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home : insight & opinion : letters to the editor
March 19, 2018

2/21/2018 2:02:00 PM
Gun-crime solutions worth considering


     I sent a letter to the editor a few days ago expressing an opinion on the Florida shooting and have had some ask me what I would do to help fix some of the problems leading to this and other horrible crimes.  Accordingly I thought I'd just lay my opinions out there.  I know there are people on both sides of this issue who won't like something in what I believe, but here goes.

     • I don't believe anyone under the age of 21 should own or be able to buy a high powered semi-automatic rifle.  There are plenty of bolt and lever action models for those wanting to hunt.  I've had people tell me they want them to hunt coyotes, but have never heard of anyone needing that much firepower to kill the critters.

     • I believe anyone wanting to buy a high powered semi-automatic rifle should undergo a 30 day waiting period to allow for additional screening.  The Second Amendment authorizes their ownership, but nothing says they have to be quick purchases.  Also, high-capacity magazines get blamed for mass shootings, but anyone proficient with these guns can switch magazines quickly so they are not a factor as the guns are.

     • I believe anyone who has mental stability issues should not be allowed to own any gun. There must, however, be a way to regain the right if they are later found to be stable.  I know the ACLU and Americans with Disabilities groups would fight this, and have in the past, but mental instability is one of the most consistent factors in mass shootings. 

     • I believe the FBI must notify local authorities immediately if there is a threat individual identified through a anonymous contact.  Waiting for the FBI to get around to coming to investigate takes too long.  Either that or we need a lot more FBI agents.  See something - "say something" is a nice idea, but "must act" is more important.

     • I believe doctors, psychiatrists, teachers and any other person must be able to contact the local police and FBI about threat individuals without fear of being fired, losing their credentials or job or face the threat being sued. Privacy laws frequently prohibit these contacts and that leads to threat individuals not being notified.

     • I believe police need the ability to immediately confiscate weapons if called to a home for some reasons.  Physical threats, suicidal tendencies, physical threats to others, etc.  These confiscations should be for 30 days to allow courts to review whether the individuals should retain their weapons.  

    • I believe persons on airline no-fly lists should be added to FBI databases to prohibit buying weapons.  There must be a way to get off the list however as there are people who have the same names as those on the list who may be prohibited.  Also, there may be some on the no-fly list just because they were thrown off a flight because they may have dressed wrong that day.

• I believe teachers should be allowed to concealed-carry in schools if they choose and are trained.  Additionally a sign should be posted on the doors of schools stating that some teachers may be carrying firearms.  Teachers are the first line of defense in most shooting incidents and the police cannot be everywhere.  Also, just having the signs posted on the doors will make anyone think twice about entering with a weapon.  

     • I believe any student who takes a weapon to school without prior approval should receive a minimum five-year prison sentence.  Crime without punishment doesn't stop crime.

     As I said at the beginning these are my beliefs.  I came to this point by looking at what was found in most of the school shooting in the past 20 years.  If these were the rules/laws we had in place the overwhelming majority of school shootings would not have happened as the shooters would not have gotten the guns or would have been identified before they committed the acts.  

     Finally, the idea of getting rid of all guns is an absurd belief in this country with the Second Amendment, but that doesn't mean we couldn't take some actions.  I think there are some ideas above that many could support if they would come out of their hardcore left or right corners and work to get some things done.

     My two cents worth.

Phil Montgomery


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