Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stirring the Pot

Sometimes I like to throw something out on Facebook that I know will just cause my conservative Oklahoma friends to start salivating.  Gun reform is one of the hottest topics that really brings out the rednecks around here.  

Yesterday because it was my birthday and because I frankly love to stir the pot I decided to initiate another discussion on gun reform so I posted this:
Every time another shooting occurs in this country at the hands of a mentally unstable person the internet lights up about how the government is going to try and confiscate everyone’s guns. That’s ridiculous and impossible. That’s just the rhetoric fed to people to divert them from considering any reasonable form of gun control. 

First of all I can’t believe anyone would object to trying to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people. I have had my own personal experience with this issue. I have a family member who was able to purchase not one but two handguns within 2 days after his release from a 2 month inpatient stay in a psychiatric hospital. Because of the diligence of my family we were able to immediately remove the weapons from his home in order to keep him as well as others safe. But we could use a little help. We need better laws to prevent this. Providing better services for the mentally ill is a completely separate issue. Let’s just start by not arming them!

I have no desire to disarm America I just want people to assume the liability along with their decision to own and keep guns in their home. For example, if you have a person with a history of mentally illness in your home and that person injures or God forbid kills someone with your weapon, you should be held legally liable for that act. If a child gets hold of a weapon in your possession and shoots or kills himself or others you should be held criminally liable. This is not about the Second Amendment or about a citizen’s right to bear arms. This is about the responsibilities that come with that right. This is about adults’ responsibility to keep children and others safe. After all, the right of children to live without fear and danger supersedes a Constitutional right to bear arms.

For goodness sake we put gates around swimming pools to keep children from drowning. We put safety caps on medications to keep children from poisoning themselves. Like bodies of water and colorful pills, a gun is what the law of torts calls “an attractive nuisance.” In other words, guns present a unique allure for children, especially for boys. For that reason, and because children are naturally curious and impulsive, and because it has been shown time and again that we cannot “gun-proof” them with education, we have a responsibility to keep guns out of the hands of children and the mentally ill.

Yesterday I read that the NRA  spends 66 times what the Brady Campaign spends on lobbying, and 4,143 times what the Brady Campaign spends on campaign contributions. Between 2011 and 2013 the NRA spent at least $24.28 million: $16.83 million through its political action committee, plus $7.45 million through its affiliated Institute for Legislative Action.  They are definitely efficient at convincing gun owners that the government is out to take their weapons which immediately makes them oppose anything and everything.  

What sane individual supports limiting what doctors can ask their patients about firearms in the home?  This was the provision the NRA forced to be included in the Affordable Care Act.  While the provision doesn't forbid doctors from asking about guns, it prohibits health care workers from collecting that information, documenting it and using it for research.

In Florida they went a step further and would actually penalize doctors if they ask their patients about whether they own a gun, in most cases.  Gun-rights advocates, including the NRA, have raised concerns about tracking this data, including the possibility that acknowledging legal gun ownership could bring higher insurance premiums.
Personally I think that the decision to own a firearm should come with the increased liability.  Higher insurance premiums would be just part of the deal.  You assume the risk you assume the responsibility.


Olga Hebert said...

Spot on, Dani!!
And happy birthday, belated.

Deb said...

Amen, but there's no talking logic to a gun nut. It's like they've turned their brains right off. A while back some idiot parents gave their four-year-old son a child-sized rifle for Christmas, then just put it in the corner, loaded, where he had access to it. He shot and killed his three-year-old sister.

What did the moronic uncle in his Confederate flag T-shirt say? "Well, that's no praventin theez tragic axidents from a happnin'."

WHAT? NUMBSKULL! What SANE person gives a four-year-old a gun to start with, then leaves it LOADED where he can walk up to it, pick it up, point it at his sister and pull the trigger? That's not an accident, that's negligence to the point of homicide.

Inbred Jed and family need immediate sterilization so they don't breed anymore STUPIDS.

America needs to give its collective head a shake.

Deb in Canada where we have sane gun laws