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Conflict & Tragedy

What if guns were as regulated as vehicles?

Opinion

Every time there is a senseless shooting or bloody rampage by a madman, the gun control debate is reignited and lasts long as the headlines of the latest tragedy, then as quickly fades away with the waning news coverage of said tragedy.

Until the next time. Legislators have avoided the issue over the years, kicking the ball down the road. President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, are both eerily silent on gun control even after the recent Colorado massacre. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City told CNN's Piers Morgan that Romney advocated legislating assault rifles when he was governor of Massachusetts but is now singing a different tune while running for president. He accused President Obama of promising some kind of gun control during his 2008 campaign and reneging on that promise once he got to office.

The favorite phrase looped on television and talk radio by conservatives is this is not the time to be talking about gun control. This is not the time? If this isn't the most opportune moment to get serious about a debate on gun violence, mental health and all the other complexities that arise from something this horrific, pray tell talking heads--when will be the best time?

After Tucson, Ariz., and now this, the president gave the usual prerequisite speech filled with condolences, followed by the pep talk of healing and togetherness. Grieving family members are visited, but there's no talk of what is going to be done to aid the healing. Romney also gave his sympathy speech but stopped short of offering any solutions. I hate to be blunt but as I said, the usual song and dance is at play.

The National Rifle Association, gun lobbyists and manufacturers all are intricately linked to some legislators in Washington, and this symbiotic relationship has a powerful stronghold on which way the wind blows in terms of control. The NRA is 4.3 million strong and growing, and these citizens say any form of gun control infringes on their rights.

Let's not pretend the Second Amendment is the sole reason for this ménage of resistance from pro-gun folks out there. To the ordinary citizen maybe, but to those pulling the strings--well, not enitrely. The bottom line is also a deciding factor in this fight. To some, guns are pretty profitable. Wars are profitable. Every citizen armed to the hilt is profitable.

I came across the above "bumper sticker" circulating on Facebook and thought what an interesting concept.

What would happen if guns were as regulated as cars, trucks, bikes and every other vehicle that moves out there? Let's see: one needs to take a written test and pass to get a permit and also pay for it. Then one needs to take a practical test to get a licence and has to pass and pay for that too. One has to take an eye test to get behind the wheel.

To use that car on the road legally, one has to register with their local Drivers and Motor Vehicles, (DMV). Title, tag and each point of sale has to be noted. One has to purchase insurance for said vehicle.

The rules do not stop there. One is mandated to periodically pass inspections and renew licenses and insurance coverage.

Now let's apply all of these rules to guns. Why should it be easier to get a deadly assault rifle and hordes of ammo than it is to drive something as mundane and basic as a car?

I have heard those in defense of any control over all kinds of guns flooding our communities say that guns do not kill people, people kill people. Okay, I'll play along and be the "devil's advocate." If people kill people, then doesn't it stand to reason that we make it a little harder for people to kill people with guns?

There will always be crime, for no society is monolithic. We cannot legislate morality or "goodness" or "evil," but we can do our part to be responsible, reasonable citizens of the planet. Will regulating guns stop murders from happening? Of course not, but making it damn tougher for guns made to kill a multitude at one click of the trigger from getting into the hands of our neighbors is worth a shot, no pun intended.

While we at it, let's tax the hell out of those big, bad guns too. That could be a welcome revenue towards helping pay down our debt or put a little more dollars into the federal coffers. Afterall, we pay taxes on our homes, why should guns be exempt?

Infringing on your Second Amendment rights, you say? Many of our laws have already been amended to suit the changing societies and times. Not every word of the Constitution served every citizen equally and fairly. Let's us not forget that.

This is 2012, not the Wild, Wild West. Deal with it. In fact take a look at guns today and what the Founding Fathers had at their disposal. Created equally, or do we have a whole new arsenal so deadly, the authors of the Constitution would balk at the sight of one of them?

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