Note: Temporary post not in line with my usual subject matter.
In today’s AZ Republic, a tax attorney from Peoria, AZ named Ken Koenen offered “9 Ways to Fix the Gun problem” in which he listed his nine ideas to “fix the gun problem.” Here’s my take on why eight of those nine ideas are NOT the way to fix the “gun problem.”
First off, the author is an attorney and, predictably, most all of his “fixes” include new laws and regulations and new punishments and rules to increase administrative burdens, expand bureaucracies and apparently pad attorney retirement accounts. Consider all the following words and phrases that are used liberally throughout his post:
Award Of Attorney Fees
Different Levels Of Licensing
Held Criminally And Civilly Liable
Minimum Jail Time
Pay A Fine
Revoking A License
Sale Must Be Reported
Standing To Sue
Subject To Prosecution
Secondly, it appears to me that the author is somewhat naïve when he states that “Since these people (most gun owners) actually obey the law, if they were forced to turn them in, they would probably do so.” What does “forced to turn them in” mean anyway? Forced to turn them in? Ha! Ya think? Now that is rich.
Here are some questions and comments on each of Ken’s nine “ways”
Issue gun-owner licenses
And what about the fact that peoples status (legal, medical, etc.) changes over time?
How many people will have the resources to sue state or federal governments? (Oh yeah, “attorney’s fees!”)
Sell only to those with licenses
What if I want to leave some guns to my family members? What if I want to loan a friend a shotgun to go bird hunting?
Hold loaners accountable for crime
Should we do the same thing for any inanimate object we loan to someone? As in I let my neighbor use my chain saw, he cuts off his foot and he hires an attorney to sue me.
Punish improper storage
I’d like to know the exact, legal definition for ‘improper storage.”
Revoke licenses for improper use
What defines “improper use?” And a gun owner would have to renew this "right to own firearms license" every four years or forfeit his firearms? OMG, this is probably the silliest idea of all.
Break the rules? Go to jail
Sounds sorta like the War on Drugs. And to me, this is designed for attorney’s who want to make more money.
Require mental-illness reporting
Good idea – in general. Subject to a lot of checks and balances to account for misuse and abuse.
Host a voluntary gun buyback
This is just a bad idea. How long does Ken think it’d take for “all of this to be completed and licenses issued?” My guess is about 20 to 30 years if starting tomorrow.
And the idea that “a buyback program directed more to the areas where the most crime occurs” is just plain ignorant. Just like in Chicago, go out to the suburbs to buy your guns. And I can just imagine the political fallout associated with targeting a predominantly poor, crime ridden area for a buy back?
Keep license data confidential
This one is just rich! “The data, names and locations of licensed individuals shall not be divulged to any other government branch, bureau, agency or individual without first obtaining a court order, which can be granted only with reasonable cause.” Hahaha…uh huh...sure the list won’t be divulged.
One Good Idea Out of Nine
So I think Ken is in the ballpark on one of his nine ways to “fix the gun problem.” And to be sure he’s also correct that “this is not a perfect solution.” Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s even a moderately good solution. It’s a very poor solution designed to add overhead without any consideration for expected value and to line the wallet of lawyers.
Note: I really didn't plan to write this post. I rattled it off very quickly. Maybe I should share more later?