Good evening. I am an American citizen living abroad who was perturbed last night upon hearing that a former news reporter shot and killed two former co-workers and eventually turned the gun on himself. I was further vexed when I learned that the killer had carefully planned the release of information following his murderous ventures and posted his horrendous acts online for the world to see. I was mostly disgruntled by the fact that bullets ruined American lives, again.
I would like to submit this question to all of you purported leaders of my country of birth: Why has this happened again under your watch?
Furthermore, why have you continued to allow bullets to reign throughout schools, universities, churches, public spaces, streets, apartments, houses, theaters, post offices, shopping malls and convenience stores? Several of our presidents and political figures have met untimely ends or have suffered harm because of bullets. Several future presidents and political figure… or people who could have lived full and complete lives never had a chance because they were a curious three-year-old boy left alone in a car that had a gun in the glove compartment, or a little girl playing outside her home who was caught in the crossfire of a gangbanger’s revenge, or a group of friends who went to the wrong screening of a new movie. How much potential has been lost while you were busy waging your global wars, spying on your international allies’ phones and emails, and promoting your economic interests abroad? Why haven’t you cared for your own people with their own struggles and given them better alternatives?
Why have you allowed the senseless loss of life to become part of mainstream America? Are you afraid today’s proud gun-owners won’t peacefully part with their firearms? Are you not prepared to slay that two-hundred-thirty-nine-year-old dragon?
Why is Mr. Earnest calling on Congress to act when you are all supposed to collectively act for the betterment of the United States as a whole? Why is our democratic state blind to the red writing dripping down the wall and splattered on the sidewalks? Nothing is cut and dry, but I’m fairly certain happy people generally don’t pick up guns and turn them on their fellow citizens.
I would like to propose a solution to our dilemma: Allocate more money to improving the social, physical, and mental welfare of your citizens. It is THE underlying economic imperative of the next several years. The answer is not better gun laws, improved restrictions, or psychological screenings. It is your duty as elected officials to send the bullet business packing. I do not want my family put in harm’s way because someone has legally or illegally procured a firearm and is having a really bad day or series of bad days.
In the same way that raising taxes on cigarettes has decreased the number of smokers and raised tax revenue, and legalizing and taxing the sale of marijuana in a few states has led to other new tax revenues and the possibility of curbing drug use (good luck, boys), a new Firearms and Ammunitions tax could be imposed to curb the legal sales of all firearms. Gun permits and psychological exam fees could be upped as well, and sales and manufacture businesses would also need to pay increased permit fees and taxes.
Utilizing multiple streams of revenue in the short run, the government could offer current gun owners money to buy back their guns, which would be like pre-existing buyback programs. Australia took some measures recently that actually had a positive impact overall. Current gun sales establishments could be offered start-up capital for new business for selling their entire stockpile of weapons and ammunitions to the government. The guns and bullets would ultimately be carefully disposed of/recycled.
There also needs to be more advancements in law enforcement to prevent unnecessary deaths. Police wearing body cams is certainly helpful to get an accurate picture of the story. Dashboard cams aren't nearly as effective. While I don't condone the use of force to break up peaceful protests, sound canons like the LRAD are controllable, non-lethal deterrents. Developing hand-held technology like this, with a setting that would not go above a decibel level that would cause deafness, might be the way to go.
People are generally self-interested and frustrated when they feel they are not being taken care of, and so they must be incentivised economically if we wish to see any progress. I do believe through this way it would be possible to outlaw guns altogether. Economic progress breeds social progress, and social progress includes enlightened, holistic thinking that is more accepting and more rational in nature. This is where America should focus her attention if she wishes to ultimately be a model country that has evolved past the utility of guns & violence and discrimination in all its ugly forms as a whole.
If you wish to continue with your brazen inactivity, then I hope you rest well tonight knowing full well that somewhere in our country another used cartridge shell is waiting to be born and another life will be extinguished. If you wish, however, to do something, then evolve the inner workings of our country. People are upset and frustrated with the current state of things. You are the ones who bear the responsibility of making things better, and your allegiance is to your fellow citizens- your fellow men and women who are all the colors and shades of the rainbow, with all of their heritages, thoughts, ideas, beliefs and histories- and not to your discriminatory political ideologies.
Please, please, please do better, and I will thank you when you do.
(Grand)Son, Brother, Cousin, Husband and Father