While the NRA touts the Second Amendment in its efforts to retain full and unrestricted gun ownership rights for all Americans, little attention is seemingly paid to the rights of other Americans not to be victims of those guns. Clearly we have a right not to own a gun if we so chose, but apparently we don’t have a right not to be shot.
The NRA argument has long been that guns don’t kill people, people do. But the question that goes unanswered in my mind is: How many of the 80,000 Americans shot each year would be spared injury or death if people didn’t have guns? The answer must be: the vast majority of victims.
Assuming that the NRA believes than no one should be a victim of gun violence, there are only four ways to reduce or eliminate gun deaths and injury:
- Prevent people who would eventually kill and/or injure others from ever getting a gun – the apparent NRA position
Since this is an impossible “solution” – foresight is never 20/20 – then this position is one that merely seeks to deflect the issue and put the onus for gun violence on the shoulders of everyone but the companies that make or sell guns. As if they don’t rub their hands together with anticipation and greed every time there is a massacre in this country.
- Prevent people from owning guns
With more than 300,000,000 privately owned guns already in the U.S. – more than one for every adult – banning and confiscating guns is another impossible solution. The time to enact this kind of ban was before the end of the Civil War.
- Prevent gun owners from owning or obtaining ammunition
5,460,000,000 rounds of ammunition are produced in the U.S. each year, and given the lifespan of the typical bullet and the estimated use, there are close to 65 billion rounds stockpiled in this country. That’s enough to kill every man, woman, child, pet, and mammal bigger than a mouse, and a fair number of birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Again, this is not going to happen.
- Give everyone a bullet proof vest and helmet
So we are left with protecting ourselves as best we can. Since government is unwilling to act on any of the first three alternatives, then it must place a tax on gun and ammunition purchases and earmark the revenue to buy me and all my friends a bulletproof vest and helmet. It won’t be a huge tax since gun owners won’t need the protection…according to the NRA, that’s why they have a gun.