Statements like “we have always done it this way” can be heard nationwide after each mass murder in the United States. This is the common party line for members of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
But it is time for us to look at something different. We have the power to legislate and modify how we govern ourselves and it is about time we did.
There are over 310 million guns in the United States and just over 320 million people. Oftentimes I hear we are too far gone and cannot regulate that many guns at this point because we will never eliminate every gun in America.
Here are some of the responses I hear when I say “we need gun control.” Each one is fairly easy to address if we think about it like we are thinking about the move from gasoline-powered cars to electrics and self-driving cars.
1. “We cannot get rid of the 2nd amendment”
We have had 27 amendments to our Constitution because our founding fathers didn’t get everything right and they knew it. The right to bear arms in the 2nd amendment took effect 2 years, 2 months, and 20 days after it was first proposed. We haven’t had the right to bear arms since the beginning our of country’s history. It was 5 years into our history where we decided to add it.
Back in 1919 the US decided alcohol should be illegal and enacted the 18th amendment to the Constitution. But we eventually decided we got it wrong the first time and in 1933 the 21st amendment was put in place to eliminate the 18th amendment.
We can indeed get rid of the 2nd amendment with what I would propose is our 28th amendment to our Constitution. Our founding fathers set up this system to provide us with the framework to tackle this very situation.
2. “We have too many guns to get rid of at this point”
We have just over 310 million guns in the United States with a population of over 320 million people. Each year over 10 million guns are sold in the US.
What happens if we stop selling them? The total number of guns stays the same and we start to reduce the total current number.
There are just over 253 million gasoline-powered cars in the United States. In 30 years the number of gasoline-powered vehicles will be much lower. The reason is attrition and commodity exhaustion.
In the same way gasoline-powered cars will become outdated, so too can guns be an entry in US history books. We just have to adjust our societal and legislative norms to make it so. Over a period of about 40 years some guns will rust, others will be thrown away, some will be destroyed in fires and natural disasters, while others will given up for destruction. And of course some will be lost.
No matter how hard we try, the number of guns should go down.
3. “Guns are in our DNA”
Gun ownership is not in our DNA. It is in our history as a country. There are other things that are in our history as a country and we eliminated them too.
Diabetes and a host of other issues are often found within our DNA and we spend a lot of time trying to get rid of them because they kill many people each year.
Guns are used to hurt over 100,000 people in the US each year with over 36% of those dying because of their wounds. We need to focus on reducing that number and must take the medicine that comes with it.
4. “You aren’t taking my guns”
We don’t have to take your guns. The best part about you is your human body. Humans inevitably die. We don’t have to take your guns away. We just have to stop more guns from being sold in the US and wait you out.
We aren’t talking about a long time either. Within 40 years we can see the number of guns and gun-related deaths go down significantly.
We need to keep guns out of the hands of anyone born the day after the 28th amendment is ratified. Then we just wait.
5. How are you going to keep criminals from using weapons in crimes since they don’t obey the law?
Criminals will still commit crimes whether they have a gun or not. And if we ask criminals to turn in their guns, they won’t. And that is ok.
We need to come up with a system to track ammunition purchases just like we track automobile sales. Using big data and artificial intelligence, we will be able to quickly track down stores that sell ammunition to criminals. With technology already in place today, we can begin to stem the tide of these sales in the furtherance of crimes.
By slowing down the flow of ammunition to criminals, it will have the added effect of reducing their reliance on them. Now given, we may have to present an ID when we purchase ammunition, but you said you are a law-abiding citizen, right?
The reason I felt compelled to write this article is to help me conceptualize the challenges of gun control in the US. I hope you noticed I didn’t quote statistics from other countries with gun control.
I didn’t need to.
This is a US problem and can be fixed by looking at us and us alone. We have the brightest minds in the world here and simply need to be willing to stand up for innocent lives.
This article may also help you come to terms with your biases and fears about gun control. You may feel worried about losing your right to own a gun. You won’t. Does that help?
Your rights may differ from those of your grandchildren and that is ok. Many people’s rights are different than those of their grandparents. Things happen quickly when we look at them from a generational timeline and not that of a presidential term.
Keep your guns, keep them safe, and keep them at home. Live your life as if nothing has changed and eventually everything will have changed. Your children and grandchildren won’t even remember what it was like when the United States led the world in per-capita gun-related deaths.
A little about me
I owned guns for over 25 years. Not just one, but several. I had a shotgun, rifle, revolver, and a semi-automatic pistol. And I enjoyed safely shooting them.
My wife and I had children and I didn’t want to risk them finding my guns because the chances of them finding them and getting hurt or hurting others with them were higher than someone coming into my home and me successfully using my weapons to protect my family. So I got rid of them.
I was a gun owner and appreciated my ability to purchase them and am perfectly fine with my sons never being able to purchase or own guns in their lifetime.
People used to be able to buy and sell things and people that they can no longer buy, own, or sell today. That comes with our history and our growth as human beings.