Our Gun Obsession Is Insane

As a reaction to the horrible mass shooting in San Bernardino, the New York Times published its first front page editorial in 95 years. Titled “End the Gun Epidemic in America,” it is yet another plea for common sense to prevail and for politicians, particularly the US Congress, to pass common sense laws to curb the access to guns that quite frankly the civilian population does not need to own. I particularly noted this:

It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection.

Tanks are pretty macho-looking, too, but I certainly wouldn’t want to see them on the streets. Similarly, there is no reason for anyone to own Uzi knock-offs. You don’t need an Uzi to defend yourself or hunt game or for target practice. That’s insane.

I was going to repost my original essay about guns from a couple of years ago, but instead I’ll do a Cliff’s notes version. In that piece, I make the argument that many have made, that guns should be regulated in a similar way as cars. Guns should require registration that has to be renewed annually. Gun ownership should require a license, to prove that the owner (a) isn’t insane and (b) can operate and maintain (e.g., lock away) a gun safely and properly. And gun owners should also need to purchase insurance to operate their guns.

Cars can kill, but that’s not what they are designed for. Guns have no other function but to kill and maim. Why would we not regulate a devise designed to kill and maim in at least as strict a manner as we do a device not designed specifically for that purpose?

The NRA and the gun lobby are a bunch of ghouls that profit from fear and death. We need politicians with the moral courage to go against them and enact the type of common sense laws required to help curb the violence. Tens of thousands of Americans die annual from gun violence, and we do next to nothing about it. That’s insane. If we continue to let this happen, then we are insane.

© 2015, gar. All rights reserved.

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