip a beat when we hear on the news of the latest massacre. We are numbed to the violence and almost expect the next tragedy to occur soon after the previous one. We appear outraged but seem to do nothing about it.

     One would have thought that the murder of twenty-six children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 would have ignited us to change our ways and stop this horrible gun violence epidemic. But like most other issues in our country we remain divided in what should be done. The anti gun coalition wishes to enact more and more restrictive gun legislation while the pro gun lobby encourages every citizen to run out to buy a weapon and arm themselves. Pro gun advocates believe that if everyone were armed (including school teachers, airline pilots, life guards, janitors etc.) that most gun violence could be stopped or quickly contained.

    If you are a pro gun advocate then this article is not for you. The NRA (National Rifle Association) already has in place their own plan on how to protect the Second Amendment and to continue to allow private citizens to be armed with guns. There is a strong momentum in the favor of securing the Second Amendment and the right to "bear arms."

     If you wish for guns to be severely limited to citizens or even in favor of the elimination of the Second Amendment then you might wish to read on. Here is the strategy to go about that endeavor. Most people believe it would be too difficult to overturn the Second Amendment so they do not even try to start the process. Politicians look at the issue as political suicide and will always dance around the topic trying to enact band-aid legislation that limits certain guns to high risk individuals.

     If you look at the history of our nation big things happened because courageous people began the process of making it happen.
Slavery was not abolished overnight but took many years and many political battles (and a Civil War killing hundreds of thousands of people) to make it happen. The Civil Rights Act, Equal Rights Act, Marriage Equality Act or Title Nine (granting equal scholarships to women in college athletics) did not happen overnight. These important changes in our social structure took decades to achieve.

     If we wish to eliminate gun violence, eliminate guns and overturn the Second Amendment then here is the plan in which to do it.

1. Eliminate gun shows.

    Gun shows hold many loopholes in the selling and purchasing of weapons. If you were to ban gun shows you would close some of these loopholes and make it more difficult for people to obtain guns.

2. Boycotts.

     Several decades ago Ralph Nader led a coalition of national corporate boycotts to demand that corporations change their policies and products. For instance, Nestle Corporation was boycotted on an international scale losing millions of dollars in revenue because their infant formula was killing children across the globe. Loss of revenue finally made Nestle change its practices.

     What if stores that sold guns were boycotted? The Wal-Mart stores and other big box stores along with sporting goods and hunting stores would all be boycotted. Until they eliminated guns from their product inventory these stores would be boycotted. We have seen in the past that money talks. When a corporation is losing millions of dollars in revenue they are most likely going to change their business practices. 

3. Age limits

     We have age limits for obtaining a driver's license, joining the military, purchasing cigarettes, buying alcoholic products and for receiving social security benefits. Why not have more restrictive age limits for when you can buy or own a gun. Most gun violence is committed by young males between the ages of  18-30. Why not raise the legal age for gun possession to the age of 30? By the age of 30 some of those violent youths will have either died, gone to prison or have matured enough to be able to handle being a gun owner.  

4. Psychological profile

     Along with a background check to determine if someone has a criminal record society should also demand that each individual attempting to purchase a gun undergo a six-month-long psychological evaluation. Friends and family must be interviewed to call into question this individual's psychological makeup. Does he have a tendency towards violence? Is he apt towards road rage? Is there something that might not show up on an arrest record that would make this individual unstable and too risky to own a firearm? We are putting a lethal weapon into the hands of the unknown yet we know nothing about someone's mental capabilities.

5. Corporate Responsibility

     Large corporations are already involved in political issues. Force these companies to take a stand in support against guns. For instance, the NFL (National Football League) threatened to take the Super Bowl away from the state of Arizona because of strict illegal immigration legislation passed by the state legislature. Sports franchises and other large companies could be financially harmed by anti gun boycotts. Demand that no Super bowl be held in a state like Texas that has very liberal gun laws. If corporations were forced to make it their responsibility then things will change.

6. National Anti-Second Amendment Movement

     The movement to eliminate the Second Amendment is very weak. Most people believe that it cannot be done so they never even begin the process. Against all odds Candy Lightner started MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). She had the courage to begin the process, go up against politicians and alcohol companies and created a very successful campaign against alcohol abuse and driving. If a strong movement was begun to eliminate the Second Amendment it will start to catch on. With every mass shooting people become even more weary and continue to ask about what can be done.

    As other countries have so successfully done, eliminating guns altogether would seriously change the equation. The United States has more gun deaths each year (over 11,ooo by murder and over 21,000 by suicide) than the next twenty-two industrialized nations combined. The United States spends over a trillion dollars yearly to fight global terrorism yet death on the home front by gun violence kills far more Americans.

     Gun advocates always shout about their "right" to own a gun as determined by the written word of the Constitution. The Constitution also says that Americans have the "right" to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The "right to life" should supersede the right to own a gun and in today's culture it does not. Many Americans right to life is being taken away by another's right to own a gun. After all, rights were not handed down to us on a stone tablet from some heavenly figure but are man-made laws that can certainly be changed.

7. Heavy Taxes on Guns

     In California every gallon of gasoline is taxed at least sixty-five cents. This includes state, federal and local taxes. Cigarettes are taxed extremely heavily with some states charging nearly $4.50 per pack in tax.

     Why not place a 800% tax on gun sales. An $800 weapon would now cost you over $7000. You could choose to buy a car, pay for a mortgage, feed your family or buy a gun. If gun taxes were extremely high many would not be able to afford them and the tax revenue could be used to help victims of gun violence.

8. Gun Buy Back Program

    After the repeal of the Second Amendment guns owners will receive one year to turn in their guns in a nationwide gun buy back program. They will receive the same amount as they paid for the gun. If gun owners do not sell back all of their registered guns in a year they will receive a visit from the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Guns will either be forcibly removed with a punishment attached (jail time, fines, community service) and gun owners will now be in violation of the law or gun owners can complete the buy back program by giving up all of their weapons.

9. Anonymous Tip Line

     Many claim that you are now taking guns away from law abiding citizens while criminals and the black market will still have guns. The one thing Americans love more than their guns is money. Provide an anonymous phone tip line where someone can call in and report someone whom they know is in possession of a weapon. Everyone knows who has guns in their family or neighborhood. People often brag about how many guns they own and how powerful they are.

     The phone caller will receive $10,000 for the first gun confiscated and $3000 for each gun after that. A person could make thousands of dollars in one afternoon and still remain anonymous. Even gang members will turn in other members if they know that they can get away with large amounts of money and no one will find out about it.

10. Eliminate media

    Up until now, many movies and television shows can barely be watched without another violent murder or the casual use of gun fire to spice up the screen. Actors these days seem unable to act unless they have a weapon in their hands. Eliminate guns from movies, television and video games. The violence witnessed by viewers is extremely out of control. Alcohol and smoking have been severely limited in movies and television in the last few years, why not gun violence? As for video games, eliminate all the violence using weapons.

     The other solution is to tax violence. If a movie ticket normally costs $10, the price for a ticket for a movie rated with violence will now be $30. Video games with violent content are to be taxed 800 %, just like the sale of guns. How many parents are willing to spend that much more to continue the violent game playing.

11. Tax on Ammunition    

     Guns require bullets. Place a 800% tax on every bullet purchased. Proceeds will be distributed to the victims of gun violence and for gun violence education programs.

12. Declare Guns To Be A Public Safety Issue

     Constitutional rights are not written in stone and can often be overridden by legislative bodies. The Second Amendment is not a God-given right to own a gun but a written document. Articles of the Constitution can be by-passed at the will of the legislature if the threat is apparent.

    For instance, in several states (including California) the state legislature has decreed that parents do not know what is best for their own child's health and have over-written any freedom of choice to force all school-age children to be vaccinated. Even though vaccines have never proven to be effective in stopping diseases the governing bodies still went ahead and stripped parents of their right to choose. No longer are personal or religious exemptions allowed. The reasoning was that the government has the right to throw away all written law if it is perceived that a national health crisis is imminent. The government believes in herd mentality and uses heavy-handed tactics to achieve its goals.

     There were nearly 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry living in America during WWII that were forced away from their homes and into guarded camps. Sixty-two percent of these people were American citizens. In times of emergency and war special declarations can be made that nullify your Constitutional rights.  

    Within minutes of the 9-11 attacks in New York and Washington D.C. all airports in the country were closed and all flights were grounded. All flights were ordered to land and nobody could enter back into the United States for several days after the attacks. The right to freedom of travel was taken away. During times of emergency special laws can be written to suppress whatever right you might think you have.

     If a state body can override a parent's rights to raise a child their own way then the federal bodies can declare that gun violence has reached an epidemic level in this country and guns must be removed from the public possession. That is all it would take. Epidemics will trump written laws. With over 35 thousand Americans dying of gun violence each year (far more than any disease that vaccines are supposed to fix), a ban on guns from the federal level is not out of the question. Written laws do not matter when it comes to "perceived" states of emergency.

13. License Plate Stickers

     Require that all gun owners have a special license plate on their car indicating that they are indeed a gun owner. First, this might prevent many road rage incidents knowing that the person who you are having a conflict with may be carrying a weapon in their vehicle. Secondly, this alerts people who are not a fan of gun ownership to decide if they wish to do business or have interaction with a gun owner. Gun owners often remain hidden in the woodwork. If an anti gun advocate is aware that the baker he regularly visits is a gun owner then he might take his business someplace else. Placing a "scarlet letter" on the license plates of gun owners will make them identifiable in public and not able to hide.

14. Penalties for Gun Manufacturers

     Inflict sharp penalties and fines to gun manufacturers when their gun is used to hurt or kill someone else. Many manufacturers of products have been successfully sued when their products caused harm or death to an individual (even when used in a proper manner). Gun manufacturers are producing and selling lethal weapons with a high probability of injuring or killing someone and they should share in some of the responsibility when things go wrong. Law makers have been protecting the gun manufacturers (just like the vaccine manufacturers as well) for too long now. Put the financial burden of gun violence back on the creators of guns.

15. Vote         

    Vote out of office federal, state and local authorities who support guns. Vote into office officials who see the insanity of a nation filled with weapons and who have the courage to eliminate guns from our homes.

Epilogue

     As you can see, there is much that can be done to eliminate gun violence. Most civilized countries have severely limited or restricted gun ownership in their respective countries and gun violence is a trickle compared to that of the Untied States. We often feel superior to other nations and refuse to learn from their examples. With gun control and gun elimination this is a good lesson to learn from countries who have already done it.

     The country remains divided on the issue of guns and violence. We are at a critical stage in our society where we are paralyzed in what to do next. What I say next comes from a household with only one bathroom and a number of inhabitants. "Either shit or get off the pot." We cannot keep doing what we are doing. Americans are stuck in political constipation and only getting more bloated each day.

     Elimination of guns is certainly possible with the right steps. After all, if he thought it were impossible Sir Edmond Hillary would have never set out to climb Mount Everest and the Chinese never would have built the Great Wall. The United States never would have landed a man on the moon and Admiral Peary never would have attempted to be the first to reach the North Pole.

     Don't be fooled by meaningless gun limitation laws. Preventing a handful of people from acquiring weapons is not going to stop the violence raging throughout the land. The steps can be taken to eliminate guns from our society and those steps can begin now. When will we have the courage to begin those necessary steps?