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Not every person wants to carry a gun.
Not every person would be skilled with a gun.
This seems self-evident.

Not all mass killers are diagnosed as psychotic or seriously mentally ill prior to the killing. In fact, most aren't.
Not all people diagnosed as psychotic or serious mentally ill becomes violent. In fact, most don't.
This is also self-evident.

Conclusions below the Orange Squiggle of Complex Issues.

We basically have 4 choices:

  1. The government ensures that people who might be capable of mass violence don't have access to guns. This requires a massive security apparatus monitoring us all to see who is potentially dangerous, and has to extend to people not being treated for mental illness.
  2. The government ensures that weapons suitable for killing lots of people in a short period of time are not owned by private citizens
  3. The government requires that every place which might attract a killer has sufficient armed guards to defeat a surprise attack by a killer in full body armor, skilled with his weapon, and the weapon is the most lethal thing legally available to citizens. We have to assume worst-case bad guy, don't we?
  4. Dead kids on a semi-regular basis

Let's face it, (1) is the worst possible choice, even worse than (4). Total police state with the government depriving lots of citizens of rights because they might be dangerous, in the opinion of some bureaucracy? I don't think so.

And that really leaves us with a choice between (2), (3), and (4). If you find (4) unacceptable, you can choose then between
(2) Gun control, or
(3) A very expensive regime of private and public security guards - at schools; churches; theaters; concerts; sporting events; parks; malls; stores; left turn lanes where lots of cars back up; et cetera.

If we're going to go with (3), then I propose that the people who reject (2) pay the necessary taxes. We will register guns; we will tax guns; and the tax on a gun will be proportional to the square of the number of bullets a skilled user can fire in a minute under optimal conditions.

Control mass-killing guns, or tax the hell out of them. That's how I see it.

PLEASE BE POLITE TO ALL VIEWPOINTS IN YOUR COMMENTS

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:41:34 AM PST

  •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, Cartoon Peril

    but what about the guns already out there?  How is this enforced and are we willing as a society to make a criminal out of a current gun owner who does not register all of their guns to avoid paying these taxes.  What will the fines be?  Can some one go to jail for it?  Do you really want someone to go to jail for it?

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:46:46 AM PST

    •  I suggest the same methodology as for (6+ / 0-)

      cars. You must register your gun, you must pay your annual fees, if you don't, the gun goes into storage until you do (which is the equivalent of not being able to drive your car on public roads).

      Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

      by blue aardvark on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:51:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good diary BA... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark

        ... in addition to taxes, owners be required to purchase some form of insurance on the gun itself too.  Insurance companies already have algorithms to compute the car and life insurance rates for a person based on socio-economic and health factors, so it should be a piece of cake for them to do it for gun owners.  

        As a matter of fact, how's this for a modest proposal?: Health insurance companies give up their objections to single payer, and we'll let them insure gun owners without federal government interference.

        I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

        by Hey338Too on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:48:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Time to join the civilized world. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8, Cartoon Peril
    Let's face it, (1) is the worst possible choice, even worse than (4). Total police state with the government depriving lots of citizens of rights because they might be dangerous, in the opinion of some bureaucracy? I don't think so.
    This is exactly how civilized countries have tackled this problem - what makes American's so special that it doesn't apply?

    The rest of us decided that children's lives are more important than an adult's hobby (forget all the other bs - that is really what this is about).

    Again - america will have to make this choice at some point = better sooner than later.

  •  If Al Sharpton encouraged every law-abiding black (6+ / 0-)

    an latino to go buy guns...we'd have gun control next week.

  •  more choices, please. aren't there/more? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, theboz

    clime parches on. terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout-famine, acceptance of nature.

    by renzo capetti on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:07:58 AM PST

    •  Broadly speaking? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, renzo capetti

      What would you suggest, if the goal is to keep madmen with guns from killing lots of people at once?

      Fewer madmen - how, exactly do you do this?
      Or ... madmen don't have guns.

      Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

      by blue aardvark on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:15:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We just have to have less mass killing weapons (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark, renzo capetti

        I don't think we could ever set up a government which would attempt to predict who would become a nutter, nor is it possible to turn every school, church, and workplace into a fortress.

        Beyond that, we have to have requirements for registration and firearms safety training.  Even alleged justice Scalia can't object to that.

        Will this stop all gun killings?  No.  But it will prevent some, and that's better than what we have now.

        You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

        by Cartoon Peril on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:33:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And that's option (2) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          renzo capetti

          If someone really wants option (3), then they can pay for it.

          Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

          by blue aardvark on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:34:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Option 3 just a post-massacre NRA excuse (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blue aardvark

            We've seen that before, at Aurora, Virginia Tech, and now here.  They're not serious of course, and it's just another version of the NRA's "blame the victim" schtick.

            You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

            by Cartoon Peril on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:39:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  no, i mean, yes. your best idea included. (0+ / 0-)

            Licensing, registration, limits on purchases and sellers and ammo and clips and automatics and

            every other weight that can be logically fair placed on the industry and consumer to change the wild to more sensible serene.

            Instant and straw purchases gotta stop. License to drive a car?

            License to have a gun. Register to vote? Register to own, carry, operate a gun.

            PSAs. Don't Drink & Drive? - likewise, Don't Pick Up A Gun In Anger

            Every avenue, pulpit to cartoons and balloons can be availed.

            And, even simply asking people to be more conciliatory, less win at all costs will help shape psychology.

            Art and Science, pols and clergy, hand in hand will help.

            clime parches on. terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout-famine, acceptance of nature.

            by renzo capetti on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 09:04:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  thanks for call for civility. I have no desire (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, theboz, old possum

    to gloat, mock, or belittle anyone who favors responsible gun ownership.  Other Kossacks should do the same.

    By the same token, I don't think that arming of teachers or whatever is a serious effort to engage in the discussion, and it borders on, if not amounts to, blaming the victims, as we've seen done over and over again in these horrible cases.

    What we have right now in this country is nothing like responsible gun ownership, but a haphazard sort of "trust us" arrangement.  That cannot continue any longer, at least with regard to people who wish to acquire weaponry of a sort like that used in the Connecticut massacre.

    In another diary, I noted that it was far more difficult to become a notary public in my state (Oregon) than it was to purchase a .223 Bushmaster or any other firearm.

    I'd like to see that changed, and no, I don't think notary requirements should be increased!

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:22:45 AM PST

    •  are you kidding? it's harder to buy (5+ / 0-)

      friggin' Sudafed than it is to get a gun (at a gun show/private sale).

      We need to talk more about the fact that gun possession DOES NOT equal the ability to either use it, or use it correctly in a crisis situation. I keep hearing from FB peeps about how if only the teachers were armed. Bollocks. Any one of them (some of whom are teachers) would have been just as shocked and stunned as anyone in that tragedy.

      There's a certain portion of the population that believes they will be different, or that life is like the movies. This notion needs disabusing.

      How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

      by athenap on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:42:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You present things as too black and white. (0+ / 0-)

    There are other options for gun control that are not necessarily encompassed in #2. You do realize that #1 is a joke and #4 is what we will end up with more or less.

  •  Two ideas you didn't specify (0+ / 0-)

    1) Treat gun operation like vehicle operation.  You need a license, requiring training and testing as well as periodic renewal.  Different classes of guns can even require different classes of licenses.  That way, people who want to own more substantial weapons can be vetted thoroughly on very strict standards, while someone owning a single shot 410 shotgun For small game hunting, for example, has a lower bar to pass.  A fee should be added to cover the expenses of the background checks and licensing.

    2). All schools should have at least one armed office on campus.  School shootings are rare, but there are other problems that arise that may require a police presence too.  Raise taxes to pay for this as it is basically one salary of a policeman.

    I have more, longer term ideas to reduce violent tendencies and help people, but these are two short term to implement pieces of a solution.

    •  Mass killings will just move (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      old possum, trumpeter

      And there was an armed officer on site at Columbine. He engaged one of the killers in the parking lot, but was outgunned and took cover.

      I wonder how he feels now about that day - but it does show a pistol is not a match for a rifle, even if the pistol is in trained hands and the rifle is in untrained hands.

      Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

      by blue aardvark on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:29:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Beefing up security is patching the problem (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark, trumpeter

        I don't want massacres to happen anywhere, but schools are much more vulnerable than malls or offices.  Also, there is no one size fits all solution.  The two I mentioned are just pieces of the puzzle, and I think the licensing idea would have more impact.

    •  on #2 (0+ / 0-)

      Why not find a teacher on every campus that is willing to be trained and deputized?  I imagine there are willing men an women on every campus.

      •  You need more than one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        old possum, trumpeter

        What if the killer is smart enough to perform reconnaissance and knows who the armed teacher is?

        And then sabotages their car that morning on his way to the school. Teacher-guard isn't there because they've got two flat tires.

        Or walks onto campus, finds the one armed teacher, and shoots them first.

        And not every teacher who volunteers is going to be suitable. Poor eyesight, coordination, judgement, ...

        And then there's churches, stores, concerts, malls, sporting events, and every other large gathering of people. Place where my kids used to play Little League had 3 fields with a parking lot in the fourth corner. And fences all the way around the fields. A gunman could have parked, gotten out of his car, and had 100 kids plus parents and coaches pretty much trapped with a clear field of fire. Yes, you'll hit a chain link once in a while, but bullets are cheap.

        Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

        by blue aardvark on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 09:08:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Their job is to teach (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        salmo, old possum, trumpeter

        I believe the focus of the teacher should be on education only.  Having them act as security as well seems as wrong as having on teacher trained in HVAC repair in case the air conditioning stops working.  I am also not convinced that they could store their firearms securely enough that there would be no risk of a student getting it, while at the same time having it easy enough to get to that a teacher could get it if needed.  Maybe I am not fully informed but I don't see the benefit of armed teachers.

    •  I just can't see escalation (your #2) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trumpeter

      as a solution.  The killers in these situations already have heavy-duty semi-automatic weapons -- so should the "armed officer" you posit have the same?  And then what if the attackers recruit a friend, as in Columbine and Jonesboro?  More armed officers?  Do you want an arms race at this country's schools?

      This is crazy.  We need to bring the amount of armaments in our country down, not up.

  •  Let the Constitution screamers have their way (0+ / 0-)

    The 2nd amendment reads:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    So let them buy their semi-automatics and at the same time enroll them in the local militia (run by the county of course). Target practice and safety classes are every other month. And one last thing..... all firearms are kept at the armory - for when  the militia is called out to defend against the invading horde.

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