A disturbing new poll shows that a proposal to ban assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons in the country would be favored by 86% of Democrats and 46% of Republicans. The fact that half of all Republican voters would favor all 9MM handguns (75% of all handguns purchased in America are semi-automatic) being banned is chilling, though not surprising, given the horrible job of messaging the pro-gun portion of our society is engaging in. Those of us who believe in a strong 2nd amendment have stood idly by and allowed the term “assault weapon,” to become accepted, when it is completely made-up. We have allowed people who allegedly agree with us to stupidly site “mental health,” as the reason for mass shootings, paving the way for confiscation in the name of public safety if it can be proved that any gun owner is unstable (and since every single one of us, gun owner or not, is “unstable,” in one way or another that means no holds barred). Fine. Let’s stop fighting it.
Believe it or not, it was just ten years ago that we were wringing our hands as a nation about where, as a country, we were going to get our oil from. The usual environmental arguments conflicted with dealing with unfriendly foreign countries who were producing the worlds’ supply of crude and a national per-gallon-of-gas price of around $4.10.
During the debate, many argued for the “all of the above,” approach, under the guise of “let’s see what works.” In other words, let’s give wind and solar a chance, but let’s also open ANWR in Alaska and explore fracking, and lift regulations, and see if America can discover and recover its’ own bounty of oil.
While it didn’t take then, it did go into effect slowly over the prevailing decade.
Lo and behold, The United States of America is now energy independent and is the world’s largest producer of both oil and natural gas. In one of the greatest, and least talked about, achievements of modern-day America, we have gone from being held prisoner by nations around the globe selling us their crude, to having more than we can use! In fact, America is projected to become the world’s top oil exporter by 2024!
So, let’s apply the formula elsewhere, shall we?
We’re a couple weeks removed from an historically brutal spree of mass shootings in America in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, killing 37, and bringing the total number of people killed in our country via mass shootings to 62 this year! To paraphrase what Neil DeGrasse Tyson had the audacity to point out, while 62 people killed in 8 months is 62 too many, it is also a miniscule amount compared to the numbers of people who die every 48 hours in America; On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…500 to Medical errors…300 to the Flu…250 to Suicide…and 200 to Car Accidents.
According to multiple studies defining “mass shootings” as at least three people were killed, not including the gunman (the most fair standard applied of all of the choices), there have been a staggering 932 Americans killed. That’s an average of 24.5 dead Americans per year as the result of mass shootings…TWICE as many people as are killed each year by hot air balloons, the same number of Americans who meet their demise at the hand of a lightning strike annually, and, most alarmingly, 24 more people than those who die each year as a result of a shark attack (yes, sadly, we lose half of a person, on average, each year to Jaws).
In a nation that loses 700,000 people each year to heart disease, more than 600,000 to cancer, and almost 70,000 to opiate addiction, how in the world do we tolerate 24.5 Americans being victimized by mass shootings?
What’s even more disturbing is how this epidemic is exploding; if you go back to 2012, in just 8 years, there have been 469 Americans killed in mass shootings…that’s 58 per year! The trend is doubling every 8 years…that means, by 2050, mass shootings will account for 232 American deaths every year; three times the number of us killed each year by venomous plants and animals combined. How can we stand idly by and let such carnage occur?
We can’t, of course. And so, we wring our hands and throw out so many possible solutions, yet we agree on none. Well, then, let us unite and use the lesson learned from solving America’s reliance on foreign oil; let us implement “all of the above,” as follows, effective immediately:
- All 50 states will immediately raise the legal age for purchasing or owning firearms to 21; the only exceptions will be members of the military and law enforcement, mirroring California’s law.
- Universal background checks will go into effect in all transactions, including family transfers.
- Red Flag laws, allowing family, law enforcement, and “trusted” community members to go before a judge and explain why a citizen who has committed no crime, is, in fact, a threat to the community based on his mental health and/or behavior, and should have his guns confiscated.
- All guns meeting the made-up definition of “assault weapons,” will immediately be banned. To support the ban, we will have a national “buy back” program in which people can turn in, without penalty, their dastardly semi-automatic weapons in exchange for some cold-hard-cash. If they don’t, of course, they’ll be felons and we may even go door-to-door to get their guns if we have to, because…well, we won’t be held hostage to the same morbidity rate as that caused by lightning.
- In the name of public safety, we will ignore centuries of precedent and law and no longer expunge and hide juvenile records of children who, while under 18, engage in any behavior that may, someday later in their adult life, be a warning sign of having inclinations to murder masses of people. We will immediately publicize and publicly shame any child who, in any way, demonstrates any behavior which anyone may be able to claim is a precursor to violence.
- Any and all violent video games will be banned. Ratings systems clearly haven’t worked and it is the video games that have desensitized our men. They must go. Mario Bros for all!
- We will not allow people to buy “too much” ammunition for the few guns that will remain legal. As those who support such actions argue: Laws regulating the purchase and possession of ammunition help limit access by dangerous individuals, and Without ammunition, firearms are no more dangerous than any blunt object. Can’t argue with that logic.
- We will arm all teachers
- We will run weekly active shooter drills in every single business, school, institution, municipality, church, sports league, hospital, grocery store, mall, car lot, bridge, tourist attraction, airport, and street corner in the nation so that we’re prepared.
There it is…our “All of the Above” solution as a nation to mass shootings. Every single one of those has been proposed by multiple groups on various sides of the gun debates and are the most common and popular…let’s put them all in place immediately.
And guess what? As soon as we do, there will be a mass shooting in America within weeks.
And all the while, we’ll still lose 76,000 people every year to diabetes, 50,000 to kidney disease, and 6,500 to pedestrian accidents. But, hey, at least none of them will be the victim of a mass shooting, and we will again have confronted the greatest crisis and challenge of our time, further cementing our legacy as a nation; America; where we find solutions to problems that don’t exist.