There are remedies for gun violence in this country

February 11, 2013 

Historical mythologists are hiding behind the Second Amendment, claiming “freedom” is the issue on gun control. The falseness of that claim must be exposed in the upcoming national conversation.

The issues are complex but that does not mean that nothing can be done. National Rifle Association distractions must not be allowed to derail sensible gun control. For example, placing blame on the mentally ill who represent 4 percent of the population, violent video games or spreading fear of a government taking away your guns.

There is a great deal of money to be made in the manufacture of guns and ammunition retailed through sporting goods outlets and sold on the Internet. One private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management, purchased 15 smaller companies under the name of Freedom Group.

Beginning in 2006, Cerberus paid $158 million to acquire those companies. Wayne La Pierre, vice president and CEO of the NRA is essentially a lobbyist for companies like Cerberus.

Large sums of money from munitions corporations pour into the NRA. Notably, the chief executive for Freedom Group attempted to run for the board of the NRA more than once, indicating he, too, thought of the NRA as a lobbyist for gun producers.

My history with guns includes the following: a policeman grandfather who, when I was a child, came home, locking his gun and billy club in the hall closet. When escorting me around his beat wearing his parade uniform, he never carried a gun.

Eventually, I married into a Southern family of six siblings, and five owned guns. Three returned from World War II and two gave away all their guns; my husband said “I have killed my last human being.”

One remained a collector of guns and owned a target range, leasing it to the local police department. Another crafted handmade rifles for big-game hunters. Such hunters are few, as it is a rich man’s sport.

We are no longer a nation dependent on guns for our food. Nor is our safety primarily dependent on guns. We have well-regulated militias in our police departments. State and national guards leave their guns in the armory.

There are remedies for gun violence in this country:

One, regulate all military weapons and multi-round magazines. Limit number of guns that can be owned, for no private individual needs an arsenal of weapons.

Two, strengthen and make background checks universal. As 40 percent of guns are purchased from unauthorized sources, close those venues. Make the history of all guns traceable.

Sensible gun laws should be concerned with hunters, sporting groups and some collectors. Only in rare instances are guns needed for protection.

Target shooters and those who shoot clay pigeons do not need a military weapon, nor do deer and pheasant hunters. We should encourage gun clubs where the club owns or stores the guns.

During appropriate hunting seasons, club members converge for shooting and fun. Great Britain has gun clubs and they are successful. A friend I knew was a member of a pheasant hunting club in California.

Under no circumstances should guns be prevalent in schools with children.

Protection of children, of all ages, in our schools and universities is in the hands of those in our well-regulated militias.

As for the belief in the Second Amendment, this is not 1776 or even 1886. The Second Amendment is clear about well-regulated militias. The writers of that amendment had in mind protections of citizens in the respective states by approved regulated guardians.

They did not perceive of individual vigilantes taking the law into their own hands.

As for the mentally ill ,we have fewer now for many who suffer mental illness are curable.

Martha J. Pierce is a member of The Olympian Board of Contributors. She may be reached at mjp101@g-mail.com.

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