Sunday, 23 December 2012


The call for a ban on guns is clearly a justified and a gallant attempt to stop this haemorrhage of death in the United States.
Mass shootings are not a prerogative of the States, we've had enough of those in Europe as well as around the world but it's not comparative to scale. There have been scores of dead in a lot of countries, what worries the most in the US is the frequency. Nearly 60 schools have had some type of shooting since 1996 and nearly 200 people dead because of that. The spread is nationwide.
But most worrying is the number of people killed in gun related incidents: over 30,000 per year, and by 2015 it is set to overtake deaths by driving.

A total gun ban is unrealistic, you have to take into consideration the tradition and history of the country. The sheer number of guns in current possession is not one that could be easily controlled.
Also there is the isolation of some communities in such a vast country and the insurmountable problems in changing the constitution.

Gun "limiting" would be the best short term solution. Here are my points to achieve it:

1. Allow only guns up to a certain caliber, exclusively for protection. No rifles, no semis, no automatic;
2. Thorough psychological testing to get license;
3. If rifles are needed for hunting, they should be kept at police precincts and signed off with hunting plan (a bit like a flight plan for airplanes or a whereabouts for anti-doping measures);
4. If weapons are needed for target shooting, they should be kept exclusively at the shooting range;
5. Only 5 bullets per gun;
6. When gun is bought, the police receives report with number of bullets;
7. Spot checks on number of bullets;
8. If/when a bullet is fired it has to be logged. Each bullet should be traceable (it is a weapon not a toy).
9. If bullets are unaccounted for, the license is revoked.

Mass murderers cannot always be stopped and they are not even the main concern if we look at data. But we can limit the number of deaths by making it difficult to have guns.

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