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Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Proposed Way to Reduce Gun Violence

I support the right of sane & law-abiding citizens to own and use
guns. But many guns that were originally purchased by regular people
are now in the hands of criminals or mentally ill persons.  I think
that the law should make gun owners more responsible for preventing
such transfers.  So what I'm proposing is that whenever a gun is found
in the possession of someone other than the original owner, there is a
presumption of a crime by the owner. The crime would most likely be
culpable negligence. That would be the case if there was no criminal
intent, but the owner sold the gun, or left it behind when moving, or
failed to take reasonable measures to keep it from being stolen. In
order to transfer a gun from one private party to another, there would
have to be a registration process. To skip this registration process
would be culpable negligence.  If a gun is stolen, the police must be
notified so that there is a record of that event.  When an heir
acquires a gun due to a death, a similar procedure must occur.

What this would do is give gun owners additional motivation to prevent
their guns from falling into the wrong hands.  Would it have prevented
Adam Lanza from getting his hands on one of his mother's guns in her
basement, loading it, and killing her?  We cannot know that, but at
least Nancy Lanza, as part of her weapons training, would have been
told about the law. That might have made her more aware of the risk
she was taking.

But this approach certainly cannot prevent all gun violence.  What it
would do is cause many gun owners to think a little more about the
whereabouts of their guns. That ought to have a positive effect on our
national gun violence problem.