My thoughts on a rational gun control policy, as a non-lawyer:
I’m fine with semiautomatic weapons with replaceable magazines being made illegal for private ownership. They’re fun; they’re not actually useful except for specific purposes. This is probably the least important change I would make.
Like, if you have a rifle, you’d have a fixed magazine, and you’d be loading that sucker manually. This is not a giant change or fix, but I think it would help perceptions; people wouldn’t be carrying around privately-owned weaponry with a 30-shell magazine that they could swap out. Again, not a BIG deal for me, but I think it’d help.
I am also fine with background checks being mandatory for all weapons transfers except for some inheritances. Like, I think it would be okay for my son to inherit a gun from me upon my death… but for me to name my second cousin as my inheritor, well… background check him or her. If this law is violated – i.e., you transfer a gun illegally, without a background check if it’s mandated – you lose your second amendment rights and surrender your guns. If after review the background turns out to have truly been illegal, the guns will be disposed of; if the transfer was legal (or the intent was legitimate, I guess) the guns and rights under the second amendment can be restored.
Again: no private sales without a background check. Period. If you go to a gun show, be prepared to show ID and have the seller use a service to look up who you are. if you’ve had a police report against you in the last… two weeks or whatever, well, you just get to wait a while, until everything’s clear. Violate this, as a seller or a buyer, and you lose your second amendment rights, period, permanently, as well as your guns. And you might be going to jail.
I think that if you make a credible threat against someone, your rights under the second amendment should be suspended.
This is the most difficult thing for me to work out objectively, because grading a “credible threat” isn’t trivial… but if we can work it out, well, all of a sudden your guns are removed, legally, and reviewable; your guns will be stored for free for six months. If after review the threat WAS credible (you’re angry/depressed/whatever) you can get your guns back after you undergo counseling or whatever, at your own expense. (It’s not the State’s responsibility to arm you.) If the State stores your guns for a length of time (a year, two years, whatever) you will have to pay a fee to get your guns back after you’ve proven you’re no longer a credible threat.
Is this perfect?
Um… no. There’s no way to make it perfect. If we eliminated all guns, we’d still be threatened… because the police would still be armed. But if we disarmed the police, we’d still be threatened… because the military would still be armed. And if we disarmed the military… well, if you really think that’s a course of action to be rationally considered, please stop reading my blog; you and I live too far apart for me to think I’m actually communicating to you.
The bottom line is: life is not safe. It’s not guaranteed. Your one guarantee on your birth is that you will die, dead as a doornail, food for worms. If this bothers you, that’s fine, but that’s life for you; maybe you needed someone to inform you that life is transient, and seeking for immortality is a fool’s quest. I have no problem with making things more sane, more safe, but if you’re looking for perfection, law is not where you’ll find it.