A new solution to the gun issue

May 26, 2022 • 9:00 am

Everybody’s pondering how to stop mass shootings, including tightening gun restrictions, and of course nobody has a solution. Here’s one offered by Phyllis Chesler, whom I hadn’t heard of before. She’s apparently quite a well known second-wave feminist, and (relevant to this piece) strongly “pro choice”. Here’s how Wikipedia describes her:

[Chesler is an] American writer, psychotherapist, and professor emerita of psychology and women’s studies at the College of Staten Island (CUNY).[1][2] She is a renowned second-wave feminist psychologist and the author of 18 books, including the best-sellers Women and Madness (1972), With Child: A Story of Motherhood (1979), and An American Bride in Kabul: A Memoir (2013). Chesler has written extensively about topics such as gender, mental illness, divorce and child custody, surrogacy, second-wave feminism, pornography, prostitution, incest, and violence against women.

Malgorzata, who sent me this link, says that Chesler has been somewhat demonized because she’s a defender of Israel as well as a a critic of the misogyny of Islam. But these aren’t the topics here: it’s gun violence (she brings in abortion at the end). Chesler has a novel solution to the problem of mass shootings. It may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but given Chesler’s history it’s not that likely.

Here’s her piece from the New English Review (click on the screenshot to read):

Here are some quotes from her piece, which some will claim is anti-male, but really, you can’t argue with the data. Her quotes are indented and the bolding is hers):

President Biden focused both on the Gun Lobby and on God in his speech at the White House in response to the latest horror—the mass shooting of nineteen children by an 18-year-old Hispanic man/boy who, we’ve just been told, had failed to graduate from the Uvalde High School. That was what he was allegedly arguing with his grandmother about when he shot her down.

I guess our President did not read my piece about the single most important variable which is invariably always missing, never mentioned, when it comes to mass shooting, namely, that 99.9% of mass murderers are all male.

. . . President Biden: Where is the funding for mental health that our country needs so desperately? Chirlane McCray: What did you do with the three billion dollars allocated for mental health services? Clearly, nothing much, given all the epidemic of shootings on New York City streets and in our subways allegedly by mentally ill men.

The male ego. The supposedly male thin skin. The inability of some men to absorb abuse, frustration, failure, or disappointment without violently turning it against someone else. Yes, it is a real problem.

Now I tend to bridle when I see men lumped together and dissed as a group (one rankling example is the “old white male” trope). But Chesler isn’t saying that all males are potential murderers: rather,  that there’s something about the male psyche that leads to a higher proportion of mass shooters (and, I suspect, all shooters) among males. And she’s right, whether that “something” be evolutionary, cultural, or both. (I suspect the risk-taking behavior of males, combined with their innately higher aggression are some evolutionary aspects of this situation. And of course “macho”-ness is culturally encouraged in men.)

And here’s her solution, which is funny because of the parallel with anti-abortion activitists:

Sometimes a very good idea crosses my desk. Written by an unknown genius, and passed along by one Nev Schulman, please allow me to share this with you.

Our Anonymous Genius suggests the following:

“How about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion—mandatory 48-hour waiting period, parental permission, a note from a doctor proving he understands what he’s about to do, a video he has to watch about the effects of gun violence…Let’s close down all but one gun shop in every state and make him travel hundreds of miles, take time off work, and stay overnight in a strange town to get a gun. Make him walk through a gauntlet of people holding photos of loved ones who were shot to death, people who call him a murderer and beg him not to buy a gun.”

Of course this is sarcastic, but Chesler has a point.

Chesler:

From NPR: Joan L. Roth/Courtesy of Palgrave Macmillan

71 thoughts on “A new solution to the gun issue

  1. It is a good point. It reminds me just a LITTLE of Penn & Teller’s suggestion that–since guns don’t kill people and women (by and large) don’t kill people, MEN kill people–every woman should just be issued a gun…and it should be pink.

    They weren’t serious, obviously, but it is a fact I’ve often stated: testosterone is by far the most dangerous substance in the known universe. We should be encouraging (perhaps through tax incentives, etc.) voluntary castration as a means to prolong men’s lives, improve men’s health, and decrease societal troubles. Think how much happier “incels” would be without a sex drive! We do it for our pets…nearly every veterinarian I’ve ever known recommends it. Why do we not encourage it in humans?

    Heck, if I were a bioterrorist, I’d work on modifying the mumps virus so that it causes severe (and sterility-engendering) orchiitis far more often than it currently does, and release it into the population. It would have the added advantage of preferentially affecting those who refuse vaccines.

    Okay, that’s enough out of me.

    1. It’s really just men 15-25 or 30 or so. Because as you say, testosterone. Probably combined with the human brain not being fully developed until 25 or so too. In the previous gun post I suggested a higher age limit rather than a sex-based limit because it’s probably more palatable to legislators and the judicial system (read: the people in charge. Who happen to be men.) But either would probably work. For these reasons, I think your idea of ‘encouraging castration’ is an extroadinarily extreme and unwarranted solution. The problem mostly fixes itself in 10-15 years; we need solutions that temporarily mitigate young men’s tendency towards violence, not a permanent surgery that causes all sorts of other life-long health effects.

      Chesler’s “modest proposal” is a good think piece, no matter how unrealistic. If for no other reason than it yet again highlights how the 2A is accorded special status by right-wingers far and above other constitutional rights. Until Dobbs officially drops, the right to abortion has the same constitutional, legal status as the right to bear arms. That’s right now. Today’s world. Abortion is a constitutional right just as protected and resistant to legal limitations as the right to bear arms. Sure isn’t treated the same way though, is it? It’s completely inconsistent legal thinking. Either “constitutional right” allows for broad exceptions like abortion, or it doesn’t like the 2A. But it can’t be “constitutionally protected status allows exceptions for the rights I don’t approve of, but does not allow exceptions for the rights I do.”

      1. Young men do the most direct killing, it’s true, but the problems of testosterone don’t go away after the peak murder years. What would Putin be like without testes? How about Trump? How about Weinstein? How about all the oodles of abusive husbands and fathers in the world? If removal of testes really is good for the health and longevity of so many other mammals–and it really is, in my understanding–why would it not be so in humans? Of course, there would be outcries of “eugenics” and whatnot in response to my proposal, but hey, “Eugene” is my middle name, so…

        More seriously, WRT the Constitutional right issue you point out–the trouble is the one is an explicitly written right, the other is logically implicit. Logically, of course, there should be no difference between such things, but rhetorically it can make a very big difference, and rhetoric is unreasonably powerful relative to logic when dealing with humans. Unfortunately.

        1. You seem to be mixing goals; longer life vs. lower crime rate. As a free citizen, the government ought have zero interest in demanding I do the former. It’s none of their business. To the extent that my health care costs are their business, they can encourage diet and exercise. Because hey, if the government policy goal is longer living people, you’d better come up with a policy that is open and available to ALL citizens to help them gain the benefit of a longer life span, not just men. OTOH if you policy goal is just longer living men…why should the USG support such a policy? It’s sexist and discriminatory. 😉

          Lower crime rate is their business, but it is not at all well served by voluntary castration since (a) I can’t imagine many people taking that route…except through compulsion or a determination by the state that it is required. Which in the past has tended to be applied by race and class. Very bad stuff; always remember that the government you’re giving this “program to encourage castration” to is often not liberal, but very conservative. And guess where they will target that program. Secondly, because (b) illegal activity is not genetic. Therefore this is not a long-term solution, it’s one that has to be constantly reapplied, constantly paid for, generation after generation. Changes to gun laws has a high social “change cost” when you do it, but is essentially free to maintain; the next generation need do nothing to gain the benefit of the lower gun violent rate, they just go about their business within the legal framework they inherited.

        2. There are plenty of abusive women, about the same depending on how you categorize things. You are suggesting a a severe, blanket, health reducing measure to applied to a population where 99% or more don’t deserve such a measure.
          Testosterone is not the problem.
          “Peak murder years” Really?

          1. I wasn’t SERIOUSLY suggesting it, as I tried to imply in my reply above when I wrote “more seriously” about the comment on constitutionality. I thought it was reasonably inferable that I was “suggesting” something that no one would ever agree to carry out. I guess I’m too deadpan in my delivery. And “peak murder years” was a tongue-in-cheek response to someone who had earlier mentioned that the problems with murder are mainly in men in their teens to mid-twenties.

            Even the author of the article being cited in this post was speaking somewhat tongue-in-cheek to make a point. Mine was slightly less serious than hers, of course, but it does still seem like a strange schism to me in the way we treat out pets compared to the way we approach our own lives and health, which are, if anything, more consequential.

    2. We should be encouraging (perhaps through tax incentives, etc.) voluntary castration as a means to prolong men’s lives, improve men’s health, and decrease societal troubles.

      Okay, sounds good. But you go first.

      Similar to how Tony Soprano told Dr. Melfi when she asked about the last time he had a prostrate exam, “I don’t even let anybody wag their finger in my face,” I don’t like anybody touching me down their unless they kiss me first. 🙂

        1. I agree, I suspect voluntary castration will not really catch on. I maybe old (and a widower), but I would definitely not want to go without sexual intercourse, it is one the few things that makes life bearable.

    3. Incidentally, your proposal may help the Democrats as studies reportedly show that higher testosterone correlates with conservative political views (though who knows which way the causation goes).

      1. Trust me, I know a fair amount about testosterone. I received my MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and have even, in the past, been treated for low-testosterone that was a side-effect of a medicine I had to take for a severe chronic pain condition. I think some people replying to my comment(s), which I thought was (were) obviously absurd, could use a primer on spotting attempted humor. Maybe I’m just really bad at making it obvious, but the first reply to my initial comment did begin with the words, “That is amusing,” so it wasn’t COMPLETELY opaque. I apologize to everyone for taking up too much space/time here.

        1. Seems you share my gene-for-making-written-humor-that-sounds-good-in-person-but-goes-wrong-written-out-oh-god-what-have-I-done-pcc(e)-has-banned-me-for-life

  2. Thanks for posting this, Jerry. It’s provoked my thoughts to zoom out to the larger social issue of lack of mentoring of boys and the consequent lack of initiation of boys into a healthy manhood and adulthood. I’m reminded of the work of Robert Bly decades ago, as well as the continuing work of Warren Farrell. I’m revisiting Farrell’s ideas and recommend this video from six years ago: https://youtu.be/Qi1oN1icAYc
    Going off on a tangent, nonetheless related to this issue, I also recommend this from Razib Khan: https://razib.substack.com/p/casting-out-the-wolf-in-our-midst?r=2xi1r&s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

  3. “99.9% of mass murderers are all male.”

    This I took as tacit yesterday as it passed through my mind, but bingo. Y chromosome.

    ‘Course transgender phenomena would necessarily be a factor to evaluate too. That will make it more complex. But not unsolvable. Its just facts.

    “How about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion”

    Bam.

    But of course, it ought to be the other way ’round.

    But this almost-satirical idea is excellent to express out loud, even though it is not a canned law, anointed from the nether world, a perfect fantasy to make every problem disappear, a cure for gun violence in a box on the shelf at Target.

    Because that’s not how any complex problem gets solved.

  4. It sounds like a great idea, but if you’re worried about it being anti-male, you should extend the rules to the whole population, not just men. In fact, you have to, because if you don’t, there would be an obvious loophole whereby a lot of women would be buying them and lending them or giving them as presents to the men in their lives.

      1. Sorry, I just wanted you to know that the quote is not a recent creation. The copy I saved is exactly the same as what you show but it has no author reference and I can’t tell where I got it.

  5. I don’t know about the gauntlet of photo-bearing gun death relatives but making the purchase of a gun a public event is a good idea. The grandfather of the latest mass shooter denied that he knew that he had purchased a gun even though they live in the same house. Given gun nuts excuse that they need them for self-defense or whatever, what’s wrong with telling everyone when you buy one? If a troubled 18-year-old buys two guns right after it is legal for him to do so, that should be a red flag to everyone around him. A corollary is that anyone who purchases their umpteenth gun is someone to watch, to put it mildly.

  6. I like it! Actually, it’s not all that different from other proposals, such as background checks and “cooling off” periods. But the motivation is different and the connection to abortion is quite clever indeed.

  7. [cross posed at New English Review]

    Regardless of women’s liberation, the pressure on men remains outsized to produce more than half the income, work the dangerous jobs, and protect the family physically. Besides residual hormonal and cultural impetus, it cannot be changed that women must be sheltered during pregnancy and early nurturing. This is a metaphysically-given dis-balance.

    As a result, men are disproportionally victims of the Left/Progressive project to change the United States from hard money, free market capitalism, self-sufficiency, into a collectivized “social democracy,” in which all are bound in servitude to all by law. The Great Tool of this transition (it is subtle slavery, since overt involuntary servitude was ended by the death and maiming of over a million men) is: deliberate inflation of a fiat currency with government at the spigot of funds and the spender of first and last resort of coerced tax revenue.

    If you think there is no through-connection between this enormous pressure cooker and the urban shooters (single crime deaths stupendously out number mass deaths), think again — it is a home run explanation.

    1. Well it’s good to know that conspiracy theories keep up with current events enough to retcon their own crackpot ideas. Even though no Dem administration has had any significant inflation since the ’70s up until this year, I guess in conspiracy land We Have Always Been Using Inflation To Usher In Socialism.

      1. That’s right, Dems have no accountability for inflation. They keep trying to return us to sound money, free market capitalism, balanced budgets, non-intrusive government, and minimum red tape. And everything else on the long list of things that add up to freedom and prosperity. Thanks for the correction.

        So, let’s see how did the massive pressure on new generations come to pass then … Oh, I know, it has to be TheRich. Republicans. They are secret communists!

        I feel so much better now, having confessed to being a conspiracy theory idiot.

  8. The key is to try to see it from the other side’s viewpoint. And since waiting periods and shutting down access to one per state and gauntlets of protesters is the conservatives’ thing, this approach to gun violence is speaking their language.

    1. There was an old SNL skit where a guy goes into a gun shop to get a gun, but because of the 7-day waiting period he is given a mace loaner (the medieval club thingie, not the spray). And, of course, his house gets robbed by an intruder 6.9 days later. I only vaguely remember it and have no idea whether the skit’s humor stands the test of time, but at the time I thought it was a pretty good sendup of right-wing fever dream objections to moderate gun control.

  9. “I guess our President did not read my piece about the single most important variable which is invariably always missing, never mentioned, when it comes to mass shooting, namely, that 99.9% of mass murderers are all male.”

    Frankly, I had difficulty getting past the above paragraph in Chesler’s diatribe. Beside her presumptuous surprise that “our President” (and “president” shouldn’t be capitalized here) didn’t read her piece, she has an embarrassing proclivity for redundancy, as in “single most important,” “invariably always missing, never mentioned” and “99.9%. . .are all male” (as if the remaining .1% were only partly male). Her idea may have some merit, but she would have been well advised to enroll in a writing course before shooting her mouth off (no pun intended).

  10. ‘that 99.9% of mass murderers are all male.’
    I think the modifier ‘all’ belongs before ‘mass murderers.’

    1. Excellent eye!

      That should go in with the linguistic / written language illusions, such as as the one which has missing words, and such, the unique feature of this one being the placement of “all” in with number… it is interesting…

  11. The Chesler article makes a good point, but overlooks other ways in which the population in question arms itself. In the case of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the gun-nut was apparently the shooter’s mother Nancy Lanza, who kept four different rifles in the house. Young Adam Lanza used his mother’s Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle and ten magazines with 30 rounds each to kill 26 people, 20 of them children. He got his mother’s toy by first killing her with a
    .22-caliber Savage Mark II rifle. The latter is popular for target shooting, and is evidently also convenient for shooting Mom.

  12. There is a very simple solution: abolish the Second amendment.
    This amendment made sense two centuries ago, when the state did not exist in practice. Now the state exists and can claim a monopoly on the use of violence.

      1. It could never even come close to Article V’s preliminary requirement of being proposed by two-thirds of both houses of congress before being sent to the state legislatures for ratification.

    1. I’ve always been mystified why rabid gun-lovers can’t see reason. The intent of the Second Amendment created in 1791 could not possibly have been to permit anyone to shoot up people with automatic and semi-automatic assault-type weapons. Clearly the amendment, if it must be allowed to stand, should have limited scope, in keeping with the spirit of the18th century.
      https://medium.com/technology-taxes-education-columns-by-david-grace/guns-america-in-1791-were-worlds-away-from-guns-america-today-e1f502674d4a

  13. I found the suggestion to be interesting regarding guns and young men, but it also clarified the extensive abortion constraints women face.
    But recall the statistics of the Kristof article referenced on the site yesterday. The mass murders, heinous as they are, amount for only a small fraction of the lives lost to guns. It’s not only the young men who should find it difficult to obtain a gun, but perhaps we should confiscate it from anyone who harbors suicidal impulses.

  14. Publish the crime scene photos.
    Along side home videos of the victims laughing and playing.
    Force the NRA folks to defend that their right to own guns unrestrictedly is worth this.

    1. They’ll simply assert that there would have been the “good guy with a gun” to stop it all had everyone there been carrying the beloved American civil religion symbol of the loaded and operational firearm.

      1. Except that Ramos fits their “good guy with a gun” profile. He had no record of any mental health issues. No police record. He bought his guns legally. There is no solution to folk like Ramos to be found in mental health limitations, criminal restrictions, or background checks.

        The only way to prevent a Ramos from purchasing a bunch of guns and carrying them around in public is to prevent “good guys” from purchasing a bunch of guns and carrying them in around in public.

        1. Unless that calculation missed some factor in common with the genesis of the school / mass shooting.

          Unfortunately, as you suggest, the definition of “good guy” has been owned by the NRA.

        2. When they interviewed his dad, he told the reporter that if he had known his son owned a gun he “would have reported him”. However, the reporter apparently did not ask for further information.
          But it implies there was something to report.

  15. Seeing that the 2nd Amendment will never be repealed, and gun control is stuck, how about a flight foward: use Right-Wing talking points against them.

    One example was done by The Yes Men (see it here), where an American movie trailer voice urges fellow Americans to “share the safety” and to help fight back a potentially tyrannical government that wants to take `Freedom™️ away. How? The arms manufacture promises that for each purchase fellow Americans in “at risk” communitues in inner cities, the “urban youth”, would receive guns too. I’d pay for seeing Republicans pretending to agree to truck guns to non-white communities.

    You could also do the same with the 2nd Amendment. Promote it, with screaming bald eagles, flags, anthem, and a salvo and all. Of course the 2nd Amendnent is great and an American duty to uphold and defend. It must be done more, not less. Of course just owning a gun is what thugs would do: the true patriot American thing is a “well-regulated militia” as written by the Founding Fathers™️.

    1. You mean do a 1967 Black Panthers repeat?

      Well it worked then. Republican Governor Reagan passed the Mulford act, and then the US government passed the Gun Control Act of 1968.

      But I’m not sure it would work now. If you have a bunch of well-armed black men peaceably and legally marching up to Greg Abbot’s statehouse, you are likely to end up with a whole bunch of dead black men to cries of “I felt threatened,” “I stood my ground”, and maybe a few “they deserved it”s instead of the Texas legislature passing gun control laws.

  16. Presumably actual numbers are allowed in this discussion.

    Since 1966, there have been 13 mass school shootings that have taken 146 lives. See: https://reason.com/2022/05/26/uvalde-texas-mass-shooting-statistics-gun-crimes-misleading/

    To put this in perspective, 390 kids per year die in swimming pools and there are close to 1,000,000 abortions in the U.S. each year.

    Point is that mass school shootings are incredibly rare. This needs to be understood when designing solutions to this problem.

    1. Lysander, an Athenian, would have understood that some avoidable deaths are the inevitable concommitant of vigorous and productive lives, while others brutalize society.

    2. Yes, let’s minimize the horror of preventable gun violence in the U.S. to only count “mass school” shootings. And of course, we should also leave “mass” undefined, as that will make the horror more palatable. Throw in some false equivalency about women’s reproductive choices and swimming pool accidents and you got yourself a fabulous GOP talking point. For some actual numbers on school shootings, try this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

      1. Yeah – wile the murder of children is the visceral horror, the loss of life of adults in any shooting is not to be dismissed so lightly.
        Don’t you love when stats get trotted out as a weapon (pun int), but in bad faith.

        1. This whole debate is similar to the terrorism debate: the chance of getting killed in a terrorist attack is vanishingly small. Likewise, the chance of a child getting killed in a mass school shooting is vanishingly small.

          Sorry if the actual numbers do not correspond to the narrative.

          1. And thus you make my point…

            Bad faith.
            (Also, note: the School mass shootings in the USA could triple, quadruple…and they would still be ‘vanishingly small’.
            I despair when a poor grasp of statistics is substituted for morality).

              1. Agree.

                I’d go further :

                Swimming accidents are accidents.
                Car accidents are accidents.

                But school shootings _should_ _not_ _happen_.

                Refrigerator deaths (kids get trapped inside) _should_ _not_ _happen_.

                It is a sign that something is _wrong_.

                How do we decide how many resources to commit to these problems? That is the work to do using statistics which Steven Pinker treats in Rationality (to mention something off the top of my head). But I’m pretty sure he _never_ wrote that “meh, school shootings are as frequent as swimming pool deaths, no biggie. They’re the same.”

                The _quantities_ might be the same. But that is not problem solving.

            1. Deni, there is no free lunch. Life involves risk. If we own cars and drive them 70 mph on the highway, some people will die. Likewise, if we grant people the right to own firearms, some people will die. We can minimize the risks, but we cannot eliminate them completely.

              Some people believe we can confiscate the 400+ million guns in the U.S. I don’t think it is possible without changing “citizen” to “subject.”

              Personally, I come down on the side of greater liberty. However, I understand how someone could come down on the side of greater safety. Maybe someday you can convince people that they no longer need guns to protect themselves.

              “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.”

              1. Isn’t it obvious that more guns don’t make us more safe? There will always be people with a grudge or mental defect that want to kill. It’s the availability of guns that is at the heart of the problem.

              2. “Deni, there is no free lunch. Life involves risk.”

                For automobiles for example, the risk or cost seems to justify the benefits. I can’t see society functioning without automobiles. That being said, we continually strive to make them safer.

                For guns, I fail to see the benefits that we receive as payback for the massacre of children, or the tens of thousands of other deaths and injuries each year due to guns. Or the crimes committed involving guns.

                What are the benefits of all these guns floating around in our society, exactly? I don’t see any benefits remotely on the level of what we receive from autos.

              3. With every keystroke, you reinforce my ‘bad faith’ criticsm.
                We can’t ‘eliminate the risk completely’ – so by your measure, we accept deaths…a strawman of a decent risk averse position.
                So let me ask you – please enlighten us as to the aceptable level of death by firearm?
                If childrens death is ‘vanishingly small’ – tell us what number would get your attention – 1%, 10%, 50%?

                Ugh, I’m tired. I feel like I’m trying to reason with a bot. It’s like a twitter diatribe. My bingo card is full. No more cliches please. (Free lunch? Once Heinlein said it, it was old…)

                I’m off to hurt a small dog. Just a one-off. Nothing to see here. (See how strawman, bad faith works?)

              4. “So let me ask you – please enlighten us as to the aceptable level of death by firearm?”

                I am asking you to list the benefits that we received in return for the 45K people that died in the US in 2020 from gun-related injuries.

                That should be a simple question to answer if guns are truly a net benefit to society.

                In 2020, there were 38,824 deaths in motor vehicle crashes. I’m not sure that this is an “acceptable level”, but it is self-evident that autos provide massive benefits to society. Note also that the population motor-vehicle death rate from vehicle crashes has steadily decreased over the decades, and is now a fraction of what it was when cars were first introduced. It is the goal to make this fatality number as low as possible.

                However for guns, death rates have actually increased over the past twenty years. Therefore there does not seem to be much effort on the part of gun manufacturers or other parties (such as political leaders) to reduce gun violence.

                https://efsgv.org/state/united-states/

                Again, I think you dodge the question. Please explain what society gets in RETURN for the 45K deaths from guns and an increasing rate of gun violence and mass shootings…you may convince me that this is an acceptable cost for the benefit. I’m just not seeing it.

            2. Essential reading :

              Steven Pinker – Rationality

              He includes this xkcd comic :

              Conditional risk

              The annual rate of death by lightning is 1 / 7,000,000

              “The annual death rate among people who know that statistic”

              https://xkcd.com/795/

              … this illustrates the – I think – baseline error.

    3. For swimming pool deaths to be appropriately compared with deaths in a school, we must discriminate between swimming pool deaths due to horseplay, access to life-saving equipment, knowledge of swimming, and deaths due to someone shooting people in the pool, deaths due to live bare AC voltage lines falling into the pool with people in it.

  17. Abortion restrictions and gun control have always been connected. They use the same language- “common sense restrictions on…”, they invent scary names to amp up the emotional reaction, like “ghost gun”, or “partial birth abortion”.
    Both campaigns use manipulated statistics, and both rely heavily on people not understanding much about the laws they have strong opinions about changing.

  18. In Australia, the Gun Control lobby have many suggestions for curbing (preventing) gun violence here in Oz.
    One I thought was interesting, and on the topic of this post, was to make it so the Spouse (okay, the wife mainly) MUST okay any purchase of guns for the home.
    I don’t really need to point out stats on home suicide by gun, domestic violence and murder by gun, home accidental injury and death by gun…
    Seems reasonable to me.
    (Yes, yes…of course there are issues around it that any reasonable discussion can identify – but as a broad principle, I think it gets us thinking in a more productive way).
    Now – if only I could sign off on any purchase of arsenic by the trouble-and-strife…

    1. It’s already the case in Canada that your spouse, or significant other, even if you have parted ways in the last two (I think) years, must sign an application to say she/he is OK with it and they have no cause to fear an untoward outcome. Your family doctor must also sign to say there are no concerns and must describe any mental illness you have had. Plus you must be of age, take and pass a strict firearms safety course, pass a police background check and have a secure safe to store any firearm you buy in accordance with legislation.Even then, you may only buy long arms that are single shot, bolt-action or semi-auto as long as they don’t look like a military weapon (why a semi-auto/self-loading hunting rifle is OK and an ‘assault rifle’ using the same cartridge is not is not at all clear to me. It is based on appearance, not function.) Should you be unwise enough to want to, say, shoot targets with a pistol at a licensed gun range, you take another course and pass an exam, and you must register each weapon. They must be kept in a proper gunsafe and be deactivated with a trigger lock or bolt/slide removed. They can only be transported with a permit to transport, which specifies when you travel, the destination (either a gun shop for repair or a licensed range for use) and the route used. Transport is with a deactivated weapon with trigger lock and inside a locked strongbox. Makes moving house interesting, as you explain to the removal guys that the trip must be made between certain times and by this exact route!
      Despite this, we once again have confusion about events in America requiring a Canadian response, just as in the recent Roe vs. Wade kerfuffle. Our dear leader had indicated he will respond to the school shooting in Texas by banning more firearms in Canada. That’ll show them.
      Meanwhile, we make little effort to address our real issue, which is the illegal import of firearms from the USA. The mass shooter in NS (uncomfortably close to my home at the time) used illegal weapons from Maine. A large drone was recently found in a tree with a bag of handguns dangling from it. This is how gangs typically obtain their guns for use on the streets of Toronto. We would do better to try to stem that rather than punish law abiding Canadians who have jumped through many hoops to go hunting or target shooting.

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