An occupational hazard of attempting murder is getting killed yourself.

First of all, you have absolutely no evidence of “attempted murder,” even if you take the rest of Zimmerman’s testimony as gospel (which is absurd). That “witness” you refer to was speaking to Martin on the telephone, by the way, and was not a visual witness. It’s true that she claimed Martin said “creep-ass cracker” in reference to a large, threatening, armed man who appeared to be following him. But it is not true that she testified that Martin was “on his chest pounding his head into the pavement.”

But Martin is not the primary subject at hand here, but suffice to say: regardless of where you stand on Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence, your assessment here is objectively skewed

Let’s start enforcing the laws on the books. (Removing carry privileges for those who break the law). Let’s start talking about people without gun licenses who break the law for a living. How are new guns going to affect them? And if they don’t affect them, how are we going to stop them?

So we should…address gun violence…by focusing on crimes don’t necessarily involve guns? And that should be a priority over violence involving other gun owners because…why?

“Laws” are not some immaculate, unquestionable, ethereal thing, and I reject any attempt to hold them up on a pedestal for their own sake. But I, like most people, will respect a law that serves a purpose beyond itself. Will a certain subset of violent people disregard some laws anyway? Of course. Will we be able to stop all death? Never. But those are both utterly unattainable goals, and we hold no other laws to such absurdly perfect expectations, so I don’t understand why those kinds of arguments are used so frequently in regards to gun violence.

Now, I am in support of “enforcing the laws on the books,” but even that is easier said than done. Paying cheap lip service to the sentiment while shutting down all possible conversations around the subject, however, is probably not the best way to accomplish it?

But if someone did want to “enforce the laws on the books,” they could start by passing legislation that standardizes NICS reporting across states and military departments, with some kind of financial penalty for noncompliance.

You would also need to budget in some kind of system to fund the physical, organizational, and legal processes for civil asset forfeiture. Should we be increasing ATF budgets in order to empower them to take guns away from those who have had their privileges revoked? Should it be up to private NGOs, or state departments? Those are all questions that can be debated, but the need for funds to push such initiatives means that new legislation would have to be written.

Similarly, in regard to your concerns about “illegal gun ownership,” the solution to this problem involves money and manpower. It requires more social workers, with plentiful resources, to work with communities to create more opportunities for youth—which generally means improving education budgets as well, while also being willing to let certain petty crimes and misdemeanors slip more as these communities grow in their self-reliance. Again: this all requires funding and legislation. But such investments have been proven to pay themselves off significantly in the long run—if people in power are willing to give them that opportunity.

I understand that state’s rights do prevent many of these things from being accomplished, and I think it’s shameful that the NRA has pushed for reciprocity laws that allow certain gun holders to benefit of legal perks from their home states when they are in other states. But this is a larger complication for which I can respect debate as well. I think that requiring gun owners to pass a target test and/or attend some kind of safety/training session would also help to prevent future problems without infringing on the rights of current law-abiding gun owners; interviews with authorities or submitted letters of reference might also be effective in some places.

It would also be important to improve mental healthcare funding to address suicides, which would employ more social workers and provide for more resources as well.

All of these things are achievable; would significantly reduce the rates of gun deaths in America; and would not infringe on civil liberties. But they do require people to have conversations, and to be willing to try things, and to invest in improving communities and the lives of others, which are all much harder to achieve.

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Writer of fiction, article, songs, and more. Enjoys quantum physics, Oxford Commas, & romantic clichés, esp. when they involve whiskey. HATES Journey.

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