Public Safety, Guns–and You

by Daniel Rose

An anxious American public, frightened over growing threats to their children by dangerous weapons in the hands of menacing irresponsibles, are demanding governmental protection. History tells us that in America (as opposed to most other nations) such furor after a disaster soon dies down, with nothing specific being done; and gun control lobbyists fight successfully to maintain the previous status quo.

At the federal, state and municipal levels, effective steps can indeed be taken to protect your children, but in order to see them enacted, YOU must make your wishes known! Public opinion polls today clearly show that the majority of U.S. voters desire more stringent controls on firearms, but the “silent majority” is not being heard from by their legislators, and that must change.

We have minimum age levels at which an automobile driver’s license can be obtained or at which alcohol can be purchased. Why not limit gun ownership to those over age twenty one, which significantly diminishes gun abuse? Your involvement can make that happen. We prohibit individuals with felony convictions from possessing firearms. What about prevention of guns to the seriously mentally ill? Your voice can achieve that. Every civilized society has red lights at traffic intersections and auto speed limits on highways. What about regulation of the safe storage of weapons for those who own them, keeping them out of the hands of potential malefactors? You can help to bring that about.

The U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment protects “the right to bear arms”, and other countries permit the ownership of guns. Why must that necessarily include the right to own grenade launchers, automatic or semi-automatic machine guns with large capacity magazines for ammunition? (Salvador Ramos, the shooter in Uvalde, Texas, legally purchased two AR-15 assault rifles with three hundred and seventy five rounds of ammunition, just days after his eighteenth birthday. That would not have been permitted in any European country.)

Canada, which permits gun ownership, is creating new “red flag laws” that will allow courts to remove guns and suspend gun licenses from people who clearly pose a threat to themselves or to others. And many countries permitting gun ownership tax them heavily to discourage excessive possession.

Yes, yes, yes. We do indeed know prudent, effective and perfectly legal measures that other countries have taken to protect their citizenry, and our legislators can do the same if their constituents demand it. You, your friends and family and neighbors and professional colleagues can no longer remain silent, and we all can bring about the changes we desire. But it takes action on our part.

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