Purpose of gunDiscussion.org
The purpose of the gunDiscussion.org website is to gather in one location some of the topics around gun ownership in America. The objective is to do a small part to reduce gun deaths in the United States. Although mass shootings get media attention (and seemingly endless polarization of Americans), gun-related suicides and non-mass homicides are far bigger components. Far more Americans are killed every year in gun-related suicides and homicides than in mass shootings, but all three modes need concerted effort by a broad coalition of Americans. There is no “silver bullet” solution to anything this culturally, historically, legally and emotionally complex. That said, we feel America must work collectively toward sustainable improvements, which will require a lot of sincere talking and compromises. Both “sides” need to be understood and everyone needs to be dealing with facts.
What we’re advocating
We are advocating the following:
- Given that suicides account for over 60% of gun deaths in the United States, we should be devoting efforts to suicide prevention and the causes of suicide. This issue is partly independent of guns, but handgun availability does increase suicide rates. In addition, it is likely that understanding and reducing gun-related suicides will have a positive ancillary effect on reducing gun-related homicides (including mass shootings). This post references an article, The Gun Solution, which offers at least one approach to get the U.S. moving in a productive direction.
- Expanded background checks for the purchase of guns in organized commercial settings (e.g., gun shows). “Closing the gun show loophole” involves formalizing selling to strangers in a setting like a gun show or “flea market” by (possibly) using a licensed gun dealer as a broker (to certify a background check has been done). However, this is a bit tricky because we’d want to continue to allow an individual to sell to a family member without a background check. This post references an article, The Gun Solution, which suggests an approach that modifies the concept of a background check entirely and may be a good solution.
- Repeal or replace the 1996 Dickey Amendment, which says “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” This has the effect of nearly eliminating federal funding of research on the effects of guns and gun violence.
What we’re not advocating
We’re not advocating any of the following:
- Repeal or modification of the 2nd Amendment
- Elimination of guns for sport and hobby
- Elimination of guns for self defense
- Outlawing semi-automatic firearms (fully-automatic firearms are already mostly unavailable/outlawed since 1986)
Things we’re unsure about
We’re still learning facts around gun-related deaths in America, and we will continue to refine, change and modify our positions. We’re unsure about the following:
- Outlawing bump stocks, because they help give a legal semi-automatic weapon the firing rate of an illegal automatic weapon
- The NRA may have a net negative impact on perception, research and ownership of firearms in the United States. Therefore, it may also be having a net negative effect on the strength of support for the Second Amendment.
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