Joe E Dees wrote:
> I favor keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals,
> proven intimidating abusers, and the mentally incompetent and/or
> deranged, and ONLY them. I have no problem whatsoever with
> RESPONSIBLE gun ownership by the general citizenry (I own five
> of them).
So then WHAT is this persistent debate about, anyway? What
person with normal awareness of public safety requirements
and of the incidence of human injury and death by means of
firearms could object on rational grounds to the following?
1] Convicted hyperaggressive felons should be denied legal
ownership of any lethal weapon, even if the enforcement
of the law has intractable practical limitations.*
2] Spousal or child abusers who have either been convicted
of aggravated assault, assault with intent, etc. or known
by the Child Protective or Welfare Agencies locally to be
violent by history should be likewise denied ownership.
3] Anyone denied a license to operate a motor vehicle, for
whatever reason, should automatically be denied owner-
ship of firearms. This would include alcoholic drivers,
habitual offenders and those who have thereby shown
a heedless and reckless disregard of the welfare, safety
and security of the general public.
4] All individuals known to the local judicial system as
certifiably sociopathic or ambulatory psychotic should be
5] Hunters who have violated local laws pertaining to the
use of firearms for this purpose or otherwise engaged in
illegal hunting practices should be denied ownership.
6] ANYONE known by properly constituted authority to be
legally irresponsible in the use of firearms for ANY purpose,
including collecting, selling, trading or the mechanical
alteration of firearms should be denied ownership.
7] The retailing of firearms should be limited to, without
exception, state-owned stores, just as in some states
liquor sales are currently regulated.
8] ALL firearms owned by private individuals should be com-
prehensively registered with an appropriate local law-
enforcement agency. Private trading should be banned.
9] Penalties for first time and repeated offenders should be
equal to or greater in severity than those that currently
apply to violators of motor vehicle laws. A point system
or other device could be used to determine when a license
must be suspended.
10] First time gun owners should be tested by written and
optical exams just as motor vehicle owners are now. It
would not be required to be relicensed unless a violation
of firearms laws, statutes and ordinances was a matter of
court record. (See -8- and -9-)
I cannot stress enough the revulsion I feel toward those who
reject such rational social controls on the ostensible basis of
some abstract idealist polity or manifesto using ad populum
terms like "freedom" and "rights" to induce emotional support
for irresponsible firearm ownership among those who are either
socially incompetent, illiterate or simply too immature to under-
stand the implications of such terms when applied to the real
It is truly astonishing that, after the perhaps 2,500-year
documentation of the human tendency to inflict violence on
his own kind to achieve merely selfish ends, we still listen to
those who advocate that some personal acquisitive desire
should be regarded as superordinate to the welfare of the
community upon which this individual depends. Any claim
of privilege is forfeit by those whose very polemics are
grounded in social indifference.
* This caveat applies to every stipulation; arguments against
the regulation and control of the use, distribution, and owner-
ship of firearms based on the difficulties inherent in applying
laws and regulations are entirely specious. This argument is
reduced to absurdity by demonstrating that, for the same reason,
NO laws or regulations should be enacted within a community in
behalf of the general welfare.
Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:05:28 MDT