Let me begin by stating that I don’t have the answer for gun violence in America, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to understand the situation nor advocating on behalf of those who have lost their lives to it. This blog serves as a summary of the current gaps in legislation, school environments, consumer protection, and research. The purpose is to consider all factors causing the problem and then develop problem statements. Only by understanding the current situation fully, can we move forward with our objectives and (non)training solutions.
This categorized list will, hopefully, help us to form a solid argument for gun control. Through revision from your feedback, and as I learn more details, I seek a plan of action based on commonsense gun laws. In my opinion, the current situation is riddled with inadequacies in regards to public safety due to lax and inconsistent laws. Today, in honor of the #MarchForOurLives, I advocate change for good and applaud those who are involved in making informed decisions about gun laws that aren’t based on political or financial gain.
School Safety- (A) Restricting entry to a single-point and requiring visitors to sign-in limits access to nonstudents and nonpersonnel. (B) Providing a sufficient number of resource officers and counselors in accordance with school size addresses students needs. (C) Active shooter training and drills help prepare students and staff for such situations. (D) Metal detectors placed at entryway are useful in deterring crime. (E) Arming teachers is not the solution.
Gun Restrictions- (A) Raise the age restriction to 21 to purchase a rifle or shotgun in accordance with the existing federal laws to buy a handgun from a licensed dealer. Additionally, handguns and rifles purchased from unlicensed dealers (e.g., neighbor, gun show seller, or online store) should have the same age restrictions. (B) Require comprehensive background checks on nonlicensed buyers and enforce a centralized database to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, suspected terrorists on the no-fly list, the mentally ill, and other federally prohibited persons. (C) Reinstate the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. (D) Ban the sale of bump stocks, which modify regular guns to perform as rapid-fire assault weapons. (E) Ban online sale of ‘ghost guns’ that are sold as maker kits and bare no serial identification.
Consumer Protection– (A) Congress needs to ensure unsafe guns can be recalled through an oversight agency such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Our Consumer Product Safety Commission does not have jurisdiction over firearms and ammunition. Currently, unsafe guns are only recalled by the manufacturers. It was blocked by Rep. Dingell in 1972 and 1975 and has not been brought up for legislation since (Bloomberg). (B) Gun manufacturers should be required to test guns to ensure they work properly. For example, nine different Taurus guns may fire when bumped or dropped even with the safety on. (C) Gun sellers, as defined by the ATF, should obtain a federal firearms license. Moreover, the ATF needs to provide sufficient oversight, as the US DOJ Report #1-2004-005 found negligence in their inspections of licensure. (D) Congress needs to allow the use of smart gun technology such as devices that scan the owner’s fingerprint before it can fire. See President Obama’s memorandum based on DOJ review (Federal Register). Gun lobbyists kept Smith & Wesson from developing smart gun technologies through slander and a boycott of their products after President Clinton pushed the Gun Safety Agreement in 2000 with them.
Research– (A) Congress needs to lift current restrictions on federal funding for research into gun violence. For example, the CDC National Violent Death Reporting System needs support from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and D.C. (B) Gun laws need to be based on research and safe practices for society.