Much will be said and written about gun control in the next few days and months before it fades from memory, yet again.
The Second Amendment is anachronistic and was written over 200 years ago, when conditions and our society were different in the United States. “Arms” in those days consisted of muskets and rifles. Today, it includes military-style assault weapons with multiple-round magazines capable of “mass destruction.” Perhaps, it is time for the Second Amendment to be amended.
The causes of the tragedies that we have witnessed in recent times are complex. Our acceptance of violence, in general, and violent movies and videos, in particular, has something to do with it. Lack of family values, adult supervision and socio-economic factors play a role, too. Having said that, easy access to explosives (as in the case of the Oklahoma bombing) and assault weapons have a lot to do with it!
The NRA’s position is that “Guns don’t kill people. People do.” They are absolutely correct. Imagine if people did not have access to assault weapons to settle disputes or societal grudges. They may resort to the use of shotguns, rifles or knives, which do not have the same lethal capacity to cause mass killings and destruction on the scale that we have witnessed in the past year.
Certainly, people should have access to rifles to hunt with and even, perhaps, small sidearms for self-preservation, but I see no reason for a civilian to own an assault rifle. Those are meant strictly for use by the military, law-enforcement and security detail, and their use should be monitored and regulated.
European countries and Australia have seriously tightened their gun laws in response to gun violence in their own countries. The United Kingdom has gone as far as to ban the civilian use of handguns. Lethal incidents involving the use of guns in these countries is minuscule compared to ours. That is not to say that violence does not exist in these countries, but the means of their expression are far less lethal.
It is high time we reintroduced the ban on assault weapons (which George W. Bush allowed to expire), while our country, hopefully, has a serious conversation about Second Amendment rights. Of course, this will not end our immediate problem, but it will slow down its progression and evolution.
The roundabout traffic proposal (Jan. 8, Tribune-Herald) may look like a reasonable solution to the many accidents at that location … but the extra options and decision making will only add to the location’s vulnerability to more accidents.
If we are having problems with simple left, right and forward driving, how will we cope with the perplexity of the roundabout?
I have driven in these rounds both abroad and in New York, and I will tell you that your attention has to be acute.
As a pilot, landing at a busy airport is less dangerous than driving on one of these roundabouts.
The only good thing I see for the proposal is that police and ambulance service is only a few feet from the location.