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  1. Bill
    June 18, 2019 @ 11:20 AM

    This was an interesting article. It didn’t have nearly the foolishness of most gun banning, anti-second amendment rants that I am used to seeing. I too am interested in practical ways to reduce gun violence, and having productive conversations about how that can be achieved. Having said that, I am a Life Member of the NRA, A Range Safety Officer, Rifle and Pistol Instructor, Concealed Carry Holder, and a State Licensed Armed Security Guard. I am considerably zealous for the second amendment.

    Having said all that, I often wonder if there are functional ways to reduce the amount of illegal gun violence that abounds. Furthermore, how do you do that without giving up the individual rights recognized by the constitution? It isn’t easy.

    There were a few points that I would like to quibble with in this article:
    1. Waiting periods don’t work after the purchaser has their first gun. I am unaware of any empirical evidence that they do much on the first purchase either.
    2. Permits and background checks only affect those who use them; the law-abiding. Criminals avoid both, so by inherent function, neither of these is terrible effective.
    3. Why not mention STRICT, ENFORCED, PUNITIVE measures for people who break laws. If you would enforce more of the existing gun laws, they might begin to have an effect on the rate of gun violence. This takes time, and can be expensive, so no one wants to implement it. It seems that an ineffective solution today is better than an effective solution five or ten years in the making.
    4. The 30,000 gun deaths number is often touted, but disingenuous. It includes suicides, which is a large problem, but not the same as violence being visited on other people. Harming one’s self should probably be addressed under the mental health side of the question, not the legal side.

    I think I mostly agree with the author about violent entertainment and mental health issues. Those are big contributors, but once again, you are up against individual rights there, so it is hard to control. I am almost always on the side of individual rights. If you are more interested in collective rights, there are any number of other countries where the collective is valued more than the individual. For me, no thank you.

    All in all, I enjoyed reading these thoughts. They aren’t entirely the same old clap trap that I am used to hearing from my opponents. I like the engineer’s approach to solving the problem, not politicizing it.



    • Eldon
      June 18, 2019 @ 3:10 PM

      Thank you for the comments. I’ll take your quibbles. As stated, we need minds open to other ideas and ready to bend in finding an appropriate solution.
      Thanks for taking time to write. I particularly like your call for Enforcement — because you’re right, there are laws — many are just as you say, “an ineffective solution today is better than an effective solution … years in the making.” That exactly nails my opinion on politicians and current law making practices. I personally think we’re a nation of wimps with enforcement and punishment. A little “time-out” and an apology works for 2-year-olds, but not so much for adults — but that’s another topic.
      One thing I will point out, however, discussing “opponents” and “they” is not usually constructive when seeking solutions. Collaboration, understanding, and thoughtfulness are enhanced without divisions. That’s hard, and I often fail in the same way. Keep thinking. Keep talking. And again, Thank You.


      • Dale Backus
        August 13, 2019 @ 10:22 AM

        A very thoughtful and an intelligent approach to talking about and offering solutions to gun violence. As a fellow engineer, I can relate to the problem solving mind better than the emotionally driven and political posture that we see today. With that said, a couple comments on my own….

        I am for the 2nd amendment for the part “right to bear arms”, but I am not a fan of owning assault rifles of which have one purpose only – to kill in combat. I get it that our society is exposed to entertainment with such powerful weapons and can excite those that want to see what it would be like to fire such a weapon. However, if so, then join the military service where the training is provided and discernment is abundant. To me, a good analogy is like the airplane – the F16. We all know we can’t have one, but if one must, then either follow the path of being trained to fly one or pay money and go up with a certified pilot where you can experience the thrill. An assault rifle should be treated the same and any none military weapon with the same or near the same capability should not be available to the general public. Maybe we have specific gun ranges or a place where you can go sign out this type of weapon where it is controlled – a controlled gun range for such a powerful weapon. Another analogy is that we cannot go drive a Formula 1 car down the road. Rather, you have to train in such a car on the track and only race it on the track.

        I own a shotgun for protection and my wife has a hand gun (9mm) for protection. If we were hunters, we would own guns designed specifically for what game we were hunting. I know this is small part in addressing the issue of gun violence and gun control measures, but in my opinion, not allowing the general public to obtain an assault rifle or one similar would be a small part that would help.

        Also, I agree that our entertainment industry and the rights of people vs individuals must be addressed as well. These video games that cultivate the desire and almost “no-big-deal” attitude around such virtual violence can and will lead to furthering this interest and if a person has problems mentally, can lead to real acts. I believe in the law of attraction – what you put out in the world will come back to you. Also, what you spend your energy on or thoughts on is what you will think more about and have more energy towards.

        Lastly, I took a class years ago in my undergraduate called correctional punishment. You hit this right on the head – we do not deter individuals from crime in general. I took this class in the late 1980’s and it is unfortunately even more true today. We have overcrowded jails, we don’t deter those that drunk drive, too much red tape, the prosecution process and self interest is corrupted, etc., etc. I cannot believe we don’t just take away licenses for good if someone seriously hurts others while DWI/DUI. If you were caught DUI in England, Germany, you WILL lose your license much much longer or for good on strike 1. And, it will be nothing like getting slapped in the wrist with just a couple thousand dollars and some silly videos you have to watch.

        ThanKs for the article. Worth sharing.


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