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Steve Lunetta: What to do about guns

Posted: January 21, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 21, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

Note from the author: In the first of a two-part series on gun control, Steve looked at the possibility of opening the discussion on controlling assault-type weapons. In part two, he was going to look at what can be done to prevent young men from turning into shooters. Of course, President Obama heard about the series and had to interject his own two cents. Now Steve has to make it a three-parter.

Taking a common-sense approach to anything seems to be the best way to solve problems. The trick, of course, is that your common sense isn’t the same as mine.

President Barack Obama recently outlined a series of steps to control gun violence and avoid tragedies such as the massacre at Sandy Hook. We’ll look at each one and apply a little common sense.

The first two initiatives. according to the White House website. require and strengthen background checks for all gun sales.

Well, OK. I know what I went through to buy my guns and they did everything short of a cavity search on me. Can’t imagine how much more they could do.

The shooter at Sandy Hook took his mother’s guns to do the dirty work. The Bakersfield shooter grabbed his brother’s shotgun. The Columbine shooters bought weapons through other people. How was a background check going to stop any of them?

In an answer, it wouldn’t.

The third initiative is to pass a new assault weapons ban. As I’ve said previously, stopping the sale of these weapons is a good step. Less firepower means fewer dead.

Confiscate these guns from known felons and do a buy-back program. Remove guns by attrition and the numbers will go down. This is reasonable and not an attack on the Second Amendment.

The fourth is to limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. Once again, this is common sense. If a shooter has to reload, this gives someone a brief window to stop the assailant. Or escape.

There is no need for a 30-round clip unless the owner is intending to do serious harm.

Fifth, get armor-piercing ammo off the streets.

All well and good for the law-enforcement community, but it does absolutely nothing to hinder or slow a school shooter. You are missing the mark with this one, Mr. President.

Sixth, give law enforcement officials more tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime. Again, not sure how this stops a school shooter.

If this means stiffer penalties for those dealers who sell guns illegally, that may be helpful but is still not getting to the root of the issue.

What will this law do to prevent Adam from walking into his mother’s closet and getting her AR-15? Nothing.

Seventh, end the freeze on gun violence research. This sounds really good, but I suspect the problem is much greater than "gun violence." We have a whole culture today that is inwardly focused. People spend more time with computers and iPhones than their friends. We are becoming increasingly isolated and alone.

Amplify this with a teenage boy who is already a loner and the phenomena becomes even worse. Throw in a few violent video games, slasher movies, and a lack of social structures like churches, and the toxic stew is ready for the creation of a violent young man.

Eighth, add resource counselors and security guards, emergency response plans, and "nurturing" environments.

I like the idea of identifying at-risk kids and starting to help them. A few armed guards would also be a deterrent as long as they were not a joke. Response plans? Good idea.

"Nurturing" environments sounds more like the soft, namby-pamby psycho-babble that schools have been swilling for years. Remember "self-esteem" training?

How about we try structure and order? How about discipline and respect? Give each vice principal a paddle and I guarantee you will see an instant change.

Finally, ninth, ensure mental health treatment for young people. We can agree on something, Mr. President. Our mental health system has been destroyed for years. It needs the resources and capability to take an at-risk youth and observe/treat.

The Bakersfield shooter had a known "hit-list." Why not commit him and evaluate to see what is going on in his skull? Then help can be given before a tragic event occurs again.

In all, I would give these initiatives a C-. It’s a start, but most of the proposals have not been thought through.

In the final installment of this series, I will give a few ideas on what can be done to stop a shooter that do not include gun control.

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and gets really annoyed when Obama steals his column ideas. He can be reached at slunetta63@yahoo.com.

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