Gun Safety

Gun control is an issue for all citizens to resolve

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It is obvious the government cannot resolve the issues of gun control for all citizens; therefore, the people must take responsibility to solve the problem. The Washington Post reported 169 mass shooters between Aug. 1, 1966 and August 5th inclusive of the Dayton and El Paso mass shootings.

“Some of these mass shooters were known to have violent tendencies or criminal pasts. Others seemed largely fine until they attacked. All but three were male. The vast majority were between the ages of 20 and 49. More than half — 95 of them — died at or near the scene of the shooting, often by killing themselves.  1,196 killed. The people who were killed came from nearly every imaginable race, religion and socioeconomic background. Their ages range from the unborn to the elderly; 190 were children and teenagers.  In addition, thousands of survivors were left with devastating injuries, shattered families and psychological scars.”

The Washington Post, 4 August 2019

Gun Violence Archive records of mass shootings are almost in “real-time” due to media. In 2019, twenty-six violent incidences occurred.  An unconscionablenumber of assaults on human life in America; the country where people can pursue freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

How can Americans pursue happiness when there is a “climate of fear and hatred,” according to the President of the United States?  Such an oxymoron, when President Trump has stumped around the country with a comedy act promoting people hatred against specific racial groups and individual people.

We must recognize domestic terroism

In Dayton, as a reaction to the empathy of the Hispanic community, a White Supremacist filed a manifesto then killed and wounded as many as he could including his own sister. However, the killing in Dayton did not appear to be spur-of-the-moment. The killer spent time thinking out his manifesto as it had details; not a quite note on a café napkin. This killing was well planned and many people executed.

There is no place in America for hate

What the President reads on national television is written by someone else [a speech writer] with a possible opposing agenda. Trump spoke with hesitation and even fumbled a few times. He even fumbled when he said the mass shooting that occured in Dayton, Ohio happened in Toledo, Ohio.

 Regardless, President Trump is suddenly calling for:

“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy.” He went on to say, “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.  Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heard and devours the soul.”

Michigan Live, 5 August 2019

Trump needs to stop blaming mass shootings on immigration, mental health, and hatred.  My friend Gary Barnes who is a practicing Clinical Psychologist said yesterday in a Facebook post,

“I’m tired of hearing Trump blame mental illness for gun violence when the research does not support this (except for suicide) as a way of avoiding gun legislation. And I’m angry that despite his attempt to shift blame his policies leave millions without health care, underfund mental health services badly, and drive up costs for most insured care.  He truly doesn’t care about the carnage beyond his political goals.”

Do’s and Don’ts of Gun Safety

We need active action to take guns off our streets.  As politicians have stonewalled appropriate actions at the local or federal levels, the only action left is for people to do the right thing.  The question is will they? 

Gun safety starts at home as the majority of kids are hurt or killed at home.
Gun safety starts at home as the majority of kids are hurt or killed at home.

Thinking about gun safety ideas

What can citizens do to make a difference?  Considering the statistics of the mass shootings, who the shooters were, and how they acquired their guns, there are ways for gun owners to make changes to prevent mass shootings.

I suggest gun owners can make changes that will make a difference.

  1. Do not “open carry” a weapon. Weapons must be legally concealed, or not carried at all.
  2. All concealed weapons must be approved and licensed by a local FBI office.
  3. Store all weapons in a locked weapons case (with combination) out of sight.
  4. Travel with hunting weapons in a locked weapons case (with combination) always kept inside a locked vehicle when not in use.
  5. Travel with weapons in a weapons case (with combination) when going to a shooting range. Or, the better options would be to store weapons at the shooting range for retrieval When shooting at the practice range all handlers should leave their weapons at the range unless trained and licensed concealed weapons

As a Veteran, I expect there are some people including my fellow Veterans that believe owning weapons are their constitutional right. What I am proposing is not imposing on anyone’s right to own a weapon. In fact, most people are safe gun owners.

While most parents keep their weapons appropriately stored, Beth Ebel, M.D., a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention said, “Yet nearly 40 percent of gun-owning households with children [age 14 and under] have an unlocked gun to which a child might gain access.”  As a result, according to AAP, “140 minors are killed, and 3000 minors are injured are injured in homes each year by unlocked guns; these children are all under the age of 14 years old.”  An unacceptable number!

Getting guns that are not safely stored

The minors quoted as killed by the AAP do not include mass shootings on school campuses which is a whole other blog conversation. My proposal suggests people change their gun ownership habits to save the lives of children and other people in the near vicinity. Changing gun ownership habits will prevent people; including, children from getting guns that are not safely stored.  Nothing to do with authorized gun users. True, this does not solve Gun Control; however, it does improve Gun Safety. It is just one step!

UPDATE: 02 September 2019 — On Saturday, 31 August 2019, a gunman in Odessa, Texas went on a shooting rampage. Seven people were killed and CNN Situation Room states “almost two dozen others injured.” FBI agents states he also made calls to the FBI. This man made up to four 911 calls on Saturday before, and at least one call while he was killing people. 911 agents apparently were confused about what he was talking about.

Apparently we don’t yet understand mass shooting

I suggest the Gun Safety information above be updated as follows. These ideas are more restrictive, however, we as a community have to do something to protective ourselves.

  1. Citizens should not own or carry an AR-15 or other machine guns.
    1. All machine guns are meant for the Military or Police Agencies, either active or irregular.
  2. Develop buy-back programs potentially funded as a mission program by large evangelical churches in large cities.
    1. Joint projects to remove off the street and remove from homes. Could include police, social workers, church workers, etc.
    2. Pay people for depositing illegal guns.
  3. Local police must monitor all drop off locations.

Update: Another Mass Shooting

02 September 2019 — Due to the recent mass shooting on Saturday (31 August 2019) in Texas, I believe there needs to be some more assertive Gun Safety attempts by citizens. I am sure many will not buy into the idea. However, it could take some dangerous guns off the streets. My suggestion is large community churches, church members, and community leaders work together to establish a safe buy-back program. The goal is to provide measures to lower the dangers that are out in our community and at home every day, which causes child death due to guns.

Call to Action

Individuals who have been radicalized on the dark web include but are not limited to the shooter in El Paso. Many individuals who are also radicalized by the dark web also include ISIS and al-Qaeda. It is my recommendation that government Cyber Security Groups work together to block or destroy the “Dark Web.”

Additionally, communities must work closely with schools, churches, mosques, and community groups to determine where radicalization is occurring either in groups or individuals. Programs must offer individuals and families help to fight radicalization rather than imprisoning people who feel their home and community have abandoned them. I cannot claim this recommendation as my own, as Muslim Scholars and IMAMs made the same recommendation several years ago.

In 2014, Muslim Scholars and IMAMs from all over the world rejected ISIS by issuing Fatwas [statements or directives]. The Forum For Promoting Peace In Islam Societies published a document in December 2014, entitled “Religions for Peace.” Abu Dhabi submitted the following opening statement on 13 December 2014: Rejecting Violent Religious Extremism and Advancing Shared Well-being. “Religion is a sublime ethical and spiritual force that aims to heal human society, provide security and peace among people and ensure human dignity and the rights that flow from it. However, some extremists abuse their religion, distorting its image and using it to achieve non-religious objectives. They project violent images that contradict and violate the essence of their religion” Read more in an article I work in 2015 called, ISIS – The Bigger They Get, The Harder They Fall Or Do They?

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