Gun regulation is rightly a hot political topic right now. The purpose of this diary is to illustrate that gun regulation to prevent mass shootings is not easy. Just to be upfront, I would generally be pro-regulation. But, I would want the regulation to be smart and effective. I think that is going to be hard.
First, just to lay all my cards on the table, I will describe the how and why I became a gun owner.
My first introduction to guns was as a boy of about 12 or 13 with my grandfather. He had a .22 semiautomatic rifle that he taught me to shoot at the local range. The gun held 10 or 11 rounds as I remember. It is a very fond memory of mine, those times with my grandfather under his guidance, him teaching me to use and control something very powerful. The trust he showed me and the lessons he taught were a good thing.
The next time shooting a gun was as an Army enlisted man. I had to learn to shoot and care for an M16 rifle. The AR15 is a similar, but not fully automatic, version of the M16 that can be easily bought.
Currently, I have two guns. One is a Remington model 1100 12 gauge shotgun. My grandfather gave this to me shortly before his death. I have had it 20 years and seldom shoot it.
My second gun I purchased this last September. It is a Sig Sauer .22 semiautomatic rifle. I bought it to take my grandsons shooting at the local range. It looks like an M16. Quite frankly, that is part of the reason I bought this particular gun. It was something I was familiar with.
Below are pictures of both guns.
So, how do we go about regulating these guns? Say you favor banning assault weapons. Does my small caliber rifle qualify because it looks like an Army rifle? Should we limit the magazine size to say 10 bullets? Changing magazines can be done very quickly. Do we ban any rifle with changeable magazines? Doing that would at least make a homicidal maniac reload, which takes some time.
Say we limit magazines to 6 bullets, just like a revolver pistol. Would that make us any safer from homicidal maniacs? Perhaps...but what about a weapon like the shotgun I own? If someone intent on doing evil didn't have a semiautomatic rifle but had a shotgun, couldn't they do just as much damage?
Five shotgun shells fired in rapid succession will do a lot of damage in a small area. Notice how much bigger a shotgun shell is than a .22 bullet. How do we regulate it? Reloading this shotgun with five shells can be done fairly quickly. Do we ban all semiautomatic shotguns? How much longer would it take to shoot five shells with a pump action shotgun vice a semiautomatic shotgun?
Maybe taxing and insurance requirements for guns is the way to go. That would at least limit the number of guns people are willing to own. But, it only takes one gun to kill.
Maybe we should focus on the ammunition. Maybe we should think of using modern technology for firearms. Over a period of time gett rid of older guns. In the future, we only allow guns that can be effectively regulated with modern technology.
The more I think about it, the more frustrating a problem it seems. The most effective solutions I can think of are very stringent, but won't get past the courts. Also, the more stringent the more political opposition and less likely to pass through congress.
And, to further the problem, it seems we are dealing with a contingent of stupid. Conservatives are putting forth the idea that teachers or principles should be armed. Or, that more of us should carry guns in public.
I have read other diaries here that propose solutions, many of which I would seriously consider supporting. But, I think a truly effective solution is probably politically or legally impossible at this point. I would be more than pleased to be shown I am wrong.