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AltScalesOfJustice @AltScalesOfJust
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[THREAD] There have been many discussions about the FL high school shooting and gun politics. Some of them well thought & interesting (regardless of political standpoint), some… not. I’ll add mine for folks to judge as they will. (As always, thoughts are my own, not my agency’s)
First, is it too soon to “politicize” the FL shooting & start talking about gun control? Should we wait for an “appropriate time” for the discussion? NO. Families of the victims are calling for change. Kids who were in the classrooms watching people die are calling for change
The victims and their families aren’t the ones asking to avoid discussions about gun politics, it is the NRA and pro-gun advocates. Avoiding those discussions is not respectful to the victims and their families, although the NRA would like to convince you that it is
Saying that we need to avoid discussions about gun regulation after people die from gun violence is really saying that you want those who lost their lives to disappear into history, and that you want to make sure the victims’ deaths don’t actually lead to real change
Something is broken, and something HAS to change. Averaging more than one school shooting PER WEEK is not normal, and we cannot accept this as how things are going to be. What that change should be, and how we as a country enable it, should be the real questions
However, as long as people present gun control as a black-and-white, all-or-nothing issue, nothing will ever change. The NRA uses the “slippery-slope” argument to argue that *any* gun control is unacceptable and must be blocked
People yelling that ALL guns should be banned only play into the NRA’s hands, and strengthen their arguments. The NRA says, “They’re coming for our guns” and their base digs in and prepares to fight even harder. (And goes to buy more, and bigger, guns)
I am going to set aside the question of whether all guns, all semi-automatic guns, or other category of firearm should be banned. That question is irrelevant. Given America’s politics and culture, it isn’t realistic, and fighting for that just helps to ensure no change at all
On the other side, if you think there should be zero gun regulation, then you need to go watch the videos taken by the students in the Florida school again. You’ve been able to hide the results of gun violence from the public, but that is ending. The reality is being shown
We need to stop letting NRA push the phrase “gun CONTROL”, because they have successfully redefined it to mean “gun ban” in the eyes of their base. It means Big Brother coming in to take away their access to firearms, and they dig in. I know it doesn’t, but that’s how it is spun
What I think we should really be pushing for is increased gun REGULATION. We regulate cars. We set ages for operation, require training and periodic testing, require licenses to use them, title vehicles and who owns them. The NRA claims that can’t be done for guns
The NRA argues that if the gov’t knows who has guns, they will just come take them all away. Therefore they got laws passed that ban the gov’t from keeping searchable records of gun ownership. After a shooting, law enforcement has to ask the manufacturer who they sold the gun to
Then law enforcement has to contact THAT organization to ask who THEY sold the gun to, and so on until it was sold to an individual. Then the trail stops. And if a gun store went out of business, the gov’t isn’t allowed to store their records in a searchable form
Analysts have to scroll through millions of PICTURES of the out-of-business gun records, manually looking for any records relevant to the case. Technology could help by converting the pictures to searchable text but that's banned by the laws NRA has pushed
This “tracing” process is incredibly manual, incredibly inefficient, and incredibly SLOW. By design. That’s how the NRA wants it, and drove Congress to make it. To protect gun owners from the mythical dystopian future where the government sweeps in and seizes all of their guns
But the first hours after a violent crime are the most crucial. When it takes days or weeks to complete the average gun trace & discover who owns it, many more crimes go unsolved. Many more murderers get away, and are free to kill again. The NRA prefers that to regulation
The NRA is not America. It does not speak for us. It does not represent us. It represents the gun manufacturers and gun sellers, and their profits. America needs to stand up to the NRA and tell them that we must have much stricter gun regulation
As the gov’t tracks car ownership, it should track gun ownership. As it sets training, knowledge, skill, & health rules for who is allowed to get a license and use a car, it should set training, knowledge, skill, & health rules for who is allowed to get a license and use a gun
Banning guns is not realistic. Better regulating them is, and we need to demand it. It is time for the NRA to lose their control over the government, and for the American people to take it back. Require gun training, knowledge & skills tests. Require licenses to own and use guns
Make background checks mandatory. Many jobs do, even outside of the government or anything dealing with classified information. It's often harder to become a babysitter or get approved to drive a truck than it is to own and use a gun
And no, if done right that does not have to violate the 2nd amendment, although NRA will scream that it does. Citizens would still have the right to keep and bear arms. They could take the training, get their license, and register and get their guns
Even that level of regulation alone would help law enforcement immeasurably. Fix the loopholes that allow companies to sell totally untraceable gun receivers that are 80% complete, along with instructions on how to complete them and turn them into working guns
And replace and strengthen the rules that block people with certain mental health problems from buying and owning firearms. Trump’s first significant action as President was to cut those restrictions. This is where we start getting into 2nd Amendment debates
Is blocking a person who has significant mental health and violence issues from owning a gun “infringing” on their right to keep and bear arms? Perhaps. As it is with felons. But America has to stop bowing to the NRA and being afraid to engage in those debates
We have to push the NRA, and our government, to stop prioritizing the gun industry’s year-over-year profit growth over the teens who were in the Florida school, recording the chaos of yet another school shooting. Over the victims of every other shooting
Whether you want to ensure your right to own any kind of gun you want, or you want every gun on the planet to be destroyed, it’s time to step back from ideology and look for realistic solutions. It’s time to talk with the other side, and look for real changes that can happen
Look for a way to let good, upstanding, law-abiding citizens have guns, while protecting us from those who would use them for violence against each other. We need change. Please, STOP accepting the NRA’s fearmongering and “slippery slope” arguments
Until we increase regulation of guns & gun ownership, we’ll continue seeing reports of mass shootings & other horrific gun violence. And we will increasingly find ourselves inside those crowds, watching the bullets coming toward us & people dying around us, through victim videos
I know my rant was far too long. For those persistent people who made it this far, let me close with just a few final words. How many mass shootings are we as a country going to accept? THIS HAS TO STOP. NRA’s grip on the American government must be broken, and WE MUST CHANGE
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