While acknowledging polarized camps exist, do sensible solutions exist?
1) Mass shootings make headline news even though they are statistically rare and other gun crimes are regularly addressed by anti-gun writers, but they are hardly our most lethal vice. Further, we should start where the most damage is being done.
I won’t mention diseases or driving (more red herrings) but violent crime has been on a sharp decline since 1991 and tobacco is by far the leading preventable cause of death in this country—16 times greater than guns. If we’re truly serious about saving lives, we’d make tobacco control a higher priority than guns and we wouldn’t focus on assault-style weapons and purchases through legal channels, which are used in a small percentage of crimes.
It’s also important to note that while most homicides in the U.S. are committed with guns, having the most guns per capita does not equate to having the most murders; in fact, the U.S. isn’t even in the top 100. That’s not to say we shouldn’t have a conversation about guns but we must prioritize and a more comprehensive approach that addresses the causes of violent crime will result in wider-reaching benefits.
2) Like any other idea, effective legislation to curb gun violence needs to be sold to garner support.
For years, the right has been woefully inept at selling conservative ideas as a means for the betterment of all and instead allowed themselves to be portrayed as only caring about the wealthy, the unborn, and corporate interests. When it comes to gun legislation, the left has allowed the idea of gun control to define the debate. That may be good for raising money, but it’s a divisive and counterproductive strategy.
3) Disagreement about the current interpretation of the Second Amendment is all the more reason to explore other options.
There are a number of things we can and should do first and foremost before even thinking about legislation that affects law-abiding gun users. Why start with the latter? If you question the Second Amendment, understand it is still in place and regardless, we should start where the most lives can be saved.
In the meantime, wouldn’t it be nice to pass legislation with minimal resistance from the NRA?
In that light, here are some ideas that make sense: