The national gun debate underway is really a farce. The Liberals have no interest in rational thinking. The conservatives have no capacity to think rationally. So what ever we get out of this won’t be what the nation actually needs. The overall statistics are clear: guns are used in more suicides (18,000) vs murders (11,000). The few tragic shootings we’ve had have all been traced back to mental health issues. So there needs to be a mental health aspect to what ever solution is being proposed. It is also a fact that most gun crimes are done with a stolen weapon (including stolen from relatives). So there needs to be containment aspect as well. Ammo controls and extended background checks are would not have prevented the recent tragedies.
On the mental health aspect.
The fact that most guns are used in suicides, and only a few others choose to go out in a hail of bullets taking innocents indicates that there is a natural human decadency to not shoot each other. I contend that much of the homicide from guns is a result of the illegal drug trade. That is a subject for another post, but briefly, without the courts and legitimacy from government, a gun becomes the arbiter of justice on the street. I could go so far as saying that government is responsible for its never negotiating with drug dealers hardline stance. But I digress. What is really needed is the ability for a person to confidently seek mental heath help without fearing the government is going to take their lawful guns. What we can do about this is simple. When someone seeks mental health treatment, the mental heal administrator determines if the guns should be seized. If so, we appoint a custodian of fire arms to store the firearms until the mental health administrator signs off for their release. The important thing here is that the custodian is not he government. It can be a friend, a relative, a complete stranger or a corporation. The important part is the custodian has proper firearm storage and is bound to follow the instructions of the mental health administrator. As long as the custodian follows the instructions of the MHA, he or she is not liable for any mishaps before during or after being the administrator. However if they violate the MHA’s orders while being the custodian, they are personally liable. The custodian can charge a fee. The overall important thing about this is that he government has no ability o to seize guns, never has the guns, and does not factor into their release. This is necessary for people to trust their MHA as well as the custodian for them to seek and cooperate with the treatment.
On the issue of stolen guns. The solution is simple. To require proper and adequate gun storage for the registered firearms. This in no way affects our ability o own whatever kind of firearm. But it does affect the ability for criminals to not be able to steal firearms in robberies, for kids to find them by accident and use them, for trusted kids to obtain them from storage without parent’s knowledge and consent. We cannot guarantee that the storage will be used but once it is there there is a good chance that it will be. It also helps with finding a custodian, as nearly everyone will have a gun locker with space available.
These two simple measures alone would have prevented the tragedies that have unfolded and are about to unfold on this great nation. I do not know what is ahead for us, especially today. But I guarantee with the speed it is being executed, what we will get is not what this country needs.