Several diarists and many people have been making suggestions about what type of legislation should be employed to protect our children and prevent unnecessary deaths. I've taken several of their ideas and believe that we should propose a basic structure for a bill that would accomplish this goal.
Of course, not all of us are going to agree on what should be in it. Personally, I used to be a gun owner and don't believe that all guns should be illegal. I'm not even 100% sure that assault weapons should be banned because I've shot an Uzi in a gun range once and it was fun. Nevertheless, here's a basic structure that I believe many can believe in.
But before we get too far ahead, let me also state that the basic premise of this Act would be to make the gun owner accountable in addition to the perpetrator. I am sick of hearing about how guns are stolen from homes or businesses, left intentionally or unintentionally out for kids and other ignorant or incompetent people to pickup and to accidentally kill someone.
Gun owners need to be more responsible or they don't deserve to own a gun. If you can't fly a plane without a lot of training, investment in time, money, and equipment, you can't fly. The same standard should be for gun owners. If you can't do it legally or can't afford it, sorry you shouldn't own a gun.
If you can't follow the law then, you won't be able to purchase a gun, retain ownership of your existing weapons, will be a criminal subject to jail, prison, or fines, and become liable and subject to lawsuits for accidental or illegal acts performed using your weapons.
Of course this proposed Act is going to require more regulation, perhaps even an agency, or more active role by law enforcement to follow mandatory gun registrations and non-compliance of the Act.
For now, it's a basic 6 point plan.
1. All gun owners must be certified in order to retain ownership and/or to purchase a gun. Certification is in effect similar to a driver's license that needs to be renewed periodically.
Here in New Jersey and I'm sure in other states we have to present Identification to prove who we are (probably as part of some Homeland Security Directive) to obtain a driver's license every four years. We have a 6-Point Identification Verification system comprised of primary and secondary documents of which points are added for documents that include a birth certificate, driver's license, passport, school Id, etc.
We have more verification in New Jersey and we do it regularly, every time you renew your license. We have more verification for a driver's license than a gun show loophole.
Certification is to include:
2. Mandatory Psychological Evaluation by a certified Psychological Professional every three years.
3. Mandatory Gun Insurance. Gun Insurers should require that all other points of this act be met in order to be considered insurable.
If you can't afford gun insurance or if a gun insurance company claims that you are un-insurable, tough luck. You can't own a gun, legally.
4. Mandatory gun safe or vault for all firearms with both a biometric ID (fingerprint) and minimum 4-digit code to open safe or vault. An alternative could include biometric recognition or trigger locks so that a weapon can only be fired by a single person, the gun owner.
The reason for both the biometric and 4-digit code is that if you kill the gun owner and cut their finger off, you still can't get into the safe.
5. Mandatory gun training. It should cover all firearms and include basic gun safety. It should demonstrate how to check any kind of weapon for being loaded (i.e. one in the breech) and how to clear it or unload it, safety locations on rifles and pistols or lack of safeties on certain weapons, and overall familiarity with most types of weapons, rifles, shotguns, pistols, semi-automatic and revolvers, etc. Should contain basic instruction on how to handle the type of weapon, the same stuff covered in some hunter's safety courses like how to walk with a shotgun, rifle, or pistol, basic gun range etiquette, and could even include how to clean and maintain your weapon.
6. This provision, of course, should exempt law enforcement. Make it illegal to sell, purchase, or own: bullet proof vests, cop killer or armor piercing bullets, clips or drums or any device that enables more than 10 bullets to be fired consecutively, and any forms of protection or offensive capabilities that would typically be used only in a law enforcement capacity.
Everyone knows that no law or method of protection is foolproof. I did not advocate taking away semi-automatic weapons or assault weapons. Yes, there is no reason to have an assault weapon and I don't believe anyone goes hunting with one. But there is a hobbyist, collector, and even some might think "coolness" factor with these weapons.
Perhaps, making it illegal to sell or give away existing assault weapons through proper gun registration and following of this proposed act would eventually make the weapons illegal and perhaps will be scrapped as a form of attrition. Many may disagree with this point but even I am willing to concede that tougher measures could be acceptable.