I admit those do sound like ineffectual additions to what passes for gun control in America. The problem is we don't have gun control, we have a mish-mash of ineffectual laws, all of which can be easily circumvented.The first idea came from Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., who wants to ban all ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds — which was the rule under the assault weapons law. Her rationale is that the rampage ended when the shooter exhausted a clip that held at least 30 rounds and tried to reload, at which point he was subdued. With a 10-round clip, he could have been stopped sooner.
A measure offered by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., offers even less promise. He wants to make it a crime to knowingly carry a firearm within 1,000 feet of a president, vice president, member of Congress or federal judge.
That would punish law-abiding citizens who have no aggressive intentions — say, someone who parks a block away from a campaign rally on his way to the target range. But it would have been only a paper barrier to Loughner, who ignored a host of laws on his way to shoot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
I say it's time to clamp down. Involuntary commitment to a mental hospital cannot be the only criterion for determining disqualification on those grounds. An entire system of mental health screening needs to be put in place.
In addition, licensing every gun owner, only after they pass the mental health screening and undergo written and practical tests, is essential. Registration of every firearm to a particular licensed owner with periodic renewal of that registration must be required. Any transfer, which would necessitate a change in the registration records would be accompanied by a background check, every time.
A number of other things, like safe storage laws and one-gun-a-month laws would complete the picture.
Then we'd have gun control, and then we'd see the reduction in gun violence that supposedly we all want.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.