It’s a theme many are happy to spout out over, especially in view of the most recent tragedies, but few have an answer for. There is the one side: more gun control and as a result, which other, safer countries have, less deaths by shooting. Then there is the other (NRA and Gun Lobby) side: No.
Here is my side:
Guns don’t kill people, people do. Quite true, so it is the people who need to be controlled more. But how?
Let’s begin with registration: all guns must be registered and access to the registry must be nationwide. If the gun is not registered it should be removed immediately by law enforcement, once they have found out that it is not, and never returned. Someone who has unregistered guns should not be allowed to register them at a later date, should not be allowed to own guns in the future.
Gun licenses should be valid for only one year.
Gun owners must be a member of a certified and regularly checked gun club, regardless of whether they use their weapons for sporting, hunting or self-protection.
Gun owners must go through a precise and certified training program before being permitted to own a weapon. They should be further required to undertake, at their own cost, a re-training program every single year. Failure to complete the program should result in their license being removed and the entire process for gaining a new license begins from stage one.
Gun owners must have a secure, state-of-the-art gun cabinet which is not accessible by others, especially not by minors, and which can only be opened by themselves or others who have weapons inside. Gun cabinets must be certified, along with their positioning on the premises.
Weapons and ammunition may only be sold to those who fulfill all the certification criteria by fully certified and licensed stores. All ammunition purchases must be logged and records kept by the gun owner and by the certified store selling the weapons and ammunition. I do not include Walmart in this, and do not believe that Walmart, or any similar business – including banks – should receive certification to sell.
Log books must be kept for each and every round of ammunition purchased and used, with a complete record of where purchased, where and for what purpose used. Failure to keep records and have them regularly available for inspection should result in the removal of all weapons and the suspension or removal of the license.
Log books must be presented for inspection during the annual training program.
The rules allowing the carrying of a concealed weapon for civilians should be annulled. Only trained personnel in the protection business should be allowed to carry concealed weapons and then only in the course of their duties.
The transportation of weapons may only occur in a certified, state-of-the-art container, which must be checked annually as part of the training program, and which may only be fixed in one designated vehicle. No guns should be transported by anyone who has not had the appropriate training, holds a gun license and is fully certified for transportation.
Loss of a weapon or of ammunition is to be reported with twenty-four hours, regardless of where or how the item is lost. Failure to report, for any reason whatsoever, must result in revoking of the license and removal of all other weapons.
The number and type of weapons owned by one person must be limited to their absolute needs and limited further to a set, limited number.
Collectors of weapons, such as museums or private collections, must be equally licensed, equally stringently checked and equally secure.
All politicians are required to report, openly and within twenty-four hours, all contact with members of the weapons lobby and keep an open register of all their weapons-related interests. Failure to do so should result in a hefty, painful, financial penalty.
Any breach of the conditions I suggest should result in not just the loss of a license, the loss of any weapons, but also a large fine and the possibility of jail time. No exceptions.
This, for me, is only a start.
- Viktoria Michaelis.