Friday, January 25, 2013

Gun Control Ideas

There is a huge amount of discussion these days about gun control, which was sparked about the tragic incident at Newtown, Connecticut. There have been several since then. Yesterday was  a shooting in Houston, Texas at a community college that wounded three, and a young girl died in Kansas. All the while folk like Ted Nugent are all in a dither about their guns being taken away. Which of course, isn't at all true.

We in America have a problem with killing from guns. According to PolitiFact, the total killed by weapons in America since 1968 is more than the number that were killed in all of America's wars combined. That's a lot of people. We think of the University West Virginia; Aurora, Colorado; Red Lake, Minnesota; Ft. Hood, Texas; and Parkland, Washington to name a few.

What is being advocated, and was actually set into policy after President Reagan was shot and wounded, is all that is being asked. What is being asked is gun control. So I am about to share what I think are reasonable ideas to controlling who has weapons in the United States.

Some caveats: 1) There will need to be some grandfathering, and some overlap of compliance. Take for example the notion of registering a weapon. It will need to be done on a state as well as national level. That might involve some working out of kinks. Another area would be what to do with ownership of weapons that fall under a ban? Sales could be stopped immediately, and gun shows  would either stop sales or move to the national standard of registration and background checks. Which means that until all that is completed, you have no gun. Felony or mental illness? No gun, all cases determined on a case by case basis. Other than some of those issues needing to be ironed out, here's what I propose.

The cornerstone of my idea of gun control is a mandatory time of service for every high school graduate in their state's National Guard unit. If they so choose, they may join the federal military agencies, otherwise, they are required to report for bootcamp of their states Nationla Guard unit in the September after they graduate. They will be required to learn all the martial skills that said units teach. They will also partake of the activities that Guard units execute in helping the states they hail from in the events of emergency. They are required to do two years, and in those two years they will learn to disassemble, clean, re-assemble, and shoot with proficiency their issued side arm and long rifle. Straight out of high school, into the National Guard of their state, unless they join the federal military. No options. After two years in the Guard, I advocate two years in the Peace Corp, or a similar group. Or, if tech school for a two year degree is desired, from the Guard into tech school. Otherwise, a second stint being involved with learning to help, and hopefully in matter outside one's state. Here they can begin to apply some of the skills they developed in the Guard in solving real world problems.

After the four years of service, a couple of things can happen. One, after a brief re-certification if they choose, they can keep their issued side arm and long rifle. By doing so they acknowledge they are on call as a national Guard member until the age of 40. They get to keep these weapons that will be registered and cannot by foirce of law be sold or given away, as long as they maintain a proven efficiency with them. These weapons will be offered to those who choose the tech school path as well, and the same restrictions apply. The second possibility is that anyone who completes the four years of service gets free schooling in any institution of higher learning that they choose to any level they choose, with a maximum of 12 years available.

I see several benefits in this. One, it will increase the number of post high school graduates in degreed programs that will eventually raise the level of graduates in America and spur the growth of research and development, sciences, and math. These students will enter post secondary school with a higher degree of maturity than they would otherwise, having learned valuable skills that will enable them to complete their studies and present, in my opinion, a higher degree of thinking to the subjects at hand. Another issue is educational reform, but that's another post or twenty. The economic impact will be greater over the long haul, and I have to think that those choosing to enter politics will be a better grade of candidates. Another benefit will be the fulfillment of the 2nd Amendment. The right of gun ownership within 2 to 3 generations will be contingent upon being in the militia. Those that are concerned about the rights to own weapons will have no argument. Perhaps from this a secondary benefit might be a decrease in crime. Not too many folks will break into a home that is  heavily armed by someone who is also proficient. America will always have plenty of response in the event of a disaster or attack, be it domestic or otherwise.

I think it's a good idea. What do you think?

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