Commentary: A logical and sensible solution in the gun debate

Richard Piszczek Submitted photo

Commentary: A logical and sensible solution in the gun debate
May 17
19:03 2018

By Richard Piszczek 

Let me start by saying that I served in the U.S. Army from 1964-1967 and in Vietnam from 1966-1967 and I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.

That being said there is a reason why we as a nation cannot come to a logical, sensible solution to the gun debate that both sides can support. We are a bitterly divided nation that talks at, talks over and refuses to admit that the other side of the debate may actually have some valid points. As long as this situation persists, nothing will ever get done.

In fact there are four points that both sides of the debate actually believe in. These are; 1) the right to self-defense, 2) the right to hunt, 3) universal background checks for all firearm sales and transfers, 4) that those who are felons and those who have a mental illness that make them a danger to themselves or others should not have the right to own a firearm. Here is the beginning of a possible solution, with just one more hurdle to overcome. That is the idea of assault weapons.

Assault weapons were made for war and to inflict the maximum damage to the human body. There is only one difference between the assault weapons the military have and the ones sold to civilians. The military version has full and select automatic fire. This function was removed so the weapon could be sold to civilians since it is unlawful for a civilian to own an automatic weapon. So whether they are military or civilian models, these are weapons of war. Less than 0.5 percent of gun owners hunt with an AR-15 or another type assault weapon, regardless of the myriad voices that yell, “that’s what I use mine for.”

This brings us to the purpose of this op-ed. I will put forth a logical and sensible solution to the gun debate. Will everyone agree to it? Probably not. But I believe a lot more will. If the vast majority can accept a compromise, we might stand a chance of putting this debate to bed once and for all. So here is my solution to this problem:

First, we enact mandatory universal background checks for all gun sales, whether by licensed dealers, and between all private parties. This includes all guns that are handed down to ones, relatives and friends. All American citizens can own as many revolvers and pistols, whose magazines do not extend beyond the bottom of the pistol grip, that they want. They can also own as many; 30/30, 30/06, 22s that are bolt action, lever action, tube fed, clip fed weapon or one that uses a 5 round magazine. Any type of shotgun with the exception of a barrel fed shotgun will also be allowed. This takes care of the right to self-defense and the right to hunt.

Any weapon that takes a magazine of more than 5 rounds or is barrel or belt fed will henceforth be classified as an assault weapon. This does away with the necessity of describing various elements of the firearm such as pistol grips, flash suppressors, etc. Any assault weapon would be illegal for a civilian to own or possess. All civilians who currently have an assault weapon will have one year to turn in each and every assault weapon they own. Upon turning in an assault weapon they shall be given a voucher for $750 for each and every one. After one year the mere possession of an assault weapon shall have a mandatory prison sentence of 15 years with no parole. The only exception will be active duty military, National Guard and law enforcement personnel.

Will this prevent all mass shootings? No it won’t. But it will lessen the body count the next time someone decides they want to kill a number of people.

Richard Piszczek is from Sierra Vista, Arizona.


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