It’s time to crack down hard on guns that make it easy to kill, semi automatic weapons should be banned along with fully automatic weapons. We need to do something to reduce the number of gun related deaths
By Ray Hanania
The bureaucrats, the NRA lobbyists and weak legislators have made America’s gun laws so confusing only a criminal with bad intent knows what is an what isn’t legal when it comes to owning a gun.
(Listen to the column podcast at the end of this column)
The truth is, we need to start from scratch and seriously restrict what types of guns can be owned.
- Severely limit the kinds of guns that can be owned.
- Require a lengthy background check of 30 days.
- Deny weapon ownership to anyone suspected of any kind of violence, not just terrorism. Street gangs and drug dealers are terrorists, too.
- Make the punishment severe. Prison of 25 years for anyone convicted of using any kind of weapon in a crime; and, the death sentence for anyone who took another person’s life with a gun.
- Increase taxation on gun ownership.
The problem is the rightwing fanatics have used the “terrorism” argument to block gun control.
In response to the massacre of 49 people in Orlando, and a string of similar massacres across this country, the NRA has proposed we ban guns for anyone “suspected” of being a “terrorist.”
But why stop there? Why not ban guns for anyone suspected of being a criminal?
If you want to prevent people on the “Terrorism Watch List” from obtaining a gun, why not create other Watch Lists for Street Gangs, Drug Dealers, bank robbers, or anyone who might commit any kind of armed robbery?
Suddenly, it becomes harder to “predict” who will or won’t commit a crime. Because all crime is terrorism.
The only answer is to simplify the laws and make the punishment excessively brutal and punitive.
Limit Guns: The only guns that should be allowed are handguns with chambers for 6 bullets that are large and bulky, and difficult to hide; and shotguns and rifles with limited fire power.
Background checks: They should take at least 30-days before you can get the gun. What’s the rush?
Toughen punishment: Use a gun in a crime, go to jail for 25 years. No second chances 10 years later when you “find Jesus.” The person whose life you took doesn’t get that chance.
Ban all Automatic weapons (add semi automatic weapons to the fully automatic weapons that are banned): Orlando killer Omar Mateen wasn’t using an AR-15 automatic rifle. The NRA claims he used a Sig Sauer MCX. What’s the difference? Both are powerful, unnecessary automatic weapons that anyone can get today.
Much of the current debate about Orlando killer Omar Mateen, focused on the fact that he was an extremist.
Terrorism shouldn’t be limited to religion, as the NRA is really arguing. It’s about committing a crime against innocent people. Maybe the NRA argument that banning people on the Terrorism Watch List might have prevented the Pulse nightclub killings is right. But what about the other extremists who have committed mass murders?
You want to stop terrorism? So do I. But people living in crime-ridden communities are living in terrorism, too.
In the first half of this year, there were nearly 1800 shooting victims in Chicago (299 dead). Last year, there were nearly 3,000 shooting victims in Chicago (489 dead).
Many Chicago suburbs are just as bad.
We do need bigger prisons. Violent criminals should be thrown away like garbage. Those that commit murder should be held in solitary confinement until their appeals have been processed fully, and then put to death. No benefits. No conveniences. Smaller cells. Make prison Hell!
And, make gun owners pay for the prisons with huge taxes, kind of like the way we impose huge taxes on people who smoke cigarettes.
Cigarettes kill. But so do guns!
And when extremists like the NRA’s Chris Cox threatens public officials who support gun control saying they “will pay a price for it,” (ABC TV “This Week,” June 19), they should be prosecuted, too.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. Email him at [email protected])
Hanania covered Chicago political beats including Chicago City Hall while at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and later for the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.
The recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hananiaalso received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
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