Opinion

30 gun safety ideas in 30 seconds

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1) Strengthen background checks and close the loopholes that allows someone to buy a gun without one.

2) Ban high-capacity magazines that enhance the killing power of semi-automatic weapons.

3) Require gun owners to be licensed.

4) End so-called “constitutional carry.”

5) Implement waiting periods for the purchase of a firearm. No good has ever come of someone needing to buy a gun in a hurry.

6) Require gun owners to demonstrate some minimum level of proficiency with the firearms they own.

7) Mandate safety classes for the purchase of a firearm.

8) Require all gun owners to adequately secure their weapons and store ammunition separately.

9) Give everyone a trigger lock.

10) Add specialty insurance for gun owners that will cover some of the cost of tragic outcomes, whether criminal or not. We require drivers to have insurance in case they hurt someone else or damage their property. Why not the same thing for gun owners?

11) Allow gun makers to be sued when their products are used for mass violence.

12) Ban silencers. We aren’t living in a James Bond movie.

13) Allow localities to ban guns from town hall and voting locations. Town meetings and firearms are a dangerous mix. Bring your ballot, leave your gun at home.

14) Pass red flag laws that help to keep guns out of the hands of people who are a risk to themselves and to others. By the way, fake red flag laws, like the one passed in Maine this year, don’t count.

15) Ban military-style assault weapons, such as the AR-15 and its derivatives. Weapons of war have no place on our streets. (And if you think that you’re going to defend yourself against the tyranny of the government, you’re wrong. The government uses robots, drones and bombs.

16) Place limits on the purchase of ammunition so that a person can’t stockpile thousands of rounds as they prepare for war on their neighbors.

17) Disarm domestic abusers. Duh.

18) Implement a gun buy-back program, specifically targeting assault-style weapons and handguns, to reduce their numbers in the country.

19) Implement anti-violence programs in urban areas and expand access to effective social services.

20) Release photos from the scenes of gun violence as one group of students proposes. Maybe seeing the horror will shock America awake.

21) Video games aren’t the problem.

22) Neither are drag queens, gay marriage or open borders.

23) And people with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of crime than they are to commit them. Stop scapegoating other people. But by all means, let’s fund services for people with mental illness.

24) Treat gun violence like a disease.

25) Fund research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control.

26) Recognize the threat posed by far-right ideologies, white supremacy and domestic terrorists and focus law enforcement on the problem. General Ulysses Grant and the FBI later broke up the KKK. They can do it again.

27) End the toxic stew of political rhetoric that pits “us” against “them” and turns immigrants and people of color into enemies. When the president points fingers, there are people who are watching and ready to act.

28) Stop thinking that a good guy with a gun can stop gun violence. If the trained cops can kill a shooter in 30 seconds but he still has time to kill nine and injury dozens, an English teacher with a pistol isn’t the answer.

29) You’re not alone. The majority of Americans support smart, reasonable gun safety regulations.

30) Don’t accept that we can’t do anything, that gun violence is just the price we pay to be Americans.

Thirty seconds. That’s how long it took to murder nine people and injure 27 others in Dayton, Ohio.

Do something. Do anything. Pick a few. Don’t be afraid. Literally. Just try to make it better and refuse to accept the status quo that trades innocent lives for easy access to guns.

David Farmer is a public affairs, political and media consultant in Portland, where he lives with his wife and two children. He was senior adviser to Democrat Mike Michaud’s 2014 campaign for governor.

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