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A gun-safety solution – Longmont Times-Call

Firearms


By Julia McPeek

We need to move upstream and affect human behavior rather than continuing to pull dead bodies out of the river. Bans have their place but are only dams creating pent up demand, black markets and targets for Second Amendment arms racists to blow up. We need skillfully crafted legislation at the state, federal and local level to navigate the waters and affect human behavior. So lets move up stream and make our nation safe again.

I believe in the Second Amendment. I have owned guns and once was an NRA member. I gave that up when that organization became politicized after Columbine. We have had 30 years of gun violence and tepid response from our elected officials because they bought the lies and followed the money. The NRA is not all powerful; we the people have the right to live free, peacefully, with liberty. When a gun is used to stop the life and liberty of another, it is time for the people to rise up and enact and enforce responsible ownership/sales laws. Much like we did for drinking and driving.

To do this, consider in addition to current background and mental health checks:

  • A 30 day delivery hold on all gun purchases — this will greatly reduce crimes of passion.
  • Gun safety courses — an owner, or new owner, must show proof of passing from a state licensing board, presented and verified with the state at time of purchase, for each firearm owned.
  • State license showing the owner, or new owner, has passed the state requirements for ownership and operation of a firearm.
  • Regular renewals of the firearms license.
  • Making the seller liable, like the bar owner who is liable for selling the last drink at the bar to a drunk driver, should any firearm they sold be utilized in a felony.
  • Making the gun owner liable for any damages and city, state, federal expenses should their gun be used in a felony.
  • Liability insurance and require proof of liability insurance prior to licensing.
  • Allowing assault weapons only at licensed and state approved firing ranges. Ban them for the general public to own.
  • Bringing back gun safety courses in schools — yes, I am dating myself, and we were taught how to respect and handle guns in Colorado when my partner and I were in grade school.
  • Make the act of a mass shooting an act of domestic terrorism.

We cannot allow another life to be lost because we are drowned in the rhetoric of Second Amendment arms racists, who are always trying to preserve their right to purchase one more new toy. This is not a game. This is truly life and death. It is a privilege of a free society to own and operate a gun, just like it is a privilege to own property or an automobile. Property and automobiles are more highly regulated for safety and responsible ownership than guns are currently. It is time for this to change.

Julia McPeek is a Longmont resident.



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