Time to demand more

After the Parkland shootings – and, of course, Newtown and so many others – I’m tired of conversations about halfway measures on gun control.

I’m tired of only discussing things like background checks, waiting periods, closing gun show loopholes, etc. (These seem to be the top priorities of most established gun control groups, it seems to me.) It’s time to change the conversation.

Instead, I want a complete criminalization of the possession of guns in our shared, public spaces. Ultimately that should include regular (non-emergency) law enforcement personnel, but as a bridging measure, we might have to let that stand.

That said, it might seen odd, but I’m actually fine with the ownership of powerful personal firearms. People have hobbies – even dangerous ones. But they should be kept at federally (definitely not state) licensed and monitored facilities. The high-powered weapons should not be allowed to leave those facilities or transported by the civilian owners themselves. Also, ownership of ammunition for these weapons should be strictly limited.

Among the more common restrictions on gun-owners (in some states) – like licensing, background checks, etc. – I would also require comprehensive insurance policies (likely expensive) and annual training programs and psychological evaluations.

Per the Second Amendment – “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” – I would also require any gun-owner to sign up for mandatory national duty. This could be designed similar to the National Guard – or be part of it.

Here’s where I go wobbly: the possession of handguns and non-semi-automatic (hunting) rifles in the home. The home being a private space, I can let that go for now, and hunting is a valid sport, in my mind. But in either case, there should be strict limitations on the ownership of ammunition.

As I said, it’s time to change the conversation and thoroughly criminalize the arming of our public spaces.

Oh, and while I’m at it, we’re going to have to be willing to make this personal. We have to call people who are unwilling to do what is necessary to protect the American public immoral or even evil. The time is now.

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