Summit Daily letters: ‘Enough is enough,’ or is it?
‘Enough is enough’ or is it?
Editor’s note: A version of this letter, written after the Parkland shooting in Florida, was published in February 2018. It has been updated and resubmitted in response to the school shooting in Highlands Ranch.
First, I am a military veteran. I’m not “anti-gun.” The military trains you to handle weapons safely.
Many people including POTUS decry the recent, in a never-ending series of atrocities involving guns. POTUS expresses, “We are all joined in your suffering,” to the families that just buried children. I’m sure that is great comfort to them. He promises to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.” I take him at his word. Let’s “tackle” mental health and gun violence.
To Congress, state and local governments. Enact the following:
1. Mandatory background checks for offenses related to mental instability including:
Violence against persons domestic or otherwise.
Multiple social media postings expressing antisocial intentions or threats.
Three convictions for DUI, drunk and disorderly conduct or substance abuse. They have demonstrated potential mental instability.
Current mental health counseling for violence or antisocial behavior.
A weapons-related conviction, gun or otherwise.
2. A national five business days “cooling off period” before you can take possession of a firearm, even if a background check is clean. According to the FBI, currently 92% of gun sales occur instantly, if a check is clean. One gun only per permit. Multiple sales are currently allowed.
3. Same requirements applied to gun show purchases. Sellers currently don’t have to meet dealer requirements, the “gun show loophole.” They would need a national license as a firearms dealer with access to the NICS database. They currently have no access. This should be a national requirement to prevent out-of-state purchases.
4. Increased age limits for weapons purchases. The Florida shooter couldn’t be served in a bar or rent a car from a national company. But at age 18, he legally bought an AR-15.
5. Prohibition of firearms possession by a felon remains in place.
6. Create a national “mental health” database. Law enforcement, judicial and mental health counseling agencies will be required to report.
Appeal standards will apply once the individual is given a “clean bill” by a licensed mental health counselor. Certification that this database has been checked, will be mandatory for a gun purchase.
7. Convictions of firearms offenses, mental issues or violence against another person while in the military will carry over to the new requirements. The military will be required to report to the national database.
Many will feel this doesn’t go far enough, others will feel too far. Can’t we agree that they can serve as a basis from which to legislate? Endless debates that go nowhere won’t stop bullets.
Regrettably, we have mentally ill people in our society that apparently have easy access to guns. Waiting for the next tragedy is not an option. It’s not a question of if, but when and where. It is past time to act.
Your Second Amendment rights end where my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness begins.
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