A recent poll on CBS news asked, “How could we eliminate gun violence?” Not too many people had any good answers, but they all agreed that gun violence has to stop.

In reality, you can’t stop violence committed by people with guns, whether they are pistols or long rifles. And you can’t and won’t stop people from committing other crimes like robbery, assault, illegal drug use and trafficking. You won’t stop people coming into this country illegally; you won’t stop people from committing spousal and child abuse. You won’t stop people from using their vehicles as a weapon and killing others.

The answer to the poll question, while complex and crude is that you will never stop evil people from doing evil things, that includes using guns to kill, taking drugs, committing spousal and child abuse, murdering, stealing and other crimes.  However, there may be ways to attempt to mitigate or curtail mass shootings.

The recent school shooting in Tennessee was once again an American embarrassment and tragedy. But, if the left and right would get their heads out of the sand it may have been thwarted. The signs were there, but because the left won’t compromise and the right says you will never tell me what to do, we once again we find ourselves in a stalemate waiting for the next school shooting. School shootings are not “if,” but “when.”

In this last incident, there were red flags galore. The shooter was mentally unstable and was still able to “legally” purchase and own weapons. No one said a word.

This shooter was under care of a professional for an emotional disorder. The shooter’s parents knew the shooter had guns and believed the shooter should not have access to them, but said nothing. The morning of the shooting, the shooter left home with a bag, and when asked by her parents what was in the bag, the shooter shrugged off the questioning.

If the doctor providing care for the shooter warned the police about the mental instability of the shooter, could she have been banned from buying guns? If the professional treating that shooter alerted the police of her mental instability, could there have been an investigation into this person that may have uncovered the manifesto and possibly stopped the incident? Hell YES!

But because the left says that’s an infringement on her rights and the right says one doctor shouldn’t be able to make that determination, nothing was said and the end result was once again loss of innocent lives. As it turns out, after the killings, the warrant provided detailed information about the plan to cause death. If the doctor alerted the authorities, and the authorities had the ability to search the shooter’s house, we would have saved six innocent lives and a mentally deranged person would be getting the help they need.

We need better background checks. We need treating specialists to have the ability to alert the authorities and put people like this on a banned from weapons list. There is one for people who are banned from flying, why not one for people to buy guns? We need to have legal gun owners obtain a license and have that license renewed every few years just like a driver’s license. And yes, that test should include a mental review.  

Legal gun owners should also have an insurance policy, as well.

Gun show loopholes need to be closed. Only allow people who have a license into the shows and all transactions need to be registered. If you buy a gun from a licensed dealer you have to have it registered. So why not force registration with the sale of guns at gun shows. Private sales need to be done through a licensed dealer so every transfer can be registered. And if you use the argument that private sales of vehicles are the same thing, you are wrong. You still have to register that vehicle.

You may say that what I’m saying is ignorant and overreaching because legal gun owners are being punished for the actions of unstable people. I will not disagree.

You may also say that it’s ignorant to think that making it harder to obtain a gun will stop people from killing other people. I agree it wont, because evil always finds a way. And even if there were a way to somehow take away all the guns from law-abiding gun owners, the criminals will still have guns and the evil people will always find a way to get a weapon.

While we will never stop evil people from committing evil acts, there are no solutions on the table. And unless our lawmakers start acting like leaders who are for all the people and not the lobbyists, we might as well have armored tanks at every school because there will be more evil people doing evil things.

What happened in Tennessee and at every other mass shooting is an embarrassment to our society. We are the most powerful country in the world, but we are powerless against our own evil people.

The police in that incident were forced to be heroes. They need to be commended for their instinctive and decisive actions. And, a few extra rounds to ensure death to the evil person was warranted.

Thanks for reading the Floyd Chronicle and Times.

Recommended for you