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Thursday, August 30, 2012

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Gun Control...No! Responsible Gun Control...Yes?


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As I have stated on numerous occasions, I have always been a proponent of gun ownership in a society where police departments do not employ seers or psychics on their payrolls. Simply put, the police cannot be everywhere. And limiting gun ownership only hinders eligible, law-abiding gun owners from obtaining weapons; the criminals don't follow the laws anyway when it comes to securing weapons to victimize individuals, so what good would the laws do?
Outside of an outright ban by all citizens expect the military and the police (as is the law in Japan), the only way to curb gun violence like the kind we've seen lately in Colorado and Wisconsin is the application of common sense.
But this simple solution to address gun-based violence is every bit as difficult to implement as preventing the next shootings of hoodie-sporting black teenagers, Aurora movie theaters, or Sikh temple shootings? Why? Because gun ownership as an issue has become every bit as politically polarizing as any other issue in current-day America. The problem is that people would rather adhere to the dictates of their particular political ideology than to common sense. Case in point:
On July 26 of this year, the St. Petersburg City (Florida) Council passed it's "Even Zone Ordinance," outlining restrictions for what people attending the Republican National Convention could carry into the venue. Among the items prohibited from being carried into the RNC are 2 x 4 boards; Umbrellas; and Water guns. Among the items which ARE permitted to carried into the RNC? Concealed guns/weapons ("Should Guns be Allowed Inside RNC Event Zone?" July 29, 2012 ).
What's more, earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott turned down Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's request to issue an executive order allowing the city to ban concealed firearms in the zone. Is this responsible governing? What type of message does it send to ban toy guns which carry water, but allow real guns which shoot bullets into a public venue?
I see two solutions to the issue of addressing gun violence: The simple solution is to take the politics out of public policy, and create common sense laws. The more realistic solution is to ban political parties and their ideological rhetoric, which interferes with rational thinking.

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