This post includes a link to Jim Wright’s Stonekettle Station of June 26, 2015. I strongly suggest you read this post. In fact, I strongly suggest you read lots of his writing. Mr. Wright is a first rate writer and thinker. You can access his entire catalog right here. Free.
One day, one wondrous day, it occurred to me that I had an elephant in my room. I guess I’d just never looked where he was standing, but the first thing I noticed is that he had shit. Not only did it smell incredibly foul, but there was so much of it I didn’t know what to do and despaired of ever getting the room clean again. So I chose to ignore him for a while and see if maybe that elephant shit might compost out a little and make it easier to handle.
Well, as most of you might have anticipated, that elephant shit again. And again. And again. It seemed to me that he shit with ugly regularity and frequency. Not only that but every steaming pile seemed larger than the one before it. It was such a discouraging mess that it looked like it would never be cleaned up. I actually thought I would be knee deep or more in elephant shit for the rest of my days and had accepted that fact.
Of course it’s a metaphor. I’m talking about guns and the staggering price we as Americans pay every time a ‘mass shooting’ incident takes place in our land. Not just the victims and the wounded and everybody that knows them, but the population in general. I cry out in pain every time, as do millions of others. It is time for action. Fact of the matter is, it is way past time. The deeper the elephant shit the more likely we are to get smothered.
First things first. We need to identify the problem and figure out a solution that a large majority of our fellow Americans can and will support. It literally takes ‘the will of the people’. We need to lead the elephant out of the room and stop the shit from becoming any deeper. It is literally threatening to envelop us and take our humanity away.
Let me be absolutely clear here. I am a gun owner and I am not proposing gun control in any ordinary sense of the word. I actually interpret the 2nd amendment to guarantee me the right to keep and bear arms. As do many of my fellow Americans.
Automatic weapons need to go. Completely away. Gone. The only thing they are really good for is killing humans in a very big way. And let’s be clear. I mean anything that increases the rate of fire to make it emulate an automatic weapon. Gone. Forever. If it’s big and grey, looks like an elephant and shits like an elephant-call it an elephant and get it out of the room.
Next I would propose a permit. Every single person in the US that wants to own and possess a gun needs a permit. Now before you get your 2nd amendment underwear in a bunch I am talking about a permit, just like a driver’s license. Not about registering your guns, or even suggesting that every permit holder has a gun, but that everybody that might want to own a gun needs a permit to do so.
The permit would involve some class time and some range time to complete. I would suggest a federal law with the ability of the states to handle the endorsement process themselves. That way the various states could make the permit relatively harder or easier to obtain as the individual state sees fit. Allow the states to charge a fee for processing and issuing the permit and you end up with revenue neutral or even a revenue stream to hard pressed states.
I would submit that the gun permit could be handled just like a motorcycle endorsement, and I mean literally just like it. All 50 states have a very good and approved id/driver’s license that could easily stand an endorsement line. That way the states would have a ready made licensing facility in their DMV and it should be fairly easy to do.
Back to the room full of elephant shit. How does this system help that problem? With a series of laws and consequences that must be conditional with gun ownership.
I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel or even the shit scooper here, so I’m going to suggest that Jim Wright’s common sense gun rules as put forward by the NRA will work just fine. You might want to subscribe to his Stonekettle Station while you are there. A very talented author with a unique perspective on the world.
Please take the time to read Mr. Wright’s article, we’ve got the time. That elephant shit isn’t going to evaporate anytime soon, and God save us if there are enough flies in the room to carry it off…
So we combine common sense gun regulations with an easy to implement permit system. Will that end the problem? Will it shovel out the shit? Of course not. But given some time and distance it will change our culture for the better. The current DUI laws do nothing to interfere with with choice to drink or the choice to drive. When the rules aren’t followed there are real life consequences to the rule violator, so it can be with guns. We can affect change that will work without impinging in any way on our 2nd amendment rights.
Little by little we can shovel an entire mountain of elephant shit out. Just think how pleasant that might be.
I’m just sayin’