INCAPACITATING THE KILLING MACHINE: After Colorado and Connecticut, Solutions to America’s Gun Problems


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BY Adeyemi Oshunrinade

When a nine month pregnant mom took her 3-yr-old to a park outside Roosevelt Apartments in Bedstuy Brooklyn, what she never envisioned was her son getting shot in the leg by gun wielding criminals, going around the neighborhoods with illegal weapons; and when gun shots rang out during a basketball game in Bushwick, the question on everyone’s mind is what to do with the problem of illegal gun possession in America.

The situations just described, is same all over the U.S. Several months ago, the entire nation saw what happened in Colorado, when James Holmes opened fire on innocent people killing 12 and wounding many; we saw what happened in Columbine and Virginia Tech, just as we are aware of what transpired in Tucson Arizona when Congress Woman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot by the psycho Jared Lee Loughner.

The youngest victim of the shooting in Colorado was just 6, when her life was snatched away; she was never allowed to enjoy her presence on earth to the fullest. This week another gunman Adam Lanza, opened fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, killing 26 people. 20 children and 6 adults including the school principal and school counselor were among the dead. The question now is, after Connecticut and Colorado what is next? The aim is to discuss some solutions to America’s gun problems which if implemented, may help alleviate the scourge of gun violence in our society. Time is running out; if nothing is done to address the issue at both local and national level, it wouldn’t take long before we witness another psycho go on a shooting spree.

There should be a nationwide advocacy against gun violence in our communities; in the past few years, little attention has been paid to the problem and whenever there is a shooting incident, the entire nation come together to sympathize and talk about the victims; few months after, people forget and just let the problems go down the drain without finding a solution.

While it is true that anti-gun advocates are doing their part by putting pressure on legislatures and by bringing awareness to the cause, their efforts so far, have had little or no effect on gun violence issues but why? The problem may be due to lack of unity on a nationwide cooperation to resolve the problem. Whenever there is a shooting anywhere, it is treated as an isolated case and there has never been a unified call for the entire nation to choose a day and come together in protest against gun violence. We have seen nationwide protests on the economy; there have been demonstrations over healthcare and unemployment but so far, no call for a gathering to address gun violence.

It is time for a one-gun rule in America; while we all cherish and hold our Second Amendment rights dearly, it should not be seen as a right to acquire assault rifles, shot-guns and military style machine guns. Records will show that those who have guns for self protection, don’t carry their weapons everywhere they go meaning, a misfortune can happen to them anywhere so, why should one be allowed to purchase as many guns as possible, when at the end of the day, you only need one for self protection? The proper thing should be to put forward a one-gun rule, which will allow those interested to be able to purchase just a pistol with not more than 6-rounds of ammunition.

There is the need for a law requiring those purchasing guns, to do so only in the jurisdiction they live; many have been able to purchase their cache of weapons through interstate travels and visits to out of state gun markets, where they are able to buy multiple guns with no questions asked. The lack of proper registry and tracking have made it possible for would be criminal to get their hands on guns that are later used to commit atrocities. Those who think such move would inhibit the flow of commerce need understand that, government’s interest in protecting innocent people and securing the nation, outweighs the interest in commerce.

A national gun-drive and illegal gun submission regime will go a long way to reduce cases of unreasonable killings. There should be a call at both local and national level for those with illegal and multiple weapons to give up their collections voluntarily without punitive damages or fines. By doing so, the government will be able to remove illegal guns from the streets thereby, saving innocent lives and lowering the staggering crime rate.

There may be the need for a renewal registration of all gun dealers in the states; it is so easy to purchase a gun in the streets and for $20 or less a gun can be purchased anywhere in America why? Because illegal dealings continue to flourish and sometimes, registered gun dealers collaborate with criminals to sell them military style weapons they are not allowed to have. All gun dealers should be required to re-register their establishments and there should be new rules on their dealership and trade in guns.

Mental health management and care also needs government attention; some of those who carry out attacks as we saw in James Holmes’s and Adam Lanza’s cases, exhibit traces of one mental issue or the other; the lack of proper diagnosis and early care, may serve as a recipe for disaster and unreasonable killings.

There is a need to increase the price of guns to limit illegal purchases; the government had done same by increasing the tax on tobacco, when it realized it is a major cause of lung cancer; and since the increase, there has been a dramatic drop in the number of people killed by lung cancer so, why can’t the administration do same with guns? There should be an increase in price and tax on those purchasing heavy artilleries except for those buying just a pistol for protection, under the one-gun rule.

The administration must look into establishing a First-Alert system, where parents and family members can report illegal gun accumulation by a family member; reports indicate that after the arrest of James Holmes, a call was placed to his mom and her response was, “you got the right one.” No doubt she knew something was wrong before the attacks but failed to report it or probably, she was not encouraged to do so. A proper alert system with the right education could have helped to give a warning sign.

Finally, Congress must take effective action and put aside the political wars, there seems to be no strong will to address the issues of gun violence and gun laws. Both Democrats and the Republicans dodge the issue whenever it is raised in fear of the political backlash; however, people continue to die. It may be time to find a bipartisan approach to the problem at both state and national level by passing new laws. Lawmakers should find the loopholes by closing all illegal gun markets; and each State including local jurisdictions, must be called to task in combating this war inside.

Dr. Adeyemi Oshunrinade {E. JD} is an expert in general law, foreign relations and the United Nations; he is the author of ‘Wills Law and Contests’ (2011) and ‘Constitutional Law-First Amendment’ (2012) follow on Twitter @san0670.

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Categories: Criminal act, Disaster, Hostage Taken, Politics

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3 replies

  1. Here in the South, guns are a part of our culture and most gun owners, including me, are responsible and respectful of our weapons.
    The issues most people miss when attacks like this occur is that it is a symptom of a greater problem. America exalts violence in every way. In movies, cartoons, games and even advertisements. Violence is endemic here. If mass killers did not have guns, they would use other methods for their dastardly acts.

    Until America alters its adulation of violence and sex in the media and elsewhere, these short lived debates that always follow these horrific acts will achieve nothing.

    http://blackrepublicanandmyworldview.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/running-on-fear-the-tale-of-the-2012-elections/

    Like

    • Thank you for your comment, no doubt the issue of gun violence is endemic and part of the American way of life; but there is a lot we can do to challenge the issue by making sure multiple guns don’t get in the hands of those who have no reasonable use for them. However, the will belongs in the government to review our gun laws and make sure people don’t accumulate weapons unreasonably. For example, if James Holmes had just a pistol with just a few rounds, he would have been unable to do as much damage as he did; our rights to self protection should not be a right to take innocent lives.
      Thanks.

      Like

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