If we ever want to stop the senseless gun violence that kills 30,000 people each year, guns must be banned and everyone must be required to turn in their weapons. Granted, this is far fewer people who die from drug overdoses (40,000), flu (36,000), and traffic fatalities (34,000), but we have to start somewhere. Solutions will later be proposed to reduce, not only, these deaths, but also the 710,000 deaths caused by heart disease, and the more than 200,000 senseless deaths caused by preventable medical errors.
I know that 80% of gun deaths come from suicides (65%) and “justified” law enforcement (15%), but eliminating guns will at least force distraught people to find other ways to kill themselves, and police will be forced to use the Taser’s we bought them. Ridding the nation of guns would also eliminate the 3% of deaths (900 people) caused by accidental discharge of weapons. Now, if we can get govt to also ban cell phone use in cars, we could save almost three times as many lives (2,600) that are “accidentally” killed in vehicles from cell phone distractions.
What about the other 35,400 lives that are lost in vehicle “accidents”? What percentage of these lives could have been saved if drivers were once again permitted to choose safer steel built vehicles, instead of lighter aluminum cars that materialized to meet govt mandates for increased fuel efficiency? I would say that at least 15% of the lives would have been saved, which is 5,310 lives – also more than the 5,100 lives lost through gun violence.
BTW, the term “accident” was formulated by manufacturing sector in the early 1900’s to avoid legal responsibility for poor work environments. The auto industry borrowed the term after traffic deaths spiked in the 1920’s. Over 90% of traffic “crashes” are caused by human negligence, and not accidental, which implies an act of God.
Let’s recap where all the gun-related deaths come from: suicides – 65%, law enforcement – 15%, and accidents – 3%. That leaves 17% of the 30,000 deaths comes from gun violence – criminal activity, gang and drug related or mentally ill persons. These 5,100 killings with guns are committed by far fewer than 5,100 people. Surely, we can get this small number of people to turn in their guns. Heck, why stop with US criminals. If these people can be mandated to turn in their weapons, why can’t ISIS fighters? At least we should be able to demand back the weapons provided by the US govt.
Color me an optimist, but if we can convince criminals to turn in their guns, surely we can legalize drugs. After all, far more people are killed as a result of alcohol and known addictive opioids that are legal. Since the majority of the 5,100 gun violence deaths are the result of drug buyers and sellers needing to settle their grievances in the streets instead of the courtroom, it would seem that legalizing drugs could not only put a big dent in gun violence, but it would also reduce the deaths from knives and blunt force trauma that would certainly rise after the criminals turned in their guns. Granted, the economic impact on the prison industry could be devastating if drugs are legalized, but these displaced workers could be used to collect the guns from criminals, and those violent pot smokers can surely hold down a job long enough to pay taxes.
We could be more tactical, and simply focus the gun confiscation and drug legalization plans in the four cities that produce 25% of the homicides – Chicago (480), Baltimore (340), Detroit (333), and D.C. (119 homicides). That leaves 3,825 lives that need to be saved in the rest of the country. Since California will no longer by part of the USA in 15-20 years, the 1,169 homicides that they commit will no longer be our problem. This is not a callous statement, as CA, along with the four cities above, already have the toughest gun laws in the country, so they should have the easiest path to confiscate guns. If we divide the remaining 2,656 senseless killing by the 49 remaining states, then each state would only need to stop 49 gun violence deaths, which are committed by less than 40 people. Surely, drones and a handful of Blackwater contractors could take care of this problem in a couple of months.
The four cities mentioned above, along with CA, have not been as successful with their stiff gun laws because they have not had the right incentives. That’s why I propose that criminals that turn in their weapons will have their sentences reduced based on how many weapons they turn in and how many fellow criminals they rat out. To serve their sentence they can be put to work repairing the dilapidated infrastructure their govt’s have not maintained, and the guns can then be melted down and remade into shackles. A law can then be passed that requires people to put on their govt-issued shackles every time they feel like buying or selling drugs, committing suicide, or going to McDonald’s. After all, heart disease, largely caused by a poor diet, kills almost 24 times more people than all gun related deaths.
For the rest of us gun holders that are not criminals, I propose a tax rebate in exchange for their weapons that would be based on the savings gained from reducing the size of the ATF and gun registration bureaucracy. If we can also ban alcohol and cigarettes, which kills far more people than guns, then the entire ATF dept can be eliminated and a larger rebate can be returned to the people. Since economic hardship is the driving force behind criminal activity, suicides, and terrorism, putting more money back in people’s pockets will go a long way to reducing these senseless deaths. After all, when people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, they tend to lose it.
I know the hard-core 2nd amendment believers think I’m being naive for having faith that our govt will not abuse their power when the people are disarmed. I’m sure you will regurgitate those historic facts about all the genocide in the world conducted by govt’s against defenseless people. However, you fail to understand that our govt is different. The career politicians in our country do not have the same passions as all the corrupt govt’s throughout history. I know our govt has been lying for decades, but now they have stopped.
You also don’t realize that our Founding Fathers established the 2nd amendment to protect the right to hunt so govt cannot prevent the people from feeding themselves. Granted, hunting was as natural as breathing back then, but the Founders were visionaries that knew vegans would one day try to take over the world. The belief that citizens need guns to protect themselves from govt’s that become increasingly oppressive to maintain the funding required to pay for their growth and power is totally unfounded in a Utopian state. Our leaders simply care more about their constituents than leaders in the past.
To prove I’m not naïve, I propose the following concession. Until all the guns can be turned in and/or confiscated, the govt will guarantee that the weapons they carry will not be any more deadly than the weapons of legal citizens within the USA. If citizens turn in their magazines and bump stocks, the govt and police will not use automatic weapons inside the US. Once all the guns are collected, the authorities will only use water cannons, plastic bullets, and tear gas to keep protestors in line.
Now lets talk about truly reducing senseless deaths. Forgive me if I get too radical in my thinking, as I am not quite as smart as those in govt. The way to save the most lives is stop lying about the benefits of carbs versus proteins and fat. The number of deaths caused by heart disease would quickly be cut in half, saving over 350,000 lives per year. Almost all of the 200,000 lives lost from preventive medical errors could be eliminated if medical records were digitized and the database accessed via Artificial Intelligence. Driverless trucks will be common place in 10 years. I think computers can process all the factors that contribute to an individual’s health better than a person working in a highly subsidized industry that makes a mockery of the Hippocratic oath. Finally, end the undeclared and unneccessary foreign wars and we will save many more lives than the 5,100 lives killed from gun violence. Wait, this is what seems logical. Is my govt lying about their intentions behind wanting to eliminate guns? Never! The Russians must have made up all of these statistics. Yea, that’s it!