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General

Quagmiric Impasse


The pro-gun lobby would never in a million years give up its well guarded position without a fight. If bible believing rifle wielding priests are anything to go by, it would probably involve an armed conflict.

After numerous massacres over the years (recently in Connecticut & Corolado) which have left many US families devastated, a trail of broken dreams, massive scars upon a whole nation and millions of sympathisers worldwide, there still walks on the American heartland many who believe it remains their unquenchable birthright to wield firearms.

After all, it’s in the constitution, a solid right to keep and bear arms against conquistadors, invasion, repression, dangerous animals, general unruliness, and other types of idiocy. Surely, the founding fathers and court cases couldn’t possibly have got this one wrong, especially since they knew that the expansive size of America would inevitably make the job of policing impossibly difficult.

And what if the sheriff and his co-horts happen to be the  baddies, as has been the case numerous times in American history? Surely, guns must be a necessity?

As for the hundreds of deaths, maybe we need more guns and guards in every school, they say.

This is coming from a country that is universally hailed as the world’s only super power, that has hundreds of military bases across the world, the largest military budget in the world and a nuclear arsenal that would make the armies of the United Federation of Planets tremble with fear. And that has mad preachers who burn Qurans.

But what about the simpler options? Why hasn’t anyone touched the middle ground?

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Since it is quite evident that getting many Americans to give up their guns is going to be an impossible task (see surveys here and here), what about a partial ban (say one gun per household/ person)?

To put things in perspective here, I’m not exactly proud of the fact that my cousin has three, one pistol and two semi-automatics! And my brother-in-law owns nine!.

So what of a partial ban coupled with gun detectors on every corner? In every school, university, airport, post-office, cinema, theme park, hospital, and just about everywhere? Surely gun detectors have to be the middle ground.

And what if they raised the acceptable age of gun ownership to 32- 35 – whereby present “underage” owners would keep one of their current weapons in a “trust” – until when they are older – and if they have more than one, would be “compelled” to give up the rest? Surely, that’s a sort of a workable compromise than is currently the case?

Implementing it would cost a lot. But no where near as much as the war in Afghanistan, or the billions thrown about in Iraq. It would also create jobs, and possibly make America safer.

In my view, such a policy is equally important to Amerca’s safety as is smoking out Taliban. Probably much more important that drone warfare. As the saying goes, charity begins at home.

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