Monday, January 10, 2011

How to Reduce Deaths by Guns

For the safety of all Americans, the purchase and use of firearms must be controlled and regulated by the federal government in a uniform system applying to all gun owners in all states. Qualifications for ownership and use should include: passing a written test, a physical test, and a medical test as well as training in use of firearms.

A fair and workable system should have as a basic principle that every gun owner should have a reason to have a gun: military, security officer, police, hunter, target shooter. There should be uniform regulation in all states so that a person cannot buy a gun in one state but then take it to another state to evade regulations.

Enforcement should be the responsibility of the local police chiefs, who know the angry and unstable people in their area, who have self-interest and motivation because their officers are most often in the line of fire. All guns should be stored in the local police station, signed out for use, and then returned to the police station. No guns should be allowed at home to avoid children or unauthorized persons having accidents, to avoid the use of guns as a tool to settle an angry argument, to avoid gun use in a vehicle during road rage, to avoid availability during mental depression.

The cost of installing such a system would be far less than the current cost of gun incidents. It would give law-enforcement another tool at the local level where most crime and accidents take place.

Legitimate use of guns under safe procedures would be protected, even encouraged - but murders, suicides, and deaths by gun accident and errors would be reduced dramatically.


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