One of the common reactions of mass shooting atrocities such as the one that happened at the Pulse in Orlando is the desire to make sure that insane people such as Omar Mateen do not have access to firearms. Another proposal that always crops up consists of prohibitions on guns that are designated as “assault weapons”, a misnomer because the name is usually given to rifles for their cosmetic appearance rather than any enhanced capability.
To be sure, these proposals are unworkable and, as we see in high #Crime areas such as Chicago, often counterproductive. Gun control measures are often perceived by the majority of Americans as attacks on their 2nd Amendment civil liberties. The proposal to forbid people on certain watch lists from buying firearms throws an attack on the 5th Amendment provision for due process into the mix.
It is estimated that 300 million firearms are in circulation in the United States. 3D printing technology and the willingness of organized crime to provide anything that the government forbids suggests that gun control measures will not only not work but would divert law enforcement resources that might otherwise be applied to more useful activities, such as investigating crimes and catching criminals.
Gun control opponents point out, rightly, that one way to stop a mass shooter would be to have one or more people in the area who have access to firearms and know how to use them. States in the United States, who allow concealed carry, tend to have less gun crime. Gun control supporters, naturally, raise the specter of ill-trained people making an active shooting situation worse. The gentle reader should contemplate how the killing and maiming of over 100 human beings at the Pulse over several hours could have been made worse if a patron had been able to return fire.
However, the objection about training is not a frivolous one. Hence the modest proposal that follows:
Why not create a federal concealed carry program that will involve training in what to do during an active shooting situation? The idea is that any American who fit a set of criteria (no criminal record, no mental health issues, etc) would become what would be, in effect, a defense force against mass shootings as took place at the Pulse and other places. Indeed, the idea would fit the constitutional definition of a “well-regulated militia” which, when the 2nd Amendment was first passed, constituted every citizen of the United States with a firearm.
People with an enhanced concealed carry permit would be scattered across the country and would be allowed to enter venues such as bars, restaurants, and movie theaters that ordinarily do not permit people with firearms. Of course, it goes without saying that so long as they have their weapons at hand, they will not be allowed to drink. Schools, other government facilities, and private businesses would be encouraged to allow members of this anti-mass shooting militia, who might be employees, on the premises at all times.
The arrangement would not stop all mass shootings. The technology does not exist to detect the kind of insanity that drives people to commit such atrocities. But it would reduce the severity and the scope of such incidents. It is certainly a better idea than a futile gun control effort that would not pass and would do more harm than good. #Terrorism