After each mass shooting in our nation, there is an outpouring of thoughts and prayers for the victims, their families and their communities.
Unfortunately, those feel-good messages have done absolutely nothing to change the carnage that our society endures.
It would seem imminently fair to take a totally different tact in trying to deal with this problem.
An analogy I would like to suggest is that of the public safety involved in obtaining a driver’s license. There is no outcry when obtaining a driver’s license entails regulations deemed to be safety issues.
You have to register a vehicle, you have to show evidence of insurance, you have to take a written exam and you have to pass a practical test. If you get a DUI and are thus a danger to others on the road, you lose certain rights.
Why not have similar sets of requirements for purchasing and possessing a firearm? All firearms. It is completely fair, and the concept used by opponents of gun control that posits that any regulations, at any time, ever, leads down a slippery slope, is without merit.
The NRA would like you to believe that no matter how sensible a gun regulation might be, there will be more and more rules, and the next thing you know, the government will be coming after your weapons. The Second Amendment is well established as guaranteeing the right to own guns, but in no fashion does it say that there cannot be regulations that involve the public weal.
National legislation requiring universal background checks and a waiting period for all gun purchases is so benign that it boggles the brain as to why there is such a resistance from Congress.
Ditto for “red flag” regulations, whereby a person who has a conviction for violence doesn’t get to own a gun. Ninety percent of our population approves of enacting such rules, and it is essentially the Republican Party that thwarts these common sense measures.
I would go so far as to suggest that it is imminently fair that in order to possess a gun, one must take a weapons safety course, as well as take a written and practical exam, before one earns the privilege of owning a gun.
You can’t just hop in a car and start driving. Both driving and gun ownership should be considered a right that is bestowed only after completing sensible safety requirements.
So, as we have had yet another mass shooting on the day that this letter-to-the-editor was written, the mayor of Odessa, Texas, intones, “In a situation like this prayer is the most important thing.”
Prayer has done absolutely nothing to help our society’s insanity. It is well past the time to take actions that can actually have a positive impact.