Skip to comments.Another Celebrity Opinion on What odo about guns (J. Michael Straczynski, creator of 'Babylon 5')
Posted on 12/16/2012 4:10:11 PM PST by hoagy62
Here is something my sister forwarded me about the current, ongoing debate of what "needs" to be done in the wake of the Newtown Massacre. It is an article posted by J. Michael Straczynski, creator of 'Babylon 5', among many other things....
In the aftermath of the tragic events at Newtown, I posted figures from the Childrens Defense Fund showing that nearly 3,000 children per year are killed by gun violence and tens of thousands more are injured. I then posed a question: what, if anything, can be done to minimize or mitigate the ongoing, tragic loss of life by gun violence? Are there any common-sense solutions that would be acceptable to both gun owners and non-gun owners?
The initial response was pretty much what one would expect: a retreat to the usual positions on left and right, fueled by complaints that any attempt to deal with this would trample on the rights of Americans to own firearms. It was fractious, angry and defensive.
Then something interesting happened. A conversation broke out, propelled in large measure by the fact that no one, on either end of the political spectrum, ever wants to see dozens of children murdered in their own classrooms.
The model we began to use for the conversation was, in a way, similar to the one applied to cars. For decades, highway deaths were frequent and brutal, but no one suggested banning cars. No one can prevent accidents or forecast the pathology of those who would deliberately do harm. The focus was on finding common-sense, reasonable ways to minimize death and injury. This led, in time, to the development of seat belts and better safety standards, child seats and improved windshield glass. The number of deaths and injuries slowly declined as a result.
So that became the thrust of our discussion: what common-sense, reasonable steps can we take within the template of the Second Amendment, to minimize death and injury, to simply lower the numbers a bit? If life is precious and has value, then if we can decrease the number of people killed deliberately or by accident, through lost or stolen firearms, then that would be a victory beyond price.
Slowly, inch by inch, people on both sides of the discussion began to set aside their hot-buttons and their agendas and concentrate on the issue at hand. What began as an argument turned into a level-headed, honest discussion of the problem and ways to solve it. The increasingly polite back-and-forth of ideas was wonderful to behold, showing that despite the naysayers and the skeptics we can, indeed, set aside party and policy to figure out our problems together.
Out of that conversation, in just a few hours, came the following suggestions:
1) The development of classes in gun use and safety taught at the high school level, to run alongside driver's education, sex education and other civil education classes. Give kids the knowledge they need to avoid accidental death and injury, and to understand how to deal with threats.
2) The establishment of regulated shooting classes and competitions in either high school or colleges, emphasizing gun safety and proper use.
3) Required classes in gun safety and use as part of purchasing a firearm, with a sliding scale of hours per class determined by the type of firearm being purchased. The more complex the weapon, the longer the class. (So a handgun purchase might be just one hour, but an automatic weapon might be three.)
4) As part of those classes, gun owners will have the opportunity to purchase discounted firearm lock boxes and receive information on how to better control and keep the firearm theyve purchased from being stolen or misused.
5) Possible criminal penalties for those who legally own guns who deliberately put them in the hands of those who subsequently use them for criminal purposes. (This would not include situations where the guns have simply been stolen or left out.) A kind of provable negligence leading directly to harm.
6) If a person joins the military at 18 and gets military training, he can have ownership of a firearm, otherwise the national limit would be 21, unless the person who wishes to buy the firearm takes part in military-grade firearm training classes and receives certification. That would allow people under the age of 21 to own firearms in a safer fashion.
7) Periodic invitations -- voluntary or mandatory (depending on the state) to have guns inspected for safety purposes and to confirm that no weapons have gone missing or stolen. As an incentive for those states where the process is voluntary, free cleaning and inspection would be offered, along with the possibility again of discounted lock boxes. This will cut down the number of deaths and injuries due to faulty, lost or stolen firearms.
The discussion is still ongoing, examining ways to improve person-to-person re-sales, for instance, and to improve voluntary background checks. Can tax incentives be used to encourage gun owners to voluntarily upgrade or exchange their older firearms for ones using biometric technology that prevents them from being fired by unauthorized individuals?
We cannot change the culture overnight. We cannot prevent the pathology of those who would kill and maim with whatever weapon is nearest at hand. But by the same token, to argue that there is simply nothing that can be done flies in the face of the fact that there is no problem created by humans that cannot be solved by humans if we are willing to be smart, and open, and to actively engage one another with mutual respect regardless of our views. This cant be an all-or-nothing problem, with banning or no action at all our only options. We must grow beyond binary thinking.
We cannot solve every problem, but if we can solve some parts of them , or nibble away at them in constructive fashion...dont we have a moral obligation to do so?
If we in this discussion could come up with those guidelines and suggestions, then you have to know that a smarter, larger group of people could do even more.
So I throw this out there with hope and with a challenge, to anyone reading this: pass the word, pass along the list, and encourage a respectful, open discussion among ourselves, our representative and others to find ways to minimize gun deaths and injuries both to children and the rest of the citizenry. If even a few of new ideas can be successfully developed and implemented, and lives saved, it will be worth it.
The conversation can be had, if we are willing to have it.
Anyone that says different can pound sand.
What I want to know is how all you FReepers who have had tragic boating accidents and lost all your guns are going to take them for those “mandatory” inspections?
Responsible gun owners already do many/most of these things either (a) voluntarily or (b) under penalty of state or local law.
“Required classes in gun safety and use as part of purchasing a firearm, with a sliding scale of hours per class determined by the type of firearm being purchased. The more complex the weapon, the longer the class. (So a handgun purchase might be just one hour, but an automatic weapon might be three.)”
And, Nimrod, what if it’s an automatic handgun?
No, odo was in Star Trek: Deep Space 9: Rick Berman's rip-off of J. Michael Straczynski's Babylom 5
3300 innocent babies are butchered each day by Leftists
Nothing at all wrong with a gun safe ~ that way you know where the arms are that you need and that you will be able to get to them, or, I guess you could wear a holster night and day ~ ask your wife eh!
Firearms safety courses should be mandatory in school, along with some range time ~ and that can be handled electronically!
People who know how to handle guns safely have fewer accidents with them. Gun safes make your guns readily available when you need them.
Reflecting with regret on the casualties the U.S. took in the Spanish-American War, President Roosevelt said: The great body of our citizens shoot less as time goes on. We should encourage rifle practice among schoolboys and indeed among all classes as well as in the military services, by every means of our power. Thus and not otherwise may we be able to assist in preserving peace in the world. The first step in the direction of preparation to avert war, if possible, and to be fit for war, if it should come, is to teach men to shoot.
I have been for this for years as has the NRA.
No amount of gun safety training will prevent a sociopath from using a gun in murder. Or whatever other weapon can be found.
Some of these propositions do go beyond what is just common sense, and enter the realm of intrusiveness.
There is also no discussion whatsoever about what to do about sociopaths and other mentally ill persons who show the signs of being capable of committing such an act long before they ever commit it. Others have been bringing up the emptying of mental hospitals, which is really the conversation that needs to take place. Children who perform unspeakable acts of cruelty on animals are likely to move up to human victims at some point—so why aren’t they committed? Why is there still the fiction that there is a cure for every mental illness? There isn’t—the drugs only mask the symptoms, and sometimes not very well. Neither society nor the mentally ill have been served well by closing the mental hospitals.
Okay, getting off my soapbox now.
Some of those old records are fun to read ~ sometimes you'd have a nobleman down to a single boot suitable for riding a horse into battle ~ presumably all his good stuff would have been stolen, or sold. He'd show up with the boot anyway ~ and that way he continued to be a noble in good standing.
It wasn't all parties and jousting.
Has been infringed for decades, at least since the National Firearms Act. Freedom’s flame is flickering.
In the unlikely event that I ever buy a new car with a mandatory black box in it I think I’ll rip the black box out and install a quick access pistol safe. ;^)
His 3000 number is widely accepted except that it counts gang members and innocent victims the same. Also the “children” in that number goes up to age 24 I think.
Mikey is quoting the Children’s Defense Fund? That is a radical Marxist organization. He’s either stupid or a liar.
Too bad we are not all in a cage. Especially the childrun! That would be safest. We can trust the zoo keepers like smart ole Michael to take care of us.
No self defense for limo liberals. Tax ‘em into my shed so Michael can not afford to send out anti-freedom e-mails to his “freinds.”
1-2 I’m all for education of the ignorant in the safe handling of dangerous tools.
The rest, no.
Well for starters, why don’t you break out real children #s when you preface your argument. 3,000 child deaths includes all under 18 gang bangers. If you can’t even start out honestly, I’m pretty sure the rest is shite. Real children (not criminals) killed by guns every year is actually a tiny number. A horrible but very small number.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.