I have heard all of the criticism over gun control. A lot of it is centered on this belief that gun control is when you want nobody to have guns. You want to take away all the guns. You want to squash the second amendment and forbid anyone from having guns. What most people, on both sides, do not realize is that gun control is not about taking away guns. It is about controlling or rather regulating the purchase and distribution of these sometimes deadly weapons.

Assault Rifle Collage

Responsible gun owners, hear this….I don’t want to take your guns.

I have friends who hunt. I have friends who like going to the range to blow off steam. I have friends who want to protect themselves. I don’t want to take your guns.

What I do want is to make it so guns stay out of the hands of those who have one purpose in using the guns: killing others.

Gun regulations need to change. The mentally ill will most likely NOT kill another with guns. They get a bad rap. At the same time, having lived with mentally ill people my entire life, I must tell you, I have no qualms about denying people with mental illnesses guns. They go through periods where they are not lucid enough to handle having a sharpened pencil, let alone a gun. I fear more for their own safety, as often they blame themselves and are more of a harm to themselves. Still, we need to make sure those with a mental health history cannot go out and purchase a gun. Some will kill themselves. Some will kill others.

All of the mass murderers had one thing in common. People who interacted with them noticed something *off* about them. In the case of the Aurora Movie Theater shooter, he was denied access into a gun club. There were signs he wasn’t right, but thanks to the internet and lax gun purchasing laws in Colorado, he was able to develop an arsenal and injure over 70 people, by obtaining guns legally! This is unacceptable. This could have been prevented with better gun control laws.

I don’t want to take away your guns, but I do believe gun laws need to change. Here are the changes I propose. Responsible gun users should have no problem with these regulations because they should pass them all with flying colors and be able to keep their guns.

-Ban weapons clearly meant to “kill other people” – This means no 100 bullet magazines, assault rifles or other military grade weapons – you don’t need these weapons to hunt or for self-defense. You only really need a few shots to hit a target if trained properly. With hunting, you have plenty of time to reload. These weapons were designed for military purposes, and the military has one objective, to protect and serve by any means necessary. This means you need to have weapons that kill other people. The average American does not need access to these weapons.

-Maintain an updated database with names of people who have a mental health history; require reporting to database by psychologists treating for mental illness and/or any hospitalizations for mental health issues.

-Require businesses to report large purchases of weaponry – particularly tactical weapons and protective gear. Often, when planning a mass murder, large purchases go unnoticed. If purchases were kept on file, patterns would emerge on who was building a massive arsenal and those individuals could be checked out to ensure their purposes were not involving mass murder when assembling such arsenals.

-Require gun owners to undergo the same kind of licensing procedure used to get a driver’s license. This would:

1. have all gun owners registered with the state
2. require a written test to get a temporary permit – ensuring gun owners know all gun laws
3. require training with someone already licensed to use/have guns – ensuring the new gun owner knows how to properly use a gun – also allows for mentoring
4. require so many hours of training with a licensed gun user at the range – practice makes perfect
5. require a qualified licenser to test for gun license – this ensures the gun user knows proper techniques and also will help to weed out prospective nut jobs – one thing all of the mass murderers seem to have in common is that they seemed “off” to those around them, so through licensing, the licenser must interact with said people. They can prevent the license of those who do not seem quite right (the Aurora movie shooter would not have been able to get guns because he never would have been able pass the license test).
6. require renewal of license every few years – to ensure nothing has changed and gun use continues to remain safe and legal

Gun laws NEED to change because the U.S. has the greatest number of gun related fatalities. Countries with greater gun control or who make guns illegal have far less fatalities. Something needs to be done to prevent guns from being used as weapons. The second amendment guarantees the right for qualified citizens to bear arms – for protection, food, shelter and even sport. However, the Constitution also guarantees all Americans the right to liberty and general welfare. Our general welfare is protected through our right to live our lives.

The preamble of the Constitution states:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Our founders also promised Americans, in the Declaration of independence, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You can have none of these things if you are dead. So, while we must protect the Second Amendment of our Constitution, the right to bear arms, we must also make sure we do so while maintaining the general welfare and the right to life, liberty and happiness of all U.S. citizens. Gun control ensures we all get our way. Responsible gun owners keep their guns. Those who want more gun safety laws are ensured their life and liberty are maintained and those who seek to purchase guns for mass murder can’t just walk into a store and buy an arsenal of weapons without alerting the authorities – and in turn preventing the next great “gun” tragedy.

[tags]gun control, weapons, guns, second amendment, assault rifle, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness, Declaration of Independence, Founders[/tags]

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