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Gun Control (Again)

by on May 25, 2022

Gun Control

by Marco M. Pardi

In response to the recent spate of mass shootings I am re-posting this piece I originally posted in 2018. Your comments would be greatly appreciated. Furthermore, I plead with you to forward this to as many people as you can. I am entirely willing to engage in discussion with anyone interested in having an intelligent conversation.


I have been a gun owner since age 15. As a highly trained professional I carried various firearms for years. Beyond and in addition to my military experience I will not disclose the nature of additional or other employment or circumstances which required weapons carry and use. I currently have, and regularly use a Concealed Carry license.


Some people like to say gun control is using both hands. Cute. But on a serious note, I am a strong advocate of gun control, as I will spell out below. I am also serious about getting guns out of the wrong hands. When I read or see television coverage of, say, two drug dealers shooting each other to death in a deal gone bad my reaction is: Two down, more to go. When I read of an armed robber shot dead by an armed citizen in a convenience store, or a home invader shot dead by the home owner it’s, Hooray for our side. And when a trophy hunter gets stomped by an elephant or munched by a lion or bear, it’s three cheers for the home team. You get the idea.

But I am also appalled by the very obvious poor training “sworn professionals” receive. The media are filled with examples of police officers using their firearms inappropriately, usually with fatal consequences. Less obvious are the risks one runs in going to a neighborhood shooting range. I’ve seen too many examples of inadequate or absent firearms safety and oversight, including among police officers. One can only wonder at the general civilian population and their capacity to safely handle firearms.

Having said all that, the United States have a problem with firearms. One sector of the population holds up the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as if the hand of God wrote it. Never mind that the Republican owned Supreme Court chose to overlook the part about “a well regulated militia”. Another sector, quite likely the majority, wants much more control over guns. In fact, recent polling by CNN indicates 90% of the public want common sense gun control measures put in place, yet Republican senators, paid for by the gun lobby and manufacturers, refuse to take any action regardless of the number of children shot to pieces as just happened.

But control over guns is not the only answer, or even the best answer. There are already literally millions of guns in private hands. Imposing controls on the further distribution of guns, especially certain types such as “military style assault weapons” is a visible and partially effective measure. The production and sale of “assault weapons” should be banned. These are fantasy weapons, for adult children who want to play soldier; none of them are approved for military issue and use and only an idiot would keep one for “home defense” or hunting. But, I have some additional suggestions:

  1. Just as we license drivers, we must license all gun owners. The purchase of any firearm, of any kind, would require a license. This would be dependent upon successful completion of a thorough background check and a firearms safety course, paid for by the prospective gun owner. This license must be renewed every five years, all costs borne by the owner.
  2. So how do we enforce this? Enact federal law that no ammunition, of any kind or caliber, can be sold without the licensed seller verifying that the purchaser has a valid and current license. A firearm without ammunition is just an expensive paper weight.
  3. Extend these laws to private sales. Gunshows are highly valued by people wanting to get around background checks. One can go into a gun show, approach a dealer or a private individual who has rented a booth, and “step outside the show” for an unregistered purchase of a gun seen inside the show. So, specify that violation of the federal law banning the sale of a firearm or ammunition to an unlicensed individual carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
    1. There is a significant home industry in re-loadingammunition. Subject the sale of equipment and supplies, such as bullets, primers, and propellants to the same licensing requirement spelled out above.
    2. There is a growing interest in and ability to fabricate firearms from synthetic materials by using 3-D printers. Declare the manufacture, possession, or sale of these firearms to be illegal under federal law and carrying a mandatory prison sentence.

Many readers will say these measures do not address the problem of so many guns and so much ammunition already out there. That is largely true. But it is completely true that going apartment to apartment and house to house to register or confiscate these materials is out of the question. Would you like to do it? I bet not. Instead, we are faced with the classic Pig in the Python, the pig being the ammunition and the python being the guns. As the existing ammunition is used the pig moves through the python coming out the other end as useless shell casings. When people use all their ammunition and find they cannot acquire more without a thorough background check and license the frequency of use will decline. Eventually, if the laws are enforced, the problem will solve itself. Some people may dislike that word “eventually”. Welcome to the real world.

For now, the “real” world of America is the unreal world generated by Hollywood and fiction books. It is the armed frontiersman, the itinerant armed cowboy on the ever present horse, the homesteaders who are crack shots. Of course, none of these ever seems to run out of ammunition. The 2nd Amendment was written during the times of flintlock muskets. It had a very specific political goal in mind, and it had specific conditions attached. Contrast that with National Rifle Association practices which enroll children as young as six and place little or no limits on the types of available firearms.

Some people will say my suggestions are Draconian and will hurt the responsible gun owners. Let me personally assure you of something: Getting shot hurts a lot worse.

I’ve kept this entry short because I do not want to turn away the reader with arcane discussions about weapons technology or Byzantine legal systems. I also hope that, since it is short but to the point, readers will take the initiative to respond. Please also heed my request and forward this to as many people as you can.

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  1. Marcia Formica permalink

    Great post, Marco. Common sense ideas. I will share this. Let’s see if the 50 Senators who continue to hold us hostage to a fantasy interpretation of the 2nd Amendment will *ever* relinquish their (literal) death grips on power to just do the right thing.


  2. My very sincere and heartfelt thanks, Marcia. Hopefully one day we will note this only as a sad period in our history. Marco


  3. jkent33 permalink

    Marco, this shooting left me in a dark place. It not only made me sad but angry like I’ve not seen in a long time. What few friends that I still have I can discuss politics with made me even madder.

    I knew something like this was going to happen because of the negative selfish comments made about the border. They were from FOX news easily identifiable by their comments many believe will be taking food off of tables and jobs away from people.

    There are a lot of people to blame but none more so than our own Govt. I can only hope that the dollars shared from the NRA wind up choking especially members of our Senate that leave them gagging for their lifetime.

    I like to add something often ignored that poses a great danger. That is the ammo hoarders. I know from experience even after moving to OH the number of people who are sitting on 20K+ shells. A staggering number of these are people who voted for Trump and continue to align themselves with the GOP have many weapons of all kinds set to be used for “protection” against anyone who feels like they are special. I follow SPLC and have been a member for several years. I’m now unsure why we need to identify them because the GOP have made them out to be heroes and defenders of the constitution.

    I used to believe after we wrap up the hearing on the insurrectionists we will see changes but unless we keep the senate and house that may not produce anything worthwhile. I still have faith but frankly its not as strong as I would like to feel. I think of myself as someone with patience but I still try to develop a plan in case it doesn’t come to fruition.

    I hope no one challenges my feelings about the bloodshed we all faced yesterday because I may not be so kind and understanding about how I may react. On a side note, I hope that this experience softens the hearts of those who feel like Latinos are our enemy and they find compassion to embrace the grieving from those poor hurt souls.

    PS I issue a warning to those who like to use the trite “Thoughts and Prayers” to express their feelings…try digging into your heart for some real feeling…drop a tear from one eye to show me you really have a heart beating in your chest.


    • Thank you, Jerry. As you may know, since you left Georgia our Republican governor has signed into law that anyone legally able to buy a gun may now carry it wherever they please without a license. Other Republican led states are doing the same. This concept is based on the utterly false Hollywood image that “cowboys” with guns kept the peace in the “Old West”. Yet, any student of American history knows this is false; people entering towns were required to deposit their handguns at the sheriff’s office, to be returned once they were leaving town. We now have a situation where you must assume everyone is armed, whether trained, experienced, licensed or not..


  4. Steve permalink

    I have been quiet on these posts for some time because I have felt very strongly of late the old adage “ The older I get, the more I learn, the less I seem to know”, but I will say all of these are perfectly reasonable.
    I would also like to suggest this- when mass shooters commit these acts, in addition to not mentioning the perpetrator’s name, I don’t think we should show their face. Blur them out like whistleblowers are in news stories. Do not create extensive journalistic deep dives into who they were. If you want to dedicate extra coverage to the incident, cover the victims and those that tried to prevent it from happening. Give the shooters as little recognition as possible.


    • Thank you, Steve. Indeed, several news outlets are beginning to do as you suggest. But you are correct; too many crave those “15 minutes of fame”. Thanks for the comments and the suggestion.


      • Steve permalink

        Perhaps congress could write a law that sets a time limit on coverage of these perpetrators and, if exceeded, a monetary fine is incurred and used for a comprehensive mental health research fund.


  5. Dana permalink

    Marco, have you considered drafting a petition that readers could sign and share?


    • Thank you, Dana. As you know, I belong to and/or support many organizations. Consequently, I receive and sign dozens of petitions daily. While each delivers a message, I feel that very few have the desired impact especially when it comes to influencing Republicans at any level. As a nation we have stood by and allowed a cancer to develop in our body politic. Too often we skim the news and go on to something else. We obsess over the contents of our wallets while we ignore the loss of the nation’s wealth – our children.

      I will look into generating a petition, but I cannot yet feel it will generate hope or change.


      • Dana permalink

        Thanks Marco. Your outlined points are fair, wise, and reasonable. But as you’ve said, we cannot give up.


  6. William Boyd permalink

    I did not originate this short must-do-ASAP list but I do buy it: “Bans on anything but subsonic ammunition in the hands of civilians. Criminalize rifling in barrels. Firing pins must be a crappy tin alloy that breaks after three uses. Bounties for ammo hoarders. Bullets must deform into spheres mid flight. Waiting periods on ammunition purchases after producing you Gun ID, which must be legally distinct from your Voter ID and you have to prove that it isn’t what you last used to vote with. Start talking about how there’s no long held legal tradition to murdering children in schools whenever the second amendment is brought up. There’s no long held right to be able to kill dozens of people. There’s no right to ammunition privacy. There’s no long held legal tradition that ‘Popular Guns’ be exempt from scrutiny.” BB


    • Thank you, Bill. I can imagine the chaos should these measures suddenly be made manifest. There are realistic measures which can be taken; I feel what I have proposed could be considered.

      I hope that you, and other readers, will forward this site as widely as you can. Perhaps we can bring about change.


  7. mkdohle permalink

    We are living in the wild, wild, west it would seem. The situation is dire, hopefully clear minds like yours can help to change things around. There are no quick fixes, but the direction we are moving in is very scary.

    I have never figured out how people can buy Assault Weapons!

    Thanks for the caffeinated, high octane post.



  8. Thank you, Mark. We will see what the next few days bring, but the Republicans are so far offering no indication of doing anything at all.


    • jkent33 permalink

      In response to both Mark and you regarding change in our laws to prevent these guns from being so easily gotten I offer the following information: With the NRA being the largest organization of people who are gun owners and enthusiasts, who are constantly pushing back against and and all changes to the distribution of these military style of combat weapons. This statement by Wayne LaPierre the CEO of the NRA said this recently on the killing of people in schools and other large meeting places:
      LaPierre also argued that the constitutional right to keep and bear arms “is not bestowed by man, but granted by God to all Americans as our American birthright.” Its difficult to argue with a person who now pays himself over $5.1 million dollars annually plus many lavish perks totaling thousands of dollars. Not to mention untold amounts of money is distributed to all of the GOP politicians, who are campaigning for these military tailored weapons, whose use if being disguised as “sporting” guns.
      Worse yet many, many states are scrambling to make it possible to open carry weapons.
      Simply said how does any of us put the Genie back in the bottle?


      • Thank you, Jerry. LaPierre is using the time proven Republican tactic of conflating their Fascist agenda with those of people of faith. It works to a great degree.

        Georgia is now a license free gun carry State. Other Republican led states are quickly following suite. I belong to no political party, but I do value my life.


  9. Has it really been ten days or more since yet another act of insanity has made the reposting of this excellent offering necessary? The lunatics have once again taken over the asylum, and the madness feels like it is never going to end. With only a few days remaining in the school year, death revisited our institutions of learning, ending the lives of people who never really got a chance to live. It could have been my grandchild, or yours; a promising future snuffed out without reason.

    This is not my first reading of this post, of course, and it makes many points with which I fully agree. I don’t personally care for guns, but I have learned to accept them in the hands of sane, reasonable, well trained people. I agree that they should be licensed and registered. I agree that ammunition should be limited in power and availability. Maybe I’m missing something, but although I support the second amendment in principle, I fail to see how it applies in most of the applications about which people seem to be arguing. The killing of innocent children and other forms of multiple homicide are not self defense. It seems hardly a day passes without the reporting of another mass murder.

    I don’t pretend to know the answers, but it’s high time that somebody starts asking the questions.


    • Thank you, Rose. If this had happened to my daughter I am convinced I would not be here. Perhaps I would have joined her soon after, or perhaps I would have wandered the world finding the kinds of people who allow these things to happen.

      I am also fully convinced the 2nd Amendment does not apply to the liberties so many people feel entitled to today. Yet, once again the Republican Party has placed political donations (from gun manufacturers and dealers) and political support (from ignorant voters) over the lives of even their own children.


  10. I’m having issues trying to comment 😆. If you see this comment multiple times, feel free to delete the additionals.

    The responsible gun owners should have no issues with this. Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right. Personally, I am guilty of owning rifles that theoretically would never be used in any real life civilian scenario, but I am not guilty of owning it for for home defense because as you said, this would be silly. I own it for the, albeit unlikely, scenario that all hell breaks lose and the other guys have something I don’t. Home defense is a simple shotgun all the way. Conceal carry is also something I partake in on the off chance someone attempts to either hurt my family, or is hurting someone else and I can intervene to save a life. Now, with that said, if these high capacity assault rifles were banned, then I wouldn’t worry about owning one anymore; same with a fully automatic weapon… I don’t day dream that someone will run through my neighborhood with a fully automatic weapon shooting houses due to some mental illness they might be experiencing, therefore I have never cared to own one. People can also certainly be like the old analogy of sheep, they can be steered, persuaded, and outright brainwashed. I do firmly believe that in addition to your weapon controls, there should be a limit on how much ammo you can buy based on time, or even cartridge casings that you return to the ammo provider in order to get more. I’m sure people will lose a few casings here and there, but perhaps there can be a method to compensate for this such as a set limit of casings you can lose in a calendar year…


    • Thank you, Anom. You make interesting points. Driving a motor vehicle is an earned privilege, not a right. And we surround that privilege with a multitude of tests, laws and regulations. Yet, we seem to have little if anything beyond a minimum age limit for owning a firearm.

      Your suggestion about casings is interesting. It would require people to pick up their brass. I’ve been to gun ranges where it was tricky to walk for all the empty casings on the floor. Very strange. I agree a shotgun with a minimal length barrel is ideal for home use, a revolver/shotgun even more so.


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