The Problem: The Invasion of Fear
Since the towers came down on 9/11 America entered into a surreal state where fear gripped its heart and has yet gotten away from its grip. Suddenly we forgot how to act and what we stood for. Lacking that stability we began standing for everything and nothing at all. We lost our boundaries of common sense and rationality. We no longer felt free to reach out to others who were different from us across the world or in our own neighborhoods. We crouched like a wounded animal.
As more tragedy hit, our country pulled in a little tighter. Fear became the basis on which decisions at the top of our governments were made. Fear began turning our heads and scrunching our eyes as we started suspecting everyone around us who did not match our idealized image of a friend. It was only a matter of time before that fear would be used to divide us by something as asinine as one’s choice on an optional scantron sheet.
The Consequence: The Fear Effect
Now here we stand surrounded by calls of blame and name calling while the work needing done gets neglected. Passed along from one person to another as each washes their hands of the responsibility until it stops at the bottom where there is no one else to pass the responsibly off to. Are we honestly thinking that arming teachers is the best solution to reducing the risk of permanent firearm damage to kids? Are we so entrenched in fear that we cannot see the simple logic of why that is a bad idea.
1. Have we just ignored veterans who come home from war changed forever by memories that will not go away?
2. Or the mental effects of PTSD on our current law enforcement officers?
We must be for now we are demanding that teachers be forced to take on the mental consequence of killing because they are conveniently there in the schools. That they now must endure along with the chronic stress of overvaluation from a high stake testing environment the additional stress of being the first SHOOTER at the scene of a mass shooting. Given how flippantly we have treated veterans who have served in our wars, it is no wonder that we did not go beyond the surface of bonuses to the economic hardships of increased insurance and liability rates of our teachers. We are so consumed by fear that we lost our rational minds!
Getting Away from Fear's Grip – Common Sense Firearm Regulation using Capitalistic Measures
What is the answer? Shared responsibility through local community regulatory systems. We do not have to just throw money at the problem and hope it sticks anymore. But we can use the rules of capitalism here as we have everywhere else. Here’s the how it works. . .
This firearm regulation proposal uses a capitalistic system in order to remove the two major drivers for attracting consumers to products.
- Risk of Rarity: The consumer behavior trends of commerce in attracting consumers to products shows that when rarity exists or threatens to exist, the price of the product increases or consumers are drawn to the product to buy it in bulk. Therefore, any actions that would attempt to restrict firearms directly or any of its parts would create an increased risk of making it more attractive to black market sellers with a higher price tag.
- Fear: Human behavior trends in history reveals that fear is the strongest motivator of action. When applied to a product, the fear of something can create an instant draw to that product by consumers. “Buy this and you will be safe,” “There’s no price for freedom!”
By using a system that is already recognized at its surface level by each state, we can implement a new system that brings accountability, responsibility, and safety to a hazardous tool designed to kill while offering communities opportunities of economic development and job growth and decreases the demand off of already overburdened federal and state agencies. This system does not infringe on any constitutional rights as the option to own is still open to all U.S. citizens as directed by the U.S. Constitution, II Amendment.
II. The Proposal
- Create a licensing system that is similar in set up to vehicles.
Standard A firearm, Standard A license;
Specialized firearm, Special B license;
Military Grade firearm, Military C license.
Each licensing category will have its own set up training in responsibility, safety, and use with hours and difficulty equivalent to the category.
- Require license renewal every 5 years (or less)
- Require insurance for each category of firearm: Standard A insurance with the other two classifications supplemented. This provides a greater avenue of penalization for anyone abusing these hazardous tools designed to kill.
- Require registration for each firearm and charge a registration fee. This will give each gun an FIN number that can be reported if lost or stolen.
- Retail owners and private sellers will have to ask to see license, registration, and proof of insurance before making the final sale.
III. Available or potential resources
- Public Safety Centers currently provides handgun safety and carry concealment classes for a fee of 8 pounds of donated food. Such facilities can be turned into DMV-style centers for licensing and training; OR
- Economic development projects of Firearm Safety Centers created in local towns/cities/counties with DMV style centers of licensing and training.
- Hire teachers and trainers from retired law enforcement agencies, veterans, and other highly trained professionals.
- Trainer Training Schools can be established offering more economic development opportunities and jobs.
- NRA assists in providing funding relief with other anti-discriminatory agencies to ensure accessibility to training and licensing is not impeded by one’s financial status.
- Subsidies of tax payers
Refuting Arguments Against This Proposal
THIS VIOLATES AMERICANS’ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS GRANTED BY THE II AMENDMENT.
a. Nowhere in our system of law does it grant someone the full authority of judge, jury, and executioner of personal judgment for a crime, any crime. Even our government branches are divided to prevent such distribution of power being in the hands of one person, including the President. The firearm, however, grants a person the power of life and death in the palm of their hand. Even God does not grant such a power to man because that turns men into gods.
b. The U.S. Constitution also demands that anyone accused of a crime be given due process before any judgment is carried out. Now this does open a can of a worms with our current self defense laws, but as far as the wording of the U.S. Constitution goes, “without due process” is clear. A citizen shooting another citizen for a crime violates that due process, technically speaking.
c. The Federalist Essays that Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison wrote to the colonists by way of the daily newspaper to convince them that becoming united under one federal government was a good idea, they discuss the economic importance of this law in Essay 24. The colonists were scared of becoming vulnerable under only one federal military arm when there was so much territory unknown to them while surrounded by natives they did not understand but instantly feared. So to assuage these fears a law was created to ensure that States would still be able to fund their own military, a military of civilians, when the situation required it. The understanding was that a standing federal army during military time would soon go broke before there was any war. We currently have such a citizen military in place that is funded by each state: the National Guard. And according to that law those rights to fund that civilian military could not be infringed by the federal government.
d. There is also the logistics of communication and response time of military branches to consider. There is a vast difference of the assembling and response time of a 1787 military and 2018. Our current federal military response time with the assistance of AI technology and drones is growing even faster. The idea that a citizen military that is not the National Guard but individual citizens with firearms could displace a government takeover is no longer a reality of today. And if by some miracle the citizens with firearms could get the drop on the government usurper, what chance do they have when a few loyal and highly trained special ops can take out heavily armed terrorists in the Middle East? The logistics that can be measured, such as time, rate, and volume, puts holes into this argument.
e. This proposal does not infringe rights. The opportunity of gun ownership is made available to all citizens. Just as the opportunity to own a car is made available to anyone over the age of 16.
WHAT ABOUT THE “VIOLENT THREAT RESTRAINING ORDER” PETITION THAT LAWMAKERS ARE IN FAVOR OF?
This H.R. 198 bill proposed (and failed) by the House of Delegates of Virginia will “allow a Commonwealth’s Attorney or law enforcement officer to petition a judge to issue a risk warrant to remove a person’s firearms temporarily if they learn, for instance, from concerned family or friends that someone “poses a substantial risk of personal injury to himself or others in the near future.” Within 14 days, the court would have to convene a full hearing, ensuring there is full due process. (Per Delegate Rip Sullivan)
a. There is a risk that the amount of petitions this bill creates will overtax an already backlogged court system. Many will slip through the cracks created by the delays of getting the risk petitions. The delays will also create potential lawsuits against the agencies for not complying to the 14 days due process mandate.
CAN’T WE JUST TIGHTEN UP ON CRIMINALS AND VIOLENT OFFENDERS?
HB 629, would prohibit fugitives from justice, defined as any person named in an active misdemeanor of felony warrant of arrest, from purchasing, possessing, or transporting firearms. The bill would also update Virginia’s criminal history record information check form to inquire if the applicant is a fugitive. (per Delegate Rip Sullivan)
a. This does not address those committing a violent act with a firearm that have never been convicted of a crime before nor have shown up as being under suspicion of being a violent individual. This idea of criminal crackdown perpetuates the stereotype of crime, often by appearance or place of origin, and risks discrimination of others who match that stereotyped idea.
IF WE JUST GET MORE INVOLVED IN MENTAL HEATH THEN THE FIREARM PROBLEM WILL GO AWAY.
Many mental health problems go without detection until after the violent act has happened. This also does not address crimes of passion or betrayal that lead to firearm damage against people.
WHAT’S THE POINT? CRIMINALS WILL JUST GET ACCESS ANYWAY. WHY PUNISH THE LAW ABIDING CITIZEN?
a. The law abiding citizen should realize that anytime someone uses a hazardous tool there are certain measures of safety, responsibility, and accountability that must be in place to protect those in the vicinity of that hazardous tool. Therefore, it should be of no surprise that such measures of safety, responsibility, and accountability are necessary for hazardous tools specifically designed to kill. It is the responsible citizen who ensures the safety of a community is not displaced by failure to enact such measures of safety, accountability, and responsibility. Meaning if the citizen is responsible then they will not stand in the way of such measures of accountability, responsibility, or safety for hazardous tools specifically designed to kill.
b. Since we cannot vouch for the behavior of our neighbor and can only control the behavior of our own person, then one cannot make the claim that all will act responsibly without any prompting to do the responsible thing. The licensing system provides such a prompt.
c. If our American law system regarded all of our laws with the same “what’s the point? Criminals will do it anyway,” as one finds here, then we would be a nation without law. A lawless nation opens itself to being conquered by a foreign nation who will take advantage of the division and the infighting that occupies our federal military force.
IT’S THE GUN-FREE ZONE LAWS THAT ARE TO BLAME FOR SCHOOL SHOOTINGS.
While the gun-free zone laws do have its disadvantages in regard to prevention of truancy of students expelled under this law, it is not to blame for school shootings. All states are able to make exceptions to the rules regarding who is allowed to have a concealed firearm on school property. Adding a sign that indicates that the school is armed and not to be tested with the proper ordinance listed below the words, would be a far greater deterrent than getting rid of the law altogether that restricts firearm use 1,000 feet from school property.
IF WE ARM THE TEACHERS THEN WE WON’T HAVE MASS SHOOTINGS IN SCHOOL.
a. There are a lot of problems with this assumption. One is the psychological cost on teachers who are being emotionally coerced into taking on the responsibility of taking a life. Even the anticipation of being called on to take that life is enough to create potential psychological complications. Such risks of psychological impacts should be looked into with greater scrutiny before such a suggestion is implemented. It should be the last resort, not the first.
b. Another is the economic cost on teachers. Not only is that economic cost incorporated in the uncompensated time of teachers to receive the training, but also in the increased rates of health insurance and liability that the teacher will now endure by becoming a higher risk category. Since intruders are able to sue homeowners who injure them on the homeowner’s property in a tortious lawsuit, such injurious lawsuit risks become a factor for teachers and schools. This will drive up the lawsuit protection coverage that already is of a high expense for the average teacher. When our schools cannot afford their maintenance and infrastructure costs, what will this added cost do to strained school budgets of public schools?
c. Teachers should not be considered a cost effective option simply because they are conveniently there. They did not enlist in a military operation. They signed on to teach students.
IT’S NOT THE NRA’S FAULT. THE FAILURE IS STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS
a. If that is the case then the NRA should be in full support of this proposal. After all it brings the expected accountability, safety, and responsibility measures to a hazardous tool specifically designed to kill. Such compliance of these measures will make it much harder for violators to hide behind the chaos.
b. As stated before, this proposal takes the burdens off of state and federal agencies to monitor and puts it into the hands of local agencies that all comply with a federal standard of procedure and operation. It is a proposal of personal responsibility that fully acknowledges that Americans must extend effort to get what they want. We are not a freeloading nation, nor are our citizens lazy.
WHAT ABOUT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ELDERLY AND DISABLED?
a. If you are not physically able to pass the firearm safety and training courses then you should not be wielding these tools. Again, these are hazardous tools specifically designed to kill. They are not toys, even if people do play with them.
We have seen where capitalistic methods are used in government in areas of healthcare and education distribution. Since such methods are being lifted up as good for our country and the best choice for economic health, then this proposal should be met with the same excitement and optimism. It is a capitalistic proposal that uses methods already recognized by local agencies and expands upon them to fit the needs of providing more accountability, transparency, and safety to hazardous tools specifically designed to kill, both for the operator and for those in the vicinity of that tool’s use.
Firearms are retail. They are a product produced and sold to a willing consumer. To regulate their use requires the same measures used in retail. It is not a moral argument that must be considered, but a commerce one. To reduce the emotion of this product which makes it even more valuable to sell on black markets, you just make ownership of the product normal and nothing special.