What, if anything, should we do about gun violence?

Some Christians has simplistic answers for everything.  What we need to do is evangelize more, etc.  and then that would solve all our woes.  To my way of thinking, that is not true at all.  Our churches are filled with evangelized people and pastors, and look at the messes we see!

But should we simply passively watch gun violence with mass shootings and say, "The problem is the human heart. Regeneration will fix it:?"  Or will we address the fact that most people will never get saved and that some behaviors need to be contained?

So what is the best position, in your opinion, to address these matters in a practical, realistic way?

Do nothing much more than we are, maybe tighten school security.
10% (2 votes)
Train teachers to have and use guns.
20% (4 votes)
Surrender privacy by hiring more agents to monitor suspected problematic people.
0% (0 votes)
Curtail what kind of firearms can be sold or owned (e.g., no automatic or semi-automatic).
10% (2 votes)
Ban guns except for simple shotguns and cock rifles.
5% (1 vote)
Encourage more and more people to carry guns.
15% (3 votes)
Increase number of law enforcement personal and/or security guards
5% (1 vote)
Other
35% (7 votes)
Total votes: 20
1194 reads

There are 34 Comments

Bert Perry's picture

...is that the issue of mass killings is complex, and hence simplistic solutions won't work.  In many cases, the perpetrator appears to be mentally ill, and also in many cases, the perpetrator appears to have a drug problem--sometimes legal, sometimes not.  In a lot of cases as well, it seems as if perpetrators seem to select "soft" targets, and a bit of hardening might be helpful.

So that suggests an emphasis on mental health care, taking a serious look at the side effects of prescription and recreational drugs, reducing access to schools and other soft targets, and yes, arming people who work in soft targets.  What not to do; disarm people and make soft targets even softer.  There are lots of ways to kill people, and hence the old proverb applies; 

For every complex problem, there is a solution with is simple, compelling, and wrong.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

I'm with Bert.  Simple solutions aren't going to work here, and disarming people who need to be able to protect themselves is not the answer (nor Constitutionally permissible).

Let's do some real studies on differences between now and even 40 years ago.  In 1980, a larger percentage of U.S. homes had weapons in them than do now.  Why were mass shootings much less then?  Why can I remember going to my school that had a gun club (which I was in), and where teenage drivers sometimes still had rifles or shotguns in the windows of the pickups they drove to school, but no one worried this would be an issue?  How do Israeli schools solve this issue while being located in areas that often see much more violence than our neighborhoods do?  Find these answers, and number of others, and we can start to make progress.

In the meantime, we will probably have to take immediate steps make schools harder, hire more guards, and maybe even allow (with training) armed teachers just like we do armed airline pilots.  The standard refrain that "that's not their job," is no help at all when they find themselves thrust into it, and them being the last line of defense.  Those calling for me to be disarmed to "protect children" sound awfully hypocritical to me when they all have armed guards that carry extra magazines for their protection.

Dave Barnhart

Ed Vasicek's picture

Bert wrote: simplistic solutions won't work

Dcbii wrote: Simple solutions aren't going to work here

Nothing is going to "work."  The question is, what will lessen the problem?  Most schools have taken steps, unlike this one.  An unlocked door?  Good grief, in this day and age?  Who knows -- the steps other schools have taken may have saved lives.  The strategy has to be to chip away at the problem; we won't be able to eliminate it.

 

"The Midrash Detective"

Dave White's picture

  • Tighten background checks to include juvenile records
  • AND tighten background checks to include psychiatry records 
  • AND request 4 references 
  • AR-15 purchaser pays for background check
  • No AR-15 for under 21
  • AR-15 purchaser pays annual $ 1,000,000 liability insurance
Joeb's picture

I'm not into guns.  Some hunters are into guns to. A only got the shotgun I needed to do the hunting I enjoy.  It's just a tool like my decoys kayak Camo and calls.  A dog is a whole other tool to add to it.  I never had a dog but hunted once in a while with people who did.  Even though not into guns I will defend the rights for people who own them.  Even the AR 15.   
 

People say you don't need an AR 15 to hunt.   That's a untruthful statement.  People use them to hunt feral pigs and coyotes.   Not every state are good for them.  Like NJ.  No center fire weapon can be used due to the huge population and flat land.    
 

Given the above I am open to some gun control like background checks for ALL transactions.  Maybe some required training for concealed gun carriers.  The last thing I'd want see is untrained people carrying a concealed handguns in church.  A no shoot and shoot situation is very difficult situation. It's like having a gun fight in a restaurant.  I'd prefer ex or current law enforcement officers carrying guns in church.  I never made myself available to do that in church and no one ever asked me.  I never carried outside my job even though I was allowed to carry 24/7 when I was active.  Even today I don't carry a handgun and could 24/7 in any state in the US.  The only restriction I would have is in NJ only current active Police can have hollow points.  I'd have to have a NJ Clip with Ball Ammunition. 

dgszweda's picture

Joeb wrote:

Given the above I am open to some gun control like background checks for ALL transactions.  Maybe some required training for concealed gun carriers.  The last thing I'd want see is untrained people carrying a concealed handguns in church. 

I would say that practically everyone who thinks they are trained and have a concealed weapon, should not be touting one into church.  Most of the trained people that I see handling a weapon, really don't have a clue as to what they are doing.  They think they do, but they don't.  Given what I see at the shooting range, I wouldn't want people trying to defend themselves in a church against an active shooter.  Even the training and test that someone takes for a concealed carry license is pretty pathetic.

Bert Perry's picture

It's worth noting that it was the Border Patrol, not the police, which appears to have ended the situation, and that contrary to the explicit directions of the chief of police.  So when we talk about "more training" and the like, let's make sure that the training corresponds with best practices--in cases like this, what the FBI found about 20 years back was that most guys who try to shoot up a place tend to "save the taxpayer the cost of a trial" as soon as he faces opposition.

(to be fair, I think the shooter here is an outlier--he actually appears to have engaged the rescuers and shot a couple of them, thankfully neither fatally)

It's also worth noting, per David Szweda's comment, that carry permit holders have a lower error crime rate than do the police.  A lot of that has to do with the fact that carry permit holders do not need to engage/pursue, and by the time they usually fire, they're generally cornered by the assailant.  Much easier to avoid mistakes that way!  But that said, policy ought to acknowledge that carry permit holders make lethal mistakes and commit crimes at a much lower rate than do the police.

I'm all for training and such, but there are limits.  Sometimes what we think is "great training" is more or less the opportunity to learn how to do things wrong, as we may be learning about the Uvalde atrocity.

Regarding the thoughts about far more regulation on AR owners, most of those who've used ARs to shoot up places would have passed that list with flying colors, or they stole the weapon they used.    I understand the sentiment, but let's make sure we don't ignore the data.

Hence, the big thing to consider here is that our society has a certain number of "soft targets" where a perpetrator can get easy access to sporting events, schools, concerts, and the like.  If you want to reduce the odds of recurrence, you need to harden those targets.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

I would also say that the issue is not the AR platformed rifle.  It is the high capacity magazine.  The reason why the AR is the most used rifle in these situations, is that frankly, this is all that is primarily sold at gun shops.  It is not a military weapon, it is just a good modular weapon that is cheap, easy to maintain and is accurate.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

dgszweda wrote:

It is not a military weapon, it is just a good modular weapon that is cheap, easy to maintain and is accurate.

Bingo.  Let's cut through all the "assault weapon" nonsense, since the AR-15 is SEMI-automatic, not full auto, or select fire.  As you said, it's a cheap, easy to maintain, and fairly accurate weapon.  In other words, it's basically the common (i.e. "militia") musket of our time that nearly everyone can own and learn to use well.

It's not even just the high-capacity magazine.  My Thompson is a replica of a 100 year old weapon, uses 50 or 100 round drum magazines, but is neither light, easy to maintain, cheap, nor all that easy to reload and use.  That's why that design in not in common use any longer.  Basically the AR is being called an "assault" weapon simply because it is easy to load, use, and has sufficient firepower to be a decent home defense weapon, and it certainly allows more shots than most or all shotguns, should that ever be necessary.

You're absolutely correct when you say the issue is not the rifle, nor even the availability.  At one time, weapons could be ordered through mail-order sales in this country, even weapons like the real Thompson.  Why were school shootings not an issue then?  The answer to that question, and why such shootings are a scourge now, needs to be found and understood, but given the evidence, the answer is not the easy availability of guns.

Dave Barnhart

Bert Perry's picture

I believe that Alvin York captured those 132 Germans with a bolt action rifle and a 1911 pistol--magazine size, seven cartridges.  Audie Murphy took out a company of Germans with an M1 Carbine in the next war.   The M1 carbine came with a 15 round magazine.

I'm thinking that in both cases, the Germans had a significant firepower advantage.  There are bigger factors than magazine size, I dare say.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Dan Miller's picture

30 or so years ago my friend did a class for shooting an AR15 and part of having completed the class was being given the weapon. He was told at that time that it was designated as an assault weapon for the reason that it had an attachment for a bayonet. 

dgszweda's picture

The AR-15 today is essentially a licensing term.  The license is from Armalight, and it deals with very detailed internal functions which has to do with gas operations.  I believe Colt is the only one who licenses the AR-15 term.  The public just groups them all together if they look similiar from the external perspective.

Banning them won't really do anything, as there are so many in circulation today.  Even though full auto machine guns are banned today, you can still buy guns that were manufactured before the ban.  You will need a lot of money and a Tax Stamp to do it, but you can still do it.  I am not sure banning them will have much effect.

I am all for making it harder for younger people to get.  From my perspective, I would support raising the minimum age for the purchase of a firearm from 18 to 21.  I would support the need to attend a safety class in order to purchase the gun.  I would support a special tax on the gun and ammo.  I would also support the criminalization against parents or guardians in not securing their weapons if the weapon was used in the commission of a crime.  I would support the purchase and sale of all firearms to go through a licensed dealer.  Lastly, I would support more enhancements to background databases.  None of this would prohibit any law abiding citizen from purchasing a weapon of their choice and it would put up barriers to some of the scenarios that resulted in almost 80% of all mass shootings.  The fact that someone who just turned 18, can go in and buy an AR-15 for around $600, with a high capacity magazine, doesn't make sense in my opinion.  I can't believe he purchased over 1,500 rounds of ammunition.  I buy a lot of ammunition and the prices are crazy out there, let alone supply is very restrictive right now.

The fact that the NRA doesn't give on any of this, is going to end up resulting in a significantly wider ban that will be painful to law abiding citizens.  We have to do something.  Kids brains are not formed completely at 18 and we still have a very lazy attitude about guns in this country.  I don't want to restrict guns from law abiding adults, but I think we have a lot of opportunity to do something that will help in this situation and not impact law abiding adults.

Dave White's picture

I personally would not oppose a ban on the AR .... but everyone knows that "assault weapon" is difficult to define!

But note that Biden now calling for legislation on 9mm pistols!

“They said a .22-caliber bullet will lodge in the lung, and we can probably get it out — may be able to get it and save the life,” Biden said. “A 9mm bullet blows the lung out of the body.

“So the idea of these high-caliber weapons is, uh, there’s simply no rational basis for it in terms of thinking about self-protection, hunting,” the president went on.

 

Bert Perry's picture

I believe many officers in our armed forces went back to the .45 1911 around 1995 after they realized that the 9mm they were issued had insufficient stopping power.  The .45 was put into service in 1911 because...the  .38 long Colt used in the Spanish-American War had insufficient stopping power.  .38 caliber is about....wanna guess?  Yup, 9mm.

In short, Biden is a fool. 9mm is more lethal than .22, but it does not even come close to the damage done by the more powerful handgun calibers, let alone rifle calibers.  What Biden's handlers want to do is to take the carry guns out of millions of carry permit holders who have far lower crime rates than the police, let alone (ahem) sons of the President.

Regarding "assault rifle", perhaps the best way of defining it is to remember what gun banners want us to think; they want us to think it's a gun suitable for modern combat.  Since civilian ARs are not full auto, they're really not.  Soldiers don't use it often, but if your position is being overrun, it comes in handy.

Regarding tighter gun laws, I'll sign on for those when two things happen. First, the laws we've got need to be enforced.  No "son of the President" pass for drug addict Hunter Biden, for example, and no "disadvantaged urban youth" pass for kids in Chicago caught with guns they're not allowed to own or possess, but for some crazy reason, these easy open & shut cases aren't taken up by the DOJ.

(really, that last bit would take a HUGE bite out of crime, IMO)

Second, someone needs to present actual evidence that a large  portion of 18 year olds truly do not know it's wrong to go into an elementary school classroom and kill a bunch of kids.  And if that's the case, the Army needs to stop recruiting 18 year olds, don't they?  

I won't be holding my breath on either one here.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

I would not say that there is evidence a large portion of 18 year olds truly do not know it is wrong.  I believe that there is an inordinate amount of young people doing most of the killing.  I agree it isn't the gun, but the person.  But we have a flurry of other things, like lack of mental health programs to deal with the youth, parents who let their kids lock themselves into their room, when they are struggling with mental health issues.  And while that is the root of it, preventing them from getting a weapon like a gun will limit what they are actually able to carry out.

Biden is lost in his own fog.  And if he thinks a 9mm is too powerful, have him shoot a S&W .460.  

josh p's picture

I don't really want to debate this issue much but the argument about 18 year olds underdeveloped brains sure hasn't stopped the armed forces from signing them up in droves. One could make the argument that it's a "target rich environment" for them. Granted, they do receive some weapons training but they are also asked to kill in extremely high stress situations. 

Dan Miller's picture

Details of how this was ended:

One of the teachers at the school, whose daughter was a student at the school sent a text to her husband that there was an active shooter in the school. He was an off duty Border Patrol Officer. He borrowed a shotgun from another citizen (a barber; not a professional trained in guns and shooting). And he entered the school and ended the ordeal.

Are those details correct?

 

AndyE's picture

At this point, every school ought to have thought through an active shoot situation at their campus and know how to deal with it. They ought to have ways to lock entrances remotely, have video feeds of all class rooms and hallways, and be able to communicate via speaker to anywhere on campus.  It would also help if everyone knew that at least some faculty carried weapons.

Larry's picture

Moderator

A lot of people seem not to know that AR doesn't stand for "Assault Rifle." It is for Armalite Rifle, the company that created it and then sold it to Colt. It fires a .223 round typically, which is a common hunting round and is fired out of "normal looking" guns at the same rate of fire. It is the appearance that bothers most people, it seems.

If you ban the AR-15, you would have to figure out why you wouldn't ban gun that fire identical rounds but look more acceptable. You would have to figure out how to get all the ones back that have already been sold. You would have to solve the black market problem. You would have years of litigation in courst and most likely suffer at least partial defeats (if stare decisis means anything, something liberals never seem to think of unless it is Roe). And in the meantime, the problem continues. 

It would be better to address school security, have armed guards, as distasteful as they might be. We need to address the mental health issues, the family breakdowns, the cultural and societal breakdowns. Having to carry an AR-15 past an armed guards is probably going to go a lot differently in most cases than 18 people being dead. 

This is a tragedy and there are no easy answers. As Thomas Sowell likes to say, There are no solutions, only trade-offs. What are we willing to trade?

Bert Perry's picture

Dan Miller wrote:

Details of how this was ended:

One of the teachers at the school, whose daughter was a student at the school sent a text to her husband that there was an active shooter in the school. He was an off duty Border Patrol Officer. He borrowed a shotgun from another citizen (a barber; not a professional trained in guns and shooting). And he entered the school and ended the ordeal.

Are those details correct?

 

 

Dan, there will likely be some modification of the particulars as the investigation goes on, but it's largely correct, as far as I can tell. The thing that bothers me the most here is that just a few months ago, the city police had received training in this sort of thing, and they were specifically told to go in, because most mass shooters decide to stop when they're confronted.  They were also told that if they weren't willing to risk getting shot to protect innocents, they needed to find another line of work.

And yet they appear to have stayed outside the school for an extended period of time while the murders continued.  I don't know what I would have done, but this is infuriating.  The old proverb "when seconds are the difference between life and death, the police are only minutes away" is bad enough, but this was half an hour or an hour.  <unprintable thoughts redacted by author>

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry's picture

Moderator

And yet they appear to have stayed outside the school for an extended period of time while the murders continued.

A friend of mine who is a police officer said the decision to not go in was probably made by someone off site. One report said the officers on site almost decided to go in anyway. 

 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

dgszweda wrote:

I am all for making it harder for younger people to get.  From my perspective, I would support raising the minimum age for the purchase of a firearm from 18 to 21.

[...]

The fact that someone who just turned 18, can go in and buy an AR-15 for around $600, with a high capacity magazine, doesn't make sense in my opinion.

[...]

Kids brains are not formed completely at 18 and we still have a very lazy attitude about guns in this country.  I don't want to restrict guns from law abiding adults, but I think we have a lot of opportunity to do something that will help in this situation and not impact law abiding adults.

Personally, I don't care much about the age being 18 or 21.  But I think we ought to be consistent.  If "kids brains are not formed completely at 18," and 21 is now seen as the right age to purchase firearms (like it currently is for alcohol in this country), then I think several changes should be made:

  • Marriage should not be legal until 21.
  • The age of legal majority should be 21.
  • Voting should not be legal until 21.
  • Eligibility for military service should start at 21.
  • Jury duty or any other adult public service should not start until 21.
  • Driving a school bus should not be allowed until 21 (it's currently 18 in my state).
  • Maybe others I'm not thinking of at the moment.

It's easy to say that kids that can't purchase alcohol shouldn't be able to purchase guns, but then why is it legal for them to do any of the above?  If a person can serve in the military, vote, marry, have and raise children while starting their own home, sign binding legal contracts, and be considered in most ways an adult, then by all means they should able to buy a weapon for self defense like any adult.  If, on the other hand, they are not considered adult enough to buy a gun, then there's no way they should be able to vote or start a family either, let alone drive a busload of kids.  Being able to take on adult responsibilities without supervision means being an adult, which should come with both the rights and responsibilities pertaining thereto.

So fine, if you think it would help, make adulthood 21 instead of 18.  The fact we are at 18 instead of 15 or 16 as 200 years ago already means something has gone very wrong.  But let's not try to pretend that the same person that can't responsibly own a weapon has the judgment to raise a family or exercise the vote responsibly.

Dave Barnhart

Dan Miller's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

 

Dan Miller wrote:

 

Details of how this was ended:

One of the teachers at the school, whose daughter was a student at the school sent a text to her husband that there was an active shooter in the school. He was an off duty Border Patrol Officer. He borrowed a shotgun from another citizen (a barber; not a professional trained in guns and shooting). And he entered the school and ended the ordeal.

Are those details correct?

 

 

Dan, there will likely be some modification of the particulars as the investigation goes on, but it's largely correct, as far as I can tell. The thing that bothers me the most here is that just a few months ago, the city police had received training in this sort of thing, and they were specifically told to go in, because most mass shooters decide to stop when they're confronted.  They were also told that if they weren't willing to risk getting shot to protect innocents, they needed to find another line of work.

And yet they appear to have stayed outside the school for an extended period of time while the murders continued.  I don't know what I would have done, but this is infuriating.  The old proverb "when seconds are the difference between life and death, the police are only minutes away" is bad enough, but this was half an hour or an hour.  <unprintable thoughts redacted by author>

Yeah. 

It has been shown that even in war, a very small percentage of soldiers actually shoot to kill.

You can train, but in the moment, even with recent training, police officers did not (apparently) adhere to that training.

A civilian with a civilian weapon ended this.

Ed Vasicek's picture

dcbii wrote:

Marriage should not be legal until 21.

The age of legal majority should be 21.

Voting should not be legal until 21.

Eligibility for military service should start at 21.

Jury duty or any other adult public service should not start until 21.

Driving a school bus should not be allowed until 21 (it's currently 18 in my state).

Maybe others I'm not thinking of at the moment.

When the vote was changed from 21 to 18, it was argued that men who couldn't vote should not be asked to die for their country.  I think nowadays, particularly with the general slowing of male maturity, that we need to go back to 21 across the board, even if we reinstituted a draft it should be 21, with 18 the youngest for volunteers.  Of course, this may not be fair to women who do mature earlier.  But, in our day, fair means equal.  So everyone would have to take the hit.  No driver's license at all until 18.  Then bus, etc., at 21.  This won't happen, but it is what should happen.

 

 

"The Midrash Detective"

Bert Perry's picture

Audie Murphy was only 20 when he earned the Medal of Honor.  Just sayin'. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Ed Vasicek wrote:

I think nowadays, particularly with the general slowing of male maturity, that we need to go back to 21 across the board, even if we reinstituted a draft it should be 21, with 18 the youngest for volunteers.  Of course, this may not be fair to women who do mature earlier.  But, in our day, fair means equal.  So everyone would have to take the hit.  No driver's license at all until 18.  Then bus, etc., at 21.  This won't happen, but it is what should happen.

I am only bringing up the 18 vs. 21  as it relates to guns.  There is no inherint need for an 18 year old to have a high powered weapon.  That is very different for marriage, which by the way is younger than 18 in some places.  Being in the army where they receive training, still have limited access to a weapon and are under close supervision, is different than allowing a troubled teenager a weapon that they can take home and do with it as they please.  I think we need to do a better job at controlling who has access to what type of weapon.  I am against a ban, but for a lot tighter access and harsher penalties for those who are lax in the access and it results in a serious crime.

 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/971544/number-k-12-school-shootings-...

 

dgszweda's picture

Larry wrote:

A lot of people seem not to know that AR doesn't stand for "Assault Rifle." It is for Armalite Rifle, the company that created it and then sold it to Colt. It fires a .223 round typically, which is a common hunting round and is fired out of "normal looking" guns at the same rate of fire. It is the appearance that bothers most people, it seems.

If you ban the AR-15, you would have to figure out why you wouldn't ban gun that fire identical rounds but look more acceptable.

Actually if you classify what the government terms an assault weapon, it covers more than 20 other types of ammunition rounds.  A typical AR-15 will shoot a .223 or a 5.56 NATO round.  I have a short barrelled AR-15 rifle that shoots .300 Blackout.  I use subsonic rounds with a silencer as my home defense weapon.  The public and the news has blown out of proportion what an Assault rifle is.  It isn't even the most deadly rifle you can buy.  Somehow they see "military" tied to it and right away everyone says why do you need an Assault Rifle for a home defense weapon.  For me, this is what makes an AR-15 an excellent defense weapon (besides an amazing hunting weapon).

  • It is a bit shorter than a normal rifle (could be a lot shorter if you have a SBR with a collapsable stock)
  • It is easier to install things like suppressors.  I would be shocked at what would happen with someone's hearing shooting a 5.56 indoors
  • Since they are modular, there are a ton of parts available for them to upgrade or to repair.  If something breaks you don't need to purchase a whole new weapon
  • It allows a plethora of attachments, such as a light or a laser.  Both which are key for quick accurate shots in a tight location
  • You can switch out the type of ammunition used, but just making a few small changes to the gun
  • They are relatively cheap, because they don't require lots of craftsmanship like a beautiful wooden shotgun
  • They provide very little recoil allowing you to achieve better aim

 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Bert Perry wrote:

Audie Murphy was only 20 when he earned the Medal of Honor.  Just sayin'. 

In reality, Bert, although I gave my thoughts on age, I don't really think it's chronological age that is the issue, but maturity.  Audie lived in different times.  At one point, maturity would include having learned civics to be a good citizen, having learned how to use and handle a gun, having learned how to grow up and be a responsible adult, etc.  Governments pick age because that is easy to administer, but it's obvious that maturity is different from a number.

Now, since we use 18 in this country to be the mark of adulthood, but don't also expect or require actual maturity, maybe training is really what is required, like having to pass a civics test to vote before age 25 or something, not too different from kids having to take driver's ed if they want their license by 16, rather than just waiting until 18 and passing the state DMV exams.  I'm still not opposed to responsible 16-year olds carrying rifles for hunting, as we did when I was a kid.  It's just that the rot in teaching of ethics and morals, etc., is so bad in this country, that training to be able to do so before adulthood would probably be a good idea.

Unlike many of my gun-owning friends, if it were put in place properly and wasn't only at the discretion of the state, I'm actually not opposed to the idea of requiring a fair bit more training than a CCW requires in order to be able to carry a gun in public, even for hunting, etc., which would require different training.  I would certainly be willing to go through more training than I have so far.  I think mostly any law-abiding adult should be able to own a gun for use on their own property, though I wouldn't mind them having to sign some type of waiver/disclaimer that lets them know there will be consequences if someone or something is shot off of their property.  But carrying in public is at least as big a responsibility as driving a car.  Driving in public requires training, even though any self-respecting farm boy has been driving equipment on a farm since he was 10.

All that to say, I'm not sure exactly what the right answer is, even though I have some ideas, and I'm willing to consider others than my own, if they are sensible.  Trying to make guns illegal isn't, IMHO, a sensible idea at all.  Since we already know that taking legal guns from responsible citizens has nothing to do with an evil, maladjusted teenager shooting up a school, making guns the scapegoat is no real help.  Even background check laws wouldn't have prevented this shooting, since the shooter passed, as most of the recent mass shooters would have.

We should be looking for and trying to solve the problem of raising generations of children without a moral compass, not simplistic patches that won't actually do anything but make the people that pass them feel good for having done "something."  (Of course, our leaders would would never want to consider changing our anti-God, amoral culture to something that actually had moral values.)  In the meantime, it may mean more guards at schools, locked school facilities, etc. until this problem is brought under control.

I believe wholeheartedly in the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, but I think the famous quote from John Adams says it best:

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -- John Adams

Dave Barnhart

Bert Perry's picture

Agreed that the issue is maturity, but it strikes me that one possible side effect of increasing the chronological age required for certain things may prolong immaturity.  Think about it; if you look through the biographies of a lot of famous men of history, they were doing adult things at age 13, whereas today, we're seeing a lot of guys in their thirties who are still, emotionally, adolescents.  I think there's at least a reasonable argument that people learn maturity by trying adult behaviors out, and hence increasing the age to own a gun may increase the problems we're facing.

The proverb "act in haste, repent at leisure" comes to mind here.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ed Vasicek's picture

Bert, you have completely missed what I am trying to say.   Back in the 40's,   18 year old men were more mature (on average) than 18 year old men today.  Indeed, many men are not ready to marry (if they do) until they are in their mid-30s.

So 18 was a good voting age and everything age in the 70's, but not today.  That is my point.

"The Midrash Detective"

Bert Perry's picture

I understand what you're thinking, but the flip side of "people aren't very mature these days" (probably true) is the question "why aren't they more mature?".  If you act on the first without understanding what the side effect might be--say increase the age to vote/own guns/whatever to 21 without realizing that will increase the age of maturity to 25, you've just made the problem worse.  Problem of unintended consequences, more or less.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Bert Perry wrote:

I understand what you're thinking, but the flip side of "people aren't very mature these days" (probably true) is the question "why aren't they more mature?".  If you act on the first without understanding what the side effect might be--say increase the age to vote/own guns/whatever to 21 without realizing that will increase the age of maturity to 25, you've just made the problem worse.  Problem of unintended consequences, more or less.

I'm on board with making real changes so that people are mature earlier and actually have a moral compass, even the minimal secular one, like they used to.  However, that will take essentially a generation, even if all the necessary changes were made.  In the meantime, something else needs to be done to reduce violence, even if it's just a temporary (although there's no such thing in government) measure.

Assuming that changing the age won't make a difference (and it certainly won't cause people to be mature earlier), maybe requiring rigorous training (not directly from the government, but using accepted 3rd-party programs, just like driver's ed) is the right way.  That way, mature 16 year olds could still hunt and have rifles/shotguns, and mature 18 year olds could also purchase handguns.  Without the training, you wait until 30, or whatever.

I'm not saying my suggestion is the best one, and I agree that we need to make much more foundational changes to our society to really solve this.  In the meantime, if we don't put forth measures that are reasonable and effective, inaction will definitely encourage a lot of unreasonable (and probably ineffective) gun restrictions to be passed.

Dave Barnhart

Dan Miller's picture

This is moving into a discussion of personal responsibility. I saw a mid 20s acquaintance recently post on facebook about how all the rich people in the US should just pay for her college bills because they won't miss it anyway. 

Personal responsibility is the antithesis of everything most politicians in the US stand for.

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The answer to the OP is that we should encourage civilians to own guns and learn to use them.

JD Miller's picture

When I was 15, my brothers and I were taking care of all the livestock on the farm.  By the time I was 19, I had taken over all the responsibilities on the farm.  I went and got my own loan to put the crop in.  If we keep raising the age that allows adults to take responsibility we will only encourage them to put off responsibility even longer.