Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Moderate Approach to Tackling Guns

There has been much hyperbole on all sides regarding the gun control bills brought to the floor of the U.S. Senate. A handful of House Democrats even went so far as to stage a failed sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives in an attempt to force a vote. 

The way the Feinstein amendment in the Senate was worded was a flat-out denial or delay of purchase to all those on the terror watch list. Senator John Cornyn of Texas offered a 3 day waiting period for the government to make a case for denial of purchase to those on that list. And, outgoing Senator Susan Collins offered a ban on those who are on just the no-fly list, which is much smaller than the terror watch list. 

There are concerns and problems of these measures that are both reasonable and significant from all sides.

The FBI is concerned that they won't be able to show probable cause for many cases in just 3 days. 
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Gun rights advocates are concerned that they won't be able to get their weapons if they happen to be mistakenly on the no fly list. For example, they have a similar name of a suspected terrorist. This can happen.

Still, if an American citizen is on the no fly or the terror watch list and the FBI doesn't have the evidence to back up those claims to provide to the court in three days, then the system needs to be streamlined to make the system work more effectively to make the country safer.

Of course, safeguards have to be in place to not disrupt ongoing investigations and surveillance activities. However, the reality that the lines of communication between federal authorities with local authorities has still not been effectively streamlined should be raising red flags on both sides of the aisle. 

There also must be adequate and appropriate judicial oversight and due process for citizens. The government makes mistakes, and there has to be relevant and effective methods to challenge these decisions regarding access to firearms.
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An additional option exists which makes much more sense. 

Since there are specific types of weapons that have a high capacity for extreme collateral damage of the human variety, we should require a highly specialized license for these weapons. This license would require a much more thorough criminal and personal background check, with a psychological profile, in order to have access to those types of firearms. 

Also, there would be extreme penalties to the individual who purchased these specialized weapons if these were ever lost or if these weapons were ever used in a crime.
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This allows people to keep their weapons and have access to those weapons, but with the 'well regulated' nature applied to it from the Second Amendment’s very specific language. 

These weapons are designed to kill at a high rate and without discrimination. They are marketed in a way that makes them and their owners feel sexy and strong.

The penalties for unlawful use of these weapons must be extreme. The penalties for these weapons ever being lost must also be extreme. 

This is how you approach this issue and not infringe on Second Amendment rights of law abiding American citizens.

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