Real gun control won’t be won through half measures

We are in the grip of an absolute madness on guns in the US. We get ever more insane solutions, like these gun shelters in classrooms.

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What we need is the complete criminalization of guns in our shared, public spaces; a ban on new semi-automatic sales; a lock-up for existing semi-automatic weapons at licensed facilities; comprehensive, national (not state-by-state) background checks, gun registration, licensing, and training and insurance requirements; and a limit on ammunition purchases. All sales of guns have to take place at federally licensed facilities or have to be witnessed by law enforcement, so that all of these requirements can be met. Oh, and if your gun is lost or stolen, report it, or face criminal charges.

Sound extreme?

Under this system, you still get your weapon for home protection (which I still consider a mistake, especially when one considers suicide and domestic violence); you can hunt (although, we’d need to resolve how to transport the weapon to and from the private hunting ground); and you’d get to be a gun hobbiest.

Oh, and if you’re concerned about the 2nd Amendment, let’s require all gun owners to turn out for regular training so that they can be ready to serve in a well-regulated militia.

Still too extreme? Well, it seems to me to be hardly more extreme than the gun nut vision of a country in which the only thing truly binding us together is our mutual fear of one another and our willingness to be ready to kill one another at all times. Oh, and then teach our children that distrust and to be afraid of dying at any moment by installing gun shelters in the classroom.

Look, as a practical political matter, for anyone interested in pushing back against this madness and divisiveness and fear-mongering, we MUST stake out what will be seen by opponents as an extreme position. We shouldn’t be bashful about what we truly want or hide behind half measures. The nature of our system is such that we will never get 100%. I can accept that. What I can’t accept is ceding half the ground before we’ve even begun to fight. Not anymore.

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