Monday, April 16

:: A New Modest Proposal

Regarding the news of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, my first reaction was, "Great - another guy couldn't handle rejection / couldn't manage his anger and took it out on a group of innocent bystanders - and now hundreds of people have to suffer."

Which got me thinking - isn't it about time we restricted gun ownership based on some common sense profiling? Most gun crimes are committed by young and youngish men. Certainly nearly all mass shootings are carried out by this same group. I say leave the second amendment alone, but ban gun ownership by men 16 to, say, 50 years old. Men over 50 can have a gun. Women can have guns. No kids can have guns.

I don't think there's any discrimination issue here - after all, its not stopping all men from having guns, just a group of people identified by perfectly defensible crime-related criteria. Plus, as of the last time I checked, we don't have an equal rights amendment to the Constitution. Let's face it - you don't see women and the elderly perpetrating these crimes, so there's no reason they should lose their gun privileges.

The beauty of this proposal is that it satisfies an oft-heard criticism of total bans - "if someone in that crowd had been carrying a gun, the gunman would have been stopped right away" - because any woman could still be packing heat. Also, women could continue to protect themselves from predators, and could even learn to hunt deer, or elk, or whatever, since people think its so great.

Its time to get to the root of the problem. Perhaps its not accurate to say that guns don't kill people, people kill people - but guns in the hands of men of a certain age kill a hell of a lot more people than guns in the hands of anybody else.

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